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Cape Elizabeth Winter Athletes of the Year

Sports

Cape Elizabeth Winter Athletes of the Year

2008-09 Winter Male Athlete of the Year:
ALEX BOWE, Senior-Basketball
* WMC All-Conference, first team
* WMC Senior All-Star
* Maine McDonald's Senior All-Star

To the surprise of many, the Cape Elizabeth boys' basketball team made it back to the Class B state final this winter.

The Capers never backed down, were poised in clutch situations and hit shots when they mattered most.

It's no surprise the team took on the personality of its star player, Alex Bowe. Despite always being the focal point of opposing defenses, Bowe had another stellar campaign and was at his best in the tournament, helping Cape Elizabeth overcome the No. 4 seed to repeat as regional champion.

For being a standout throughout, for leading his team to rarefied air and for demonstrating a big-time love of the sport, Alex Bowe is The Forecaster's choice as Cape Elizabeth's 2008-09 Winter Male Athlete of the Year.

Bowe was born in Wisconsin and came to Maine in the third grade. He played basketball from a young age and joined the Capers varsity boys' basketball team as a sophomore. He made an impact immediately.

As a junior captain, he was named to the Western Maine Conference second team and had 11 points against Greely in the semifinals, 21 against Freeport in the regional final and 15 in a state final loss to Camden.

This season was just as prolific. Bowe had 28 points in a loss to Lake Region, 19 at Yarmouth, 23 in a surprising win at Greely, and a season-high 31 at Falmouth. His 15.8 points per game were good for fifth in the Western Maine Conference.

Bowe was the man in the playoffs as well. He had 21 points (including some clutch foul shots) to help Cape Elizabeth hold off Yarmouth in the quarterfinals. In the semis, in what would become an epic buzzer-beater win over top-ranked Greely, Bowe had 15 points. Then, in the regional final, a victory against Falmouth, Bowe led the way with 22 points and was named the Pierre "Pete" Harnois winner as the regional MVP. Bowe finished with 19 points in a state final loss to Camden.

Bowe doesn't plan on playing basketball in college. He's looking at attending a bigger school, but will compete in intramurals. He's still deciding on a major.

There was no questioning his brilliance on the hardwood. Alex Bowe, Cape Elizabeth's 2008-09 Winter Male Athlete of the Year, was a passionate winner, and will leave as one of the program's finest players.

Coach Jim Ray's comment: "Despite his quiet demeanor, Alex is an intense competitor. He never lost his poise and always played with supreme confidence. He learned to play the game the old fashioned way, out in his driveway. He always wanted the ball at crunch time. He is extremely coachable and has great basketball instincts. He was the guy we could depend on night in and night out."

2007-08 winner: Tommy Ray (Basketball)
2006-07 winner: Graham Egan (Nordic skiing)
2005-06 winner: Kevin Harrison (Indoor track)
2004-05 winner: Dan Rautenberg (Hockey)
2003-04 winner: Ben Weimont (Indoor track)
2002-03 winner: Luke Holden (Hockey)
2001-02 winner: Tom Alberi (Swimming)

2008-09 Winter Female Athlete of the Year
MARITA STRESSENGER, Senior-Indoor Track
* Class B state champion, mile
* WMC All-Conference, first team, two-mile

Marita Stressenger took one for the team and was rewarded with a championship.

According to distance coach Dave Weatherbie, Stressenger could have run the two-mile and 3,200 relay at the Class B state meet in February and won both, but she chose to add the mile to her repertoire to help the Capers in their push for the team title.

While Cape Elizabeth fell short, finishing third, 5.5 points behind Waterville, Stressenger won an individual crown in the mile, ran the third leg on the first-place relay squad, and came in fourth in the two-mile.

She had a direct role in 26 of her team's points, almost half the Capers' total.

In light of her sacrifice, talent and everything she's accomplished in her running career, Marita Stressenger is The Forecaster's choice for Cape Elizabeth's 2008-09 Winter Female Athlete of the Year.

Stressenger grew up in Cape Elizabeth. She began running track in the sixth grade. As a sprinter. She didn't get into distance events until her sophomore year. After playing soccer as a freshman, she focused solely on running and the results have been obvious.

She first emerged as a star outdoors as a sophomore, coming in third in the 800 at the Class B state meet. As a junior, she came in third in cross country, helping the Capers win the championship, was third in the two-mile indoors and placed second in both the 800 and mile outdoors.

This year, Stressenger didn't score at states in cross country, but was 14th for one of the most dominant teams in state history. Indoors, Cape Elizabeth wasn't as powerful, but Stressenger consistently had top times in the 800, mile and two-mile, then produced a memorable postseason.

She was champion of the two-mile and runner-up in the mile at the Western Maine Conference meet, then did her all at states. Stressenger capped her season with a 22nd place finish in the mile at the New England championships.

Stressenger, who also plays flute in jazz band, now turns her attention to the outdoor season where she hopes to build on last year's success. In the fall, she'll attend Boston University, where she plans to run all three seasons and study nutrition or something medical-related.

She was certainly just what the doctor ordered on the track. Marita Stressenger, Cape Elizabeth's 2008-09 Winter Female Athlete of the Year, went the distance time and again.

Coach Dave Weatherbie's comment: "Marita is a true pleasure to coach. She's a very talented runner, but also works as hard as any athlete I've coached at Cape Elizabeth. She's a fierce competitor and will do whatever is in the best interest of the team. Her success is due to her talent, work ethic and drive to be the best runner she can be."

2007-08 winner: Nora Daly (Swimming)
2006-07 winner: Nora Daly (Swimming)
2005-06 winner: Kinsey Tarbell (Swimming)
2004-05 winner: Kate Barton (Nordic Skiing)
2003-04 winner: Taylor McFarlane (Swimming)
2002-03 winner: Taylor McFarlane (Swimming)
2001-02 winner: Whitney Rockwell (Swimming)

Photo:
Alex Bowe

Photo:
Marita Stressenger