Waynflete’s Henry Spritz nears the finish line at the Class C state boys’ cross country meet Saturday. Spritz was the top individual and the Flyers finished third as a team.
John Jensenius photos.
More photos below.
History and triumph were the themes at Saturday’s state cross country meet at Twin Brook Recreation Center in Cumberland.
Deering’s girls’ team qualified for the New England meet for the first time in program history after tallying 136 points to place fourth in Class A (Camden Hills won the title with 73 points).
The Rams were paced by freshman Sierra Aponte-Clarke, who finished the 5,000-meter course in 20 minutes, 20.36 seconds to place 13th. Also scoring for Deering were Nicole Whipkey (20th, 20:49.05), Lucy Tumavicus (30th, 21:30.85), Hadley Poirier (31st, 21:33.93) and Grace Tumavicus (42nd, 21:50.26).
Cheverus came in eighth in Class A with 223 points, its best showing since 2012. The Stags were led by freshman Mackenzie Turner (29th, 21:29.64). Also scoring were Hannah Galeucia (39th, 21:47.27), Ashley Turner (43rd, 21:56.46), Rosie Train (44th, 22:06.88) and Delphi Bourassa (68th, 23:32.18).
In the Class A boys’ meet, won by Falmouth with 73 points, Deering (126) was fifth and also qualified for New Englands, and Portland (328) placed 14th.
The Rams had the third-place individual in Yahya Nure (16:37.61). Alec Troxell (sixth, 16:43.02) also finished in the top 10. Other scorers included Jerry Mixangelo (26th, 17:43.66), Gannon Duckworth (30th, 17:50.83) and Abdikadir Abdirahman (61st, 18:50.37). Deering produced its third straight top-five state meet finish.
The Bulldogs, making their first state meet appearance since 2011, were led by Will Brewster, who came in 37th (18:00.72). Also scoring were Chanan Herrick (56th, 18:41.49), Liam Niles (64th, 18:52.67), Joe Harrington (83rd, 19:24.21) and Wyatt Dana (88th, 19:35.20).
Cheverus’ Donald Mahoney competed as an individual, but didn’t finish the race.
In Class C boys’ action, Waynflete had 130 points to place third for the second straight season (Orono was first with 48 points). The Flyers had the first-place individual in Henry Spritz (17:01.67). Spritz’s time was the 12th-best in the state in all classes combined.
“I didn’t think I had a chance,” Spritz said. “I got to the second mile and thought, ‘It’s gone for first.’ I heard someone yell to go get (Brendan Penfold of Deer Isle) and I thought, ‘Waynflete hasn’t won in 20 years, my coach (Ziggy Gillespie), I need to give him a champion.’ I knew I had to give it everything I had, I would be disappointed in myself if I didn’t win knowing that I might have had a shot.”
Also scoring for Waynflete were Levi Lilienthal (22nd, 18:55.64), John Veroneau (24th, 19:07.86), Connor Feeney (41st, 19:53.57) and Henry Bukowski-Thall (42nd, 19:54.64).
On the girls’ side, Waynflete had 154 points to come in fifth (Orono had 71 points to edge Maranacook by a single point for the title). The Flyers were led by Abby Pipkin (18th, 21:47.17). Also scoring were Anna Wildes (20th, 21:54.56), Leeza Kopaeva (27th, 22:32.08), Ellie Simmons (41st, 23:29.78) and Hannah Babcock (48th, 25:04.01). Waynflete placed in the top five at states for the 13th straight season.
The New England championships will be held in Maine this year, as the region’s best runners will congregate in Belfast Saturday, Nov. 11.
In addition to the Deering boys’ and Deering girls’ teams, Waynflete’s Spritz qualified as an individual.
Sun Journal staff writer Adam Robinson contributed to this story.
Deering freshman Sierra Aponte-Clarke heads toward a 13th-place individual finish in the Class A girls’ state meet. Aponte-Clarke helped the Rams come in fourth as a team and qualify for New Englands for the first time.
Cheverus freshman Mackenzie Turner came in 29th in the Class A girls’ race, helping the Stags finish eighth as a team.
Cheverus’ Hannah Galeucia was 39th in Class A.
Deering’s Yahya Nure placed third in the Class A boys race, helping the Rams come in fifth as a team.
Deering’s Alex Troxell was sixth in Class A.
Deering’s Nicole Whipkey was 20th in the Class A girls’ race as the Rams had their highest state meet showing since 2004.
Portland’s Will Brewster placed 37th in the Class A boys’ meet.
Portland’s Klein Ngoga runs with Kennebunk’s Joe Parent in the Class A boys’ meet. Ngoga finished 110th, but that was only part of the story. After Parent was injured early in the race, Ngoga stayed with him the rest of the way and let Parent cross the finish line before him. Afterwards, it was learned that Parent had broken his leg.
Waynflete’s Levi Lilienthal placed 22nd in the Class C boys’ race.
Waynflete’s Abby Pipkin wound up 18th individually in the Class C girls’ race, helping the Flyers come in fifth as a team.
Waynflete’s Anna Wildes placed 20th in the Class C girls’ meet.