Yet again, no Class A boys’ cross country team was the equal of the Scarborough Red Storm.
Saturday afternoon, at Twin Brook Recreation Center in Cumberland, the Red Storm made it six titles in eight years by scoring 85 points, 14 ahead of Bangor. South Portland (130) was third.
The day’s highlight was produced by Scarborough senior Nick Morris, whose late push allowed him to edge Messalonskee’s Harlow Ladd by .02 of second and be crowned individual champion, as he completed the 5,000-meter course in 16 minutes, 46.81 seconds. Also scoring for the Red Storm were sophomore Ian Morris (17th, 17:56.09), junior Robby Hall (18th, 17:57.15), junior Jack Sullivan (22nd, 18:00.80) and senior Mike Tudor (27th, 18:07.55).
South Portland’s scorers included seniors Darryl Wilkinson (10th, 17:45.65) and Thomas Salamone (11th, 17:46.53) and juniors Ryan Tuttle (33rd, 18:18.75), Austin Gotts (35th, 18:20.88) and Max Knutsen (41st, 18:31.84).
“I thought the team competed extremely well, unfortunately Bangor and Scarborough ran a bit better than we did,” said Red Riots coach Andrew Lupien. “Darryl and Thomas capped over their senior season with their best performances of the year and our underclassmen held their own against some really tough competition. The boys really wanted to qualify for New Englands, but we missed it by one place. In the moment, the boys were disappointed, but I think they will be very proud of their accomplishments this year once some time has passed.”
South Portland enjoyed its best state finish since 2002 and will be a factor again next fall.
“We should come back with a pretty strong team again next year,” Lupien said. “We lose Darryl and Thomas, but the rest of the boys who ran at states, as well as the alternates, are all underclassmen. Ryan, Max and Austin should form a pretty strong threesome up front next year and they’ll probably be pushed by Robert Graff and Matt Beecher. Some of the JV runners were really coming on strong at the end of the season and they should improve. The incoming class is always a question mark, but hopefully we’ll have some talented freshmen.”
The girls’ crown went to Cheverus, for the third year in a row, with 41 points. South Portland (287) came in 10th.
The Red Riots were led by standout junior Nyajock Pan, who was fifth (20:24.87). Also scoring were senior Kateri Jeffery (52nd, 22:55.20), sophomore Ariana Mohammed (65th, 23:32.99), freshman Lauren Magnuson (78th, 24:10.85) and freshman Kyndra McKenzie (87th, 24:36.17).
“The big word for Saturday was cold,” said South Portland coach Karen Reardon. “It was too bad that it turned out to be our first race in the cold all season. For some of the runners on my team and other teams, it made for a difficult day. Angela Tirabassi could not finish the race due to an asthma type reaction. She gave it all she had, but unfortunately had a hard time. Needless to say without her running where we expected she might be, we did not finish as high as we would have liked as a team. Nyajock continued her string of fine performances for the season. She too struggled with the cold at times, kind of freezing up a bit around the two-mile mark. However, she really worked the last half of the third mile and closed out the race well. She had a very strong season.
“Overall, the team had a very strong year,” she added. “The girls were just great to work with and I think we had some fun. The exciting part is that almost everybody is returning. We had just three seniors on the team, Sarah Baird, Sarah Ouellette, and Kateri. While we will miss all three of them dearly, the fact that five of our runners from this past Saturday are returning is a lot to be excited about. The girls have a nice little thing going here.”
Scarborough’s girls didn’t qualify as a team, but senior Maggie Smith competed as an individual and had the 47th-best time (22:25.13).
Cape Elizabeth took part in the Class B meet.
The girls were fourth with 159 points, but that left 100 points behind champion Mt. Desert Island, which was absolutely dominant.
The Capers’ featured scorers senior Tori Brigham (18th, 21:23.43), junior Emma Inhorn (30th, 22:02.73), junior Ellen Best (35th, 22:07.53), senior Catherine Tierney (37th, 22:17.82) and Noelle Webster (39th, 22:19.42).
The boys came in fifth with 158 points (Falmouth won with 64). The Capers were led by sophomore Peter Doane (eighth, 17:28.46). Also scoring were senior Thomas Bottomley (17th, 17:49.39), sophomore Liam Simpson (20th, 17:53.90), freshman Tim Brigham (53rd, 18:47.28) and sophomore Julian Pelzer (60th, 19:06.85).
The New England championship meet is Saturday, Nov. 12, in Rhode Island.
The Scarborough boys qualified as a team. Cape Elizabeth’s Doane and South Portland’s Pan qualified as individuals.
In a finish for the ages, Scarborough senior Nick Morris runs down Messalonskee’s Harlow Ladd to win the individual title by .02 of a second in the Class A boys’ state meet Saturday. Even better, the Red Storm won another team championship.
South Portland junior Nyajock Pan had the fifth-best time at the Class A girls’ meet. The Red Riots finished 10th as a team.