Updated with link to photos

Record cross-country participants celebrate sport at Festival of Champions

MDI girls, Cumberland, R.I. boys race in as top teams
By Ken Waltz | Oct 01, 2012
Photo by: Ken Waltz Camden Hills' Sam Morse, middle in white jersey, leads a group of runners in the seeded girls race around a bend in the course during the 11th annual Festival of Champions high school cross-country event Sept. 29 at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast.

Belfast — It was about the music, the dancing at the starting line, the camaraderie, the team building and simply, about having fun. But, most importantly, it was about the celebration of distance running, and the scene of thousands of feet stomping around the rain-soaked course at Troy Howard Middle School Saturday, Sept. 28 was an idyllic sight to behold.

That was scenario that played out for more than 1,500 student-athletes during the 11th annual Festival of Champions, a late-season high school cross-country meet which is the largest gathering of teenage runners for a fall athletic competition in Maine.

In fact, Maine’s largest high school sporting event continues to run strong as it entered its second decade over the weekend. The festival continued to sport an international flavor as runners from Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland joined the 68 Maine schools and teams from Rhode Island and Vermont.

The 72 schools, which included 694 girls and 930 boys registered, made it the largest field in the history of the event. The unique format included three races each for girls and boys (unseeded, freshman, seeded). The results of all three races were combined to determine the team scores.

Click for additional photos from the event.

The meet began at 10:50 a.m. with the American and Canadian national anthems, with the first race being the unseeded boys, followed by the unseeded girls, then freshmen boys and girls races and then the seeded boys and girls events.

Defending state Class B champion Mount Desert Island defended its girls title in the event, although Camden Hills gave the Trojans a run for their money, as the Windjammers did last year at the event and the state meet.

For the boys, last year's meet saw Falmouth win with three out-of-state teams in the top five. Falmouth is undefeated on the year and has a deep pack but this year it was Cumberland, R.I. which finished as the winners.

The girls team scores were: Mount Desert Island 125, Bonny Eagle of Standish 129, Camden Hills 135, Cheverus of Portland 212, Waterville 271, Massabesic of Waterboro 294, Cumberland, R.I. 302, Falmouth 334, Yarmouth 335, Hampden Academy 336, Harwood Union of Moretown, Vt. 337, Caribou 378, Brunswick 421, Dr. J.H. Gillis of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada 441, Maranacook of Readfield 460, Washburn 476, Burrillville of Harrisville, R.I. 478, South Portland 521, Colonel Gray of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada 522, John Bapst of Bangor 543, Marshwood of Elliot 614, Mount Blue of Farmington 659, Sanford 664, Messalonskee of Oakland 677, Winslow 711, Portland 718, Boothbay Region 724, Orono 726, Morse of Bath 756, Dirigo of Dixfield 764, Waynflete of Portland 785, Leavitt of Turner 843, Brewer 855, Merriconeag Waldorf of Freeport 869, Scarborough 984, Lewiston 935, Bangor 940, Monmouth Academy 973, North Yarmouth Academy 1,059, Lisbon of Lisbon Falls 1,077, Presque Isle 1,093, Oxford Hills of South Paris 1,094, Ellsworth 1,098, Medomak Valley 1,220, Belfast 1,237, Catherine McAuley of Portland 1,260, Edward Little of Auburn 1,324, Telstar of Bethel 1,370, Old Town 1,395 and George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill 1,445. Among the local teams, Oceanside had no score.

MDI won by placing its first five scoring runners among the top 36, while Camden Hills had five runners among the top 38. So, a few shifts in places here or there, and the Windjammers might have a shot to slip past the islanders in future postseason races.

MDI finished with a total team time of 1:40:53.93 and an average runner time of 20:10.79, while Camden Hills was at 1:40:58.06 and 20:11.62. The two squads are close in talent, depth and time.

The boys team scores were: Cumberland, R.I. 195, Lewiston 196, Falmouth 203, Cape Elizabeth 208, Scarborough 210, Harwood Union, Vt. 225, Massabesic 284, Bangor 290, Dr. J.H. Gillis 313, Mount Blue 334, York 440, Hampden Academy 513, Colonel Gray, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada 523, Maranacook 540, Ellsworth 546, Brewer 558, Cheverus 654, Hall-Dale 656, Yarmouth 660, Mount Desert Island 662, Marshwood 671, Biddeford 715, Edward Little 721, Brunswick 726, Orono 732, Sanford 769, Boothbay Region 812, John Bapst 812, Lincoln Academy 852, Monmouth Academy 885, Messalonskee 902, Winthrop 924, Waynflete 930, South Portland 939, Merriconeag 939, Waterville 940, Winslow 943, Caribou 963, Portland 986, Lisbon 1,004, Telstar 1,025, North Yarmouth Academy 1,038, Madison 1,054, Burrillville, R.I. 1,103, Morse 1,106, Camden Hills 1,117, Leavitt 1,121, Presque Isle 1,132, Cony of Augusta 1,272, George Stevens Academy 1,347, Old Town 1,480, Bucksport 1,483, Belfast 1,553, Washburn 1,559, Sumner 1,574, Hermon 1,582, Oceanside 1,641, Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft 1,774, Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield 1,786 and Oxford Hills 1,881.

The individual Midcoast girls overall race results, with the first-place finisher listed (607 finishers), were: 1, Bethanie Brown, Water, 17:56.69; 5, Brittany Bowman, CH, 19:03.83; 24, Abby Hersom, Ocean, 20:05.19; 33, Emily Lopez, CH, 20:22.82; 34, Samantha Morse, CH, 20:23.75; 39, Hannah Brownawell, CH, 20:32.26; 42, Jacqueline Russell, CH, 20:35.40; 108, Lily Kassen, CH, 21:57.23; 129, Ella Scott, CH, 22:17.07; 155, Riley Simmons, Ocean, 22:29.35; 177, Maria Swebilius, Bel, 22:44.78; 191, Jill van der Schaaf, Med, 22:52.43; 212, Rayanne Leach, Med, 22:58.03; 248, Emma McGurran, CH, 23:20.16; 282, Romy Carpenter, Bel, 23:45.20; 300, Lydia Morin, CH, 23:57.11; 312, Kiera Haining, CH, 24:05.26; 321, Shannon Staples, Med, 24:08.60; 325, Maddie Wich, Bel, 24:10.85; 390, Moira Pieri, CH, 25:04.56; 392, Bella Fischer, CH, 25:05.26; 395, Lindsey Ward, Bel, 25:06.09; 406, Krista Hooper, Med, 25:16.41; 426, Mirelle Lafreniere, CH, 25:35.80; 473, Sarah James, Bel, 26:21.17; 477, Bridget Mellon, CH, 26:26.11; 508, Hannah Olsen, CH, 26:55.38; 544, Beth Corson, Med, 28:24.01; 557, Geneva Bielenberg, Bel, 29:21.8; 56,7 Katie Moody, CH, 29:52.41; 587, Kim Eyman, Bel, 31:12.07 334; 588, Ashley Pezanowski, Ocean, 31:16.49; and 596, Tricia Cormier, Med, 32:11.03.

The individual Midcoast girls seeded race results, with the first-place finisher listed (237 finishers) were: 1, Brown, Water, 17:56.69; 5, Bowman, CH, 19:03.83; 21, Hersom, Ocean, 20:05.19; 29, Lopez, CH, 20:22.82; 30, Morse, CH, 20:23.75; 35, Brownawell, CH, 20:32.26; 94, Kassen, CH, 21:57.23; 111, Scott, CH, 22:17.07; 130, Simmons, Ocean, 22:29.35; and 147, Swebilius, Bel, 22:44.78.

The individual Midcoast girls unseeded race results, with the first-place finisher listed (244 finishers), were: 1, Katherine Miller, Port, 22:07.97; 20, Carpenter, Bel, 23:45.20; 36, Haining, CH, 24:05.26; 41, Staples, Med, 24:08.60; 43, Wich, Bel, 24:10.85; 87, Pieri, CH, 25:04.56; 89, Fischer, CH, 25:05.26; 90, Ward, Bel, 25:06.09; 135, James, Bel, 26:21.17; 166, Olsen, CH, 26:55.38; 194, Corson, Med, 28:24.01; 205, Bielenberg, Bel, 29:21.83; 212, Moody, CH, 29:52.41; 229, Eyman, Bel, 31:12.07; 230, Pezanowski, Ocean, 31:16.49; and 235, Cormier, Med, 32:11.0.

The individual Midcoast girls freshmen race results, with the first-place finisher listed (126 finishers) were: 1, Amy Laverty, Cumb, R.I., 19:30.67; 6, Russell, CH, 20:35.40; 31, van der Schaaf, Med,22:52.43; 36, Leach, Med, 22:58.03; 49, McGurran, CH, 23:20.16; 82, Hooper, Med, 25:16.41; 89, Lafreniere, CH, 25:35.80; and 103, Mellon, CH, 26:26.11.

The individual Midcoast boys overall race results, with the first-place finisher listed (779 finishers) were: 1, Mike Tate, J.H. Gillis, 15:26.64; 7, Ben Trapani, CH, 16:36.12; 174, Gavin Felch, Med, 18:38.95; 201, Alexander Casas, Med, 18:50.44; 231, Eli Smith, CH, 19:02.91; 267, Nick Mahar, Ocean, 19:19.86; 301, Ben Winchenbach, CH, 19:32.69; 323, Doug Wich, Bel, 19:41.91; 368, Cole Chase, Ocean, 20:00.86; 406, Aiden Ripley, Bel, 20:17.08; 432, Patrick Groening, Bel, 20:27.90; 453, James Annis, CH, 20:42.09; 455, Daniel Bubar, Med, 20:42.52; 458, Forest Priestley, CH, 20:44.42; 460, Jordan Bickford, Bel, 20:46.2; 463, Sam Johnson, Ocean, 20:47.13; 468, Hendrik Andrews, Bel, 20:48.55; 486, Grant Richards, Bel, 20:58.45; 531, Tommy Schleicher, Bel, 21:25.95; 570, Ethan Merrifield, Bel, 21:54.66; 600, William Hyland, Bel, 22:13.66; 633, Alden Parker, CH, 22:42.66; 643, Kyle Williams, Bel, 22:50.71; 645, Leander Andrews, Bel, 22:55.60; 666, Jackson Winslow, Bel, 23:14.42; 674, Alex Copeland, CH, 23:21.99; 683, Joshua Degado, Med, 23:33.38; 690, Alex Morsey, Bel, 23:45.33; 693, Noah Howard, Bel, 23:50.47; 698, Daly Winterich, Ocean, 23:59.96; 709, William Barrows, CH, 24:08.92; 714, Nick Denney, CH, 24:13.33; 715, Justin Lopez, CH, 24:15.03; 724, Love Eklund, Ocean, 24:28.95; and 740, Jon Clapp, Bel, 25:06.75.

The individual Midcoast boys seeded race results, with the first-place finisher listed (264 finishers) were: 1, Tate, J.H. Gillis, 15:26.64; 7, Trapani, CH, 16:36.12; 157, Felch, Med, 18:38.95; 178, Casas, Med, 18:50.44; and 259, Ripley, Bel, 20:17.08.

The individual Midcoast boys unseeded race results, with the first-place finisher listed listed (342 finishers) were: 1, Will Fowler, Scar, 18:07.24; 20, Mahar, Ocean, 19:19.86; 46, Wich, Bel, 19:41.91; 73, Chase, Ocean, 20:00.86; 131, Annis, CH, 20:42.09; 135, Priestley, CH, 20:44.42; 139, Johnson, Ocean, 20:47.13; 144, Andrews, Bel, 20:48.55; 155, Richards, Bel, 20:58.45; 185, Schleicher, Bel, 21:25.95; 211, Merrifield, Bel, 21:54.66; 235, Hyland, Bel, 22:13.66; 256, Parker, CH, 22:42.66; 265, Williams, Bel, 22:50.71; 303, Barrows, CH, 24:08.92; 306, Lopez, CH, 24:15.03; 313, Eklund, Ocean, 24:28.95; and 322, Clapp, Bel, 25:06.75.

The individual Midcoast boys freshmen race results, with the first-place finisher listed (173 finishers) were: 1, Colin Glencross, Ban, 17:22.25; 21, Smith, CH, 19:02.91; 32, Winchenbach, CH, 19:32.69; 57, Groening, Bel, 20:27.90; 61, Bubar, Med, 20:42.52; 62, Bickford, Bel, 20:46.26; 116, Andrews, Bel, 22:55.60; 120, Winslow, Bel, 23:14.42; 125, Copeland, CH, 23:21.99; 127, Degado, Med, 23:33.38; 131, Morsey, Bel, 23:45.33; 133, Howard, Bel, 23:50.47; 136, Winterich, Ocean, 23:59.96; and 145, Denney, CH, 24:13.33.

Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at sports@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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