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Locals dominate at cross country regionals

Sports

Locals dominate at cross country regionals

Forecaster Country produced a team champion, an individual champion and when all was said and done, 11 of 12 local squads made the cut at Saturday's regional cross country meets at Twin Brook in Cumberland to qualify for the state championships this coming Saturday, back at Twin Brook.

The biggest highlights came courtesy Greely senior Kirstin Sandreuter, champion of the Western B girls' race, and the Freeport Falcons, who were the best team in that region.

Here's a look at all the local results:

Soaring

Freeport has enjoyed plenty of triumph over the years, but one thing the Falcons girls were lacking was a Western B crown.

Not any more.

Freeport tallied 61 points, 10 better than runner-up Cape Elizabeth. Greely (85) came in third and Yarmouth (101) was fourth.

The Falcons were paced by Sydney Ambrose, who was third individually in 20 minutes, 45.2 seconds. Elly Bengtsson (ninth, 21:07.39) also placed in the top 10. Bethanie Knighton (14th, 21:21.95), Nina Davenport (16th, 21:36.82) and Chloe Hight (19th, 21:42.92) were the other scorers.

"It's where we expected to be," said Freeport coach Brian Berkemeyer. "My top three ran very well. Nina came back very well. That was a little unexpected."

The Rangers were third as a team, but at the front of the pack, Sandreuter left the field in her wake, posting a time of 19:02.02. While she's been a star since freshman year, this win was extra special, as she's been nursing an injury.

"Three or so weeks ago, I started feeling pain in my heels and after that race, it was hurting a ton, so I took some time off," Sandreuter said. "I just really wanted to go in and do the best I could do. I wasn't sure where my fitness was. I haven't run for three weeks or so. I've been gearing up for this and everything after hopefully. I was hoping for closer to my PR, but it's a good starting point. Winning was definitely the goal."

"Kirstin had done a lot of pool running and biking and she came out and looked like she's back to where she was," said Greely coach David Dowling. "She's conscientious. She didn't miss a day of working out."

Sandreuter wasn't the only Ranger to have a strong day. Also scoring for Greely were Kristina Smith (13th, 21:14.48), Krista Marble (21st, 21:47.73), Jill Booth (23rd, 21:57.53) and Samantha Todd (27th, 22:01.99).

"We had a good showing," Dowling said. "Most of them ran close to their personal bests. The pack is coming up closer."

Yarmouth placed two Teares in the top six, Caitlin Teare (fourth, 20:52.76) and Ellie Teare (sixth, 21:05.42). Also scoring were Abigail Hamilton (24th, 21:58.84), Lydia Sullivan (33rd, 22:20.33) and Lucy Alexander (34th, 22:22.88).

The Western B boys' meet was won, as expected, by Cape Elizabeth with 45 points. Freeport (141) was fourth. Yarmouth's 154 points gave it the sixth spot. Greely (188) was eighth and fell 10 points shy of states.

The Falcons were paced by Chandler Vincent, who came in sixth (16:57.23). Other scorers included Tyler Frey (26th, 18:19.39), Eric Brobst (29th, 18:20.66), Austin Williams (36th, 18:38.33) and Henry Jacques (44th, 18:52.86).

"The boys hoped to qualify," Berkemeyer said. "We did better than I expected."

The Clippers saw Ben Decker, a soccer player who had several of his teammates from that sport on hand cheering him on, lead the way with a fourth-place showing (16:42.95). Right behind in fifth was Braden Becker (16:48.9). Also scoring were Sam Gerken (43rd, 18:52.55), Colin Kerner (50th, 19:00.59) and Andrew Kolodgie (52nd, 19:03.4).

"It was very, very tight," said Yarmouth coach Bob Morse. "I had two guys up front and three in the 40s."

The Rangers did qualify two individuals, Troy Cochrane (16th, 17:45.62) and Connor Rog (21st, 17:52.67). Also scoring were Ryder White (41st, 18:47.85), Chris Goding (54th, 19:05.33) and Dan Ray (56th, 19:10.43).

"It's disappointing we didn't make it," Dowling said. "We had a couple injuries. That was just enough for us to miss. Connor and Troy will represent us at states."

Steady

Falmouth's in Class A this fall and the Yachtsmen made their presence felt in their new class.

In the boys' meet, Falmouth tallied 71 points, which left it second to Scarborough (82). Scorers included Bryce Murdick (fifth, 17:08.27), Scott Lambert (eighth, 17:12.06), Sean Soucy (12th, 17:29.78), Spencer Brown (19th, 17:45.02) and Sage Tanner (27th, 17:59.07).

"We had a good day overall and hopefully we learned some things which will help us for states," said Yachtsmen co-coach Danny Paul.

Falmouth's girls had 90 points, which was good for third behind Bonny Eagle (59) and Massabesic (69).

The Yachtsmen were paced by Vishva Nalamalapu, who was ninth in 20:46.22. Also scoring were Antoinette Lambert (15th, 21:05.38), Mira Wyman (17th, 21:14.47), Madeline Roberts (24th, 21:31.39) and Alexa Hoffman (25th, 21:35.22).

"A number of our runners were battling colds and other ailments, as I am sure other teams may have been too," Paul said.

Solid

In Class C, Merriconeag's boys had 97 points to finish second to Boothbay (47). NYA (130) also made the cut.

Merriconeag's scorers included Tucker Pierce (third, 17:44.71), Zachary Neveu (seventh, 17:57.52), Dylan Wu (11th, 18:32.27), Lars Gunderson (34th, 19:46.63) and Graham Roeber (42nd, 20:26.81).

The Panthers were led by Matt Malcom, who was second (17:15.54). Also scoring were John LeBlanc (14th, 18:47.98), Haley Cunningham (24th, 19:17.36), Jin Yao (44th, 20:32.75) and El Tayeb Dahia (46th, 20:32.75).

In the girls' meet, won by Waynflete with 37 points, Merriconeag came in fifth with 124 and NYA was sixth with 148.

Merriconeag's top finisher was Samantha Pierce (sixth, 22:23.91). Fiona Ahearne (16th, 22:48.09), Carlin Tindall (21st, 23:11.18), Lily Tupper (31st, 23:54.97) and Sylvie Fenderson (50th, 24:55.24) also scored.

The Panthers were paced, as expected, by Hannah Austin, who was runner-up to Waynflete's Sofia Canning in 20:39.67. Claire Maurer was 19th (23:00.38), Sarah Austin came in 33rd (24:00.72), Kate Hilscher placed 43rd (24:37.83) and Ellis Miskell was 51st (24:56.71).

States

The state meet begins Saturday with the Class B girls' race at 11 a.m. The Class B boys run at 11:45 a.m. Cape Elizabeth and Ellsworth are the favorites on the boys' side and Mt. Desert Island is the prohibitive team to beat in the girls' race, but Freeport, Greely and Yarmouth figure to make noise.

"The goal is to get back to New Englands," said Berkemeyer. "It's tough to contend with MDI, but we could be among the top five in the state. I think we have a little more gas in the tank."

"We're all excited," Sandreuter said. "We have a different top seven than we've had in the past, but we're rested and racing well, so we're excited."

"We hope to creep up on Cape and Freeport at the state meet," Dowling said.

"The girls' field is very deep," Morse said. "We want top five at states. MDI is clearly number one. Ellsworth will be good. We'll be good too. We were sixth last year and we want to move up a notch. The guys are just happy to qualify."

The Merriconeag and NYA girls compete in the Class C meet at 12:30 p.m. The Class C boys run at 1:15 p.m.

The Class A girls begin at 2 p.m. and the Class A boys' race brings the curtain down on the day at 2:45 p.m.

Falmouth will be heard from.

"If we can put together a healthy group for Saturday on each side, which we seem to be doing, I think we'll be very competitive," Falmouth co-coach Jorma Kurry said.

"Lewiston looks very strong, as long has they have their top five intact, which they did Saturday," said Paul. "Scarborough is very good and we hope to give them another challenge this week."

The New England championships are Saturday, Nov. 9, in Manchester, N.H. State championship teams from each class and the next 22 finishers in the three combined classes will earn the honor of running at that meet.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Photo:

Falmouth's Scott Lambert was eighth in Western A.

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Freeport's Chandler Vincent had the sixth-best time in Western B.

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Freeport's Sydney Ambrose helped her team win the Western B title with a third place individual showing.

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NYA's Hannah Austin chases Waynflete's Sofia Canning in the Western C girls' race. Austin never could catch Canning and wound up runner-up.

Photo: John Jensenius / For The Forecaster

Yarmouth's Braden Becker shows some emotion during his run Saturday. Becker was fifth in Western B with a time of 16:48.9 and helped his team qualify for states.

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Yarmouth senior Ben Decker, who runs and plays soccer, shows his stride en route to a fourth-place finish in the Western B race.

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Yarmouth's Caitlin Teare had the fourth-best time in the Western B girls' race.