Local runners cap season at states
While Saturday's cross country state championships at Twin Brook Recreation Center in Cumberland might best be remembered for who wasn't there (at least looking at things from a city of Portland perspective), it proved to be another strong day for local runners.
The Waynflete girls hoped to make a run at the top spot with senior Sofia Canning having a chance to add a state crown to her regional title of the week before, but after Canning's soccer (her main sport) game was postponed Friday and moved to Saturday, she wasn't able to take part. The Flyers still managed to come in third.
In Class A, the Deering boys placed 12th, while Cheverus' girls placed 10th.
A couple of individuals also took part.
Waynflete's girls won Class C in 2007, 2008 and 2009, then were runners-up in 2010 and third in each of the past two seasons. The Flyers hoped to get back to the pinnacle this fall, but knew that Eastern C powers Orono and Washburn would pose a mighty challenge.
But it was Mother Nature which dealt the cruelest blow.
Waynflete's girls' soccer team was suppoed to play at St. Dom's Friday afternoon, which would have made Canning available for Saturday's race, but rain and poor field conditions caused the game to be moved to Saturday afternoon. While Canning conceivably could have run at 12:30 p.m. and made it to Auburn for a 2:30 p.m. soccer game, it didn't happen and instead, she helped the Flyers to a 5-2 win on the pitch.
Waynflete coach Ziggy Gillespie was distraught that Canning couldn't take part.
"She would have won because she's so much tougher on that course," Gillespie said. "I'm not the only one to feel that way. She could have been named All-State in cross country and could have gone down as a Waynflete athlete comparable to Martha Veroneau."
Back in Cumberland, the Flyers posted 107 points to finish third, as Orono edged Washburn for the top spot (48-50).
Waynflete was paced by Phoebe Colvin-Oehmig, who had the 10th-best time, but came in eighth for scoring purposes (after individuals were removed from the equation) with a time of 22 minutes, 2.26 seconds on the 5-kilometer course. Also scoring were Sophia Mayone (11th, 22.16.6), Gail Johnson (15th, 22:27.07), Ellie Chidsey (20th, 22:53.02) and Rowan Price (53rd, 25:14.34).
"All the girls (had personal records)," said Gillespie. "Orono and Washburn were really, really good on a day I thought they'd have trouble with Twin Brook, but they didn't. The good news is that we get everybody back. I ran four freshmen in a state meet."
The Flyers didn't qualify for the boys' state meet, but Graham Chance ran as an individual, posting the 48th-best time (19:51.08).
Waynflete's future is bright.
"We get everyone back except Graham and Max Rowe and we have a pile of freshmen coming in," Gillespie said.
Boothbay edged Orono by two points to win the title.
In the Class A girls' race, won by Bonny Eagle with 82 points, Cheverus had 236 points to place 10th. The Stags have now scored at states in 12 consecutive seasons.
Kiera Murray sparkled for Cheverus, coming in third individually in 19:49.8. Also scoring were Kaitlyn Dostie (21st, 21:36.39), Anne Veroneau (55th, 23:12.24), Sarah Mount (71st, 24:17.73) and Megan Sawicki (86th, 26:26.8).
On the boys' side, Lewiston won the title with 51 points. Deering's 243 left it 12th.
The Rams got a ninth-place finish from Yahye Hussein (17:19.49). Also scoring were Iid Sheikh-Yusef (16th, 17:33.66), Matthew Bernier (66th, 19:08.73), Hany Ramadan (75th, 19:23.32) and Ismail Diini (77th, 19:35.93).
Portland's Ben Allen and Jake Morrow-Spitzer competed as individuals.
Morrow-Spitzer was 25th (17:46.29) and Allen placed 63rd (18:45.79).
The New England championships are Saturday in Manchester, N.H.
Cheverus' Murray and Deering's Hussein qualified.