Greely wins boys' WMC cross country race; local teams produce strong showings
With the biggest meets of the season right around the corner, the Greely boys' cross country team reminded everyone Thursday that it has every intention of defending its Class B state championship.
At the always competitive and entertaining Western Maine Conference championship race in Falmouth, the Rangers scored 41 points to outdistance Cape Elizabeth (70) for the top spot. Falmouth (87 points) came in third. Freeport (126) was sixth, Falmouth (215) placed seventh and North Yarmouth Academy (233) finished eighth.
On the girls' side, defending Class B champ Cape Elizabeth took top honors with 30 points. Greely (137) placed fourth, Falmouth (138) was fifth, Freeport (164) came in seventh, Yarmouth (235) finished ninth and NYA (254) placed 10th.
The Greely boys have dominated in-state this year and were an impressive second at last month's Manchester (N.H.) Invitational. Thursday, the Rangers stared down two of their biggest rivals, Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth, along with nine other teams to win the conference crown for the third year in a row.
Logan Price (16 minutes, 57.20 seconds), Sam Johnston (17:10.30) and Mark McCauley (17:15.40) came in third, fourth and fifth respectively. Sam Humphries (17:47.10) placed 12th and Connor Regan (18:02.80) was 17th. Stefan Sandreuter (23rd, 18:12.55) and Isaak Emery (35th, 18:46.50) also ran and ran well.
"Logan, Sam and Mark ran hard after Alex Moser from York (who set a course record time of 16:08), but he had a great race," said Greely coach David Dowling. "I was pleased with their 3, 4, 5 finish. Humphries, Regan and Sandreuter also ran strong."
The Falmouth boys made history by placing all seven runners in the top 30 for the first time ever at the WMC meet. The Yachtsmen were led by Thomas Edmonds (13th, 17:50.50). Tim Follo (16th, 17:58.50), Eric Hemphill (18th, 18:03.60), John Lake (19th, 18:04) and Conor McGrory (21st, 18:11.20) also scored with Charlie Swerdlow (22nd, 18:11.90) and Henry Briggs (28th, 18:24.40) also taking part.
"The boys' pack was very strong," said Falmouth co-coach Jorma Kurry. "Tom was outstanding and when Tim gets back to full strength, we will be competitive. The top four WMC teams will definitely have some great matchups at the big meets, as always."
"Tom Edmonds came through with a great race," added Falmouth's other co-coach Danny Paul. "We will be battling Cape, York and Greely all the way to states."
Freeport had two top 10 finishers: Henry Louglin (sixth, 17:21.10) and Griffin Day (ninth, 17:35.70). Jake Kostik (36th, 18:50.80), Taylor Saucier (37th, 18:53.40) and Bennett Wade (38th, 18:56) also scored. Spencer Egan (39th, 19:03.30) and Max Jennings (43rd, 19:15) rounded out the Falcons' effort.
For Yarmouth, Sam Woodbury led the way with a 24th-place showing (18:13.20). Ben Woodbury (30th, 18:27.60), Sam Peterson (41st, 19:13.80), Tim Wright (55th, 20:11.20) and Lucas Hamilton (65th, 20:41.60) also scored. Also running for the Clippers were Larsen Andrews (70th, 21:26.10) and Samuel Kapner (73rd, 21:32.70).
NYA was paced by Cam Regan, who came in 27th (18:23.30). Rudy Guiliani (45th, 19:18.40), Brian Trelegan (50th, 19:30.80), Evan Kendall (52nd, 19:48.50) and Grant McPherson (59th, 20:15.20) also scored. Philip Champoux (62nd, 20:28.50) and Alan Brown (72nd, 21:31.80) also took part.
"I was pleased with our performance," said Panthers coach Peter Sillin. "We have a young team and we benefit a lot from racing against such challenging competition. Cam has turned into a real team leader this year as our steady No. 1 and Rudy and Brian have made impressive progress since last year. If we stay free of injury, I'm hopeful that we will be able to finish the season on a strong note."
While Cape Elizabeth's juggernaut easily won the girls' race, all five local schools had reason to feel good about their performances.
Greely had the only local top-10 individual, Melissa Jacques, who came in 10th with a time of 21:40.40. Also scoring for the Rangers were Julia Isaacson (23rd, 22:28.22), Marissa Goding (26th, 22:41.80), Emily Christensen (35th, 22:27) and Amanda Stewart (43rd, 23:53.60). Addie Halligan (48th, 24:07) and Sarah Ezzio (49th, 24:15.90) also took part.
"I was very pleased with our fourth place finish, while acknowledging that Falmouth wasn't at full strength," said Dowling. "We knew that Poland would probably be ahead of us, but led by Melissa and the rest of the top five, we were able to stay close and hope to be able to continue to improve to land a spot in the state meet."
Falmouth's effort was led by Erin Morris (14th, 21:53.80) and Maggie Parrish (15th, 21:56). Emily Rand (32nd, 23:06.70), Meg Palombo (38th, 23:33.30) and Francesca D'Alfonso (39th, 23:43.40) also scored. Sarah Abramson (44th, 23:56.50) rounded out the Yachtsmen field.
"We need to be healthy and strong to compete and hopefully we're heading toward that," said Kurry. "We expect to compete well at regionals and states."
"We are struggling with injuries and colds," Paul added. "We need to stay focused and get healthy to make the state meet. Jenna Mannette ran well in the JV race and may become an important contributor over the next few weeks."
Freeport's Kiera Berkemeyer was less than 2 seconds shy of a top 10 finish, placing 11th in 21:42.30. Also scoring for the Falcons were Lindsey Merrill (20th, 22:18.50), Ellie Soule (29th, 22:53.60), Lauren Easler (41st, 23:46.90) and Lia Wellen (63rd, 26:37.70). Brianna Roy (67th, 28:02.30) also completed the race.
Yarmouth was paced by Chloe Sarapas (34th, 23:21.30). Emma Pidden (42nd, 23:49.10), Josselyn Richards-Daniels (50th, 24:23.50), Sydney Sperber (51st, 24:28.80) and Caroline MacLeod (58th, 25:35.90) also scored. Anne Ryan also competed and finished 62nd (26:17.20).
For NYA, Maeve Stier came in 36th (23:31.40) and Hillary Detert was 37th (23:32.60). Also scoring were Sarah Jordan (52nd, 24:36.80), Abbie McIvor (61st, 25:55.60) and Devon Gamble (68th, 28:09.60).
"The girls have come a long way so far this season," said Panthers coach Chris Mazzurco. "Each meet they have focused on a different aspect of their race and the steady improvement has been very encouraging. Maeve Stier continues to lead the time with strong, solid races followed closely by an ever improving core of girls. Several of our top runners sat out the race on Thursday due to sickness or injury, but hopefully will be recovered in time for the regional championships."
Mark your calendar
The regional championships will be held Saturday, Oct. 24 at Twin Brook in Cumberland. The state championship meets will also be held at Twin Brook this year the following Saturday, Oct. 31.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.