Strong efforts, but no titles at cross country state meet
City runners made the most of their opportunity to run at the cross country state championships Saturday in Belfast.
In Class C, Waynflete's girls came in third with 83 points, one better than two-time defending champion Merriconeag, but one point behind runner-up Orono and 25 behind champion Washburn.
Martha Veroneau was fifth overall and fourth for scoring purposes, completing the 5-kilometer course in 21 minutes, 3.11 seconds. Also scoring were Ella Millard (10th, 21:40.8), Cat Johnson (19th, 22:43.56), Gail Johnson (21st, 22:51.8) and Ellie Marston (29th, 23:21.25).
"We were disappointed," said Waynflete coach Ziggy Gillespie. "We went up there to get second. We didn't count on Orono. Martha was eighth with 600 yards to go and wound up fifth. Ella came in this year and did so well, so quickly. We'll be exciting next year. We have 13 coming back. Six of our top seven."
Waynflete's boys came in fourth with 131 points (Hall-Dale was the champion with 86). The Flyers were led by Josh Espy, eighth in 17:43.54. Also scoring were Dylan Kingsbury (19th, 18:22.96), Abukar Adan (26th, 18:35.71), Colin Laurence (38th, 19:08.59) and Julian Ireland (40th, 19:09.55).
"Hall-Dale was very, very strong," said Gillespie. "I thought we'd get second, but it's Orono's home course. We beat Winthrop at regionals, but lost by a point at states. We'll lose our shirts with all these seniors."
In Class A, Cheverus' quest for a fourth straight championship fell short as the Stags finished third with 87 points. Massabesic also had 87 points, but got the nod for runner-up as its sixth-place finisher came in before Cheverus'. Bonny Eagle won the title with 66 points.
The Stags featured Shannon Conley as their top finisher. Conley was fourth with a time of 19:10.77. Kiera Murray (sixth, 19:26.51) was also a top 10 finisher. Both girls qualified for the New England meet, which is Nov. 10 at Twin Brook Recreation Center in Cumberland. Other Cheverus scorers were Kaitlyn Dostie (23rd, 21:03.81), Georgia Caso (24th, 21:05.94) and Emily Perry (30th, 21:31.67).
Deering didn't compete as a team, but freshman Eleanor McClure-Chute took part as an individual, posting the 42nd-best time (21:54.43).
McAuley also had an individual compete, sophomore Adele Werner, who registered the 58th-best time (22:36.36).
The Class A boys' meet was won by Massabesic with 82 points. Deering was the lone local squad to qualify and the Rams were 14th with 331 points.
Deering scorers included Yahye Hussein (18th, 17:24.53), Alex Hebert (58th, 18:27.33), Dakota Hiott (81st, 19:01.43), Jordan Stebbins (86th, 19:13.02) and Matt Bernier (88th, 19:18.88).
Portland didn't qualify, but junior standout Ben Allen had the 17th-best time (17:15.05).
Cheverus had two individuals run, Parker Montano (60th-best time, 18:25.03) and Zeb Tarasevich (64th, 18:27.39).