Midcoast high school cross-country teams and student-athletes literally made a good run this fall, with several individuals and one squad earning state championship meet berths and three talented runners earning the opportunity to compete in the coveted New England championships.

With those things in mind, VillageSoup’s second annual high school cross-country notables include a bundle of hard-working, talented, dedicated young student-athletes who were willing to push themselves physically in one of the most demanding sports.

This fall, including both boys and girls, VillageSoup honors 23 runners as Midcoast cross-country notables.

The VillageSoup girls notables are Medomak Valley’s Gwen Moiles, Megan Wyllie, Alyssa Griggs, Jocelyn Thames, Jordan Hopkin and Heidi Harris; Rockland’s Abby Hersom; Belfast’s Abbie Wessels and Kellie Howie; and Camden Hills’ Brittany Bowman, Lilly Kassen and Rachael Brown.

The VillageSoup boys notables are Medomak Valley’s Nick Anderson, Brendon O’Donnell and Joe Murphy; Rockand’s Peter Talbot; Belfast’s Luis Mauser and Carl Pillitteri; North Haven’s Charlie Jones; and Camden Hills’ Johnny Nugent, Ben Trapani, Chandler Crans and Davis Saltonstall.

While all grades are represented among the notables, youth certainly is served for many of the honored runners, including about half being sophomores or freshmen.

Moiles, Wyllie, Murphy, Jones, Nugent and Brown are seniors; Griggs, Hopkins, Thames, Harris, O’Donnell, Wessels and Saltonstall, juniors; Anderson, Talbot, Howie and Pillitteri, sophomores; and Hersom, Mauser, Bowman, Kassen, Trapani and Crans, freshmen.

Wessels, Griggs, O’Donnell, Pilliterri, Saltonstall, Moiles, Murphy, Wyllie and Jones also were VillageSoup cross-country notables last year.

Notable student-athletes represent schools in Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln counties and, while not termed by VillageSoup as “all stars,” all those highlighted experienced consistently strong seasons, distinguished themselves in their sport and are worthy of being spotlighted.

For roughly three decades, a similar format was used in Knox County newspaper publications in the format of the The Courier-Gazette all stars and, more recently, VillageSoup all stars. Those past selections included only student-athletes from schools in Knox and part of Lincoln counties.

Now with the inclusion of student-athletes from Waldo County high schools starting during the 2009-10 school year, VillageSoup continues that storied tradition with its second annual sports notables.

VillageSoup will name notables in all high school varsity sports where there are at least two Midcoast teams competing in an official varsity schedule.

Student-athletes who will be considered for notable distinction are from Belfast Area High School, Camden Hills Regional High School, Rockland District High School, Medomak Valley High School, Georges Valley High School, Vinalhaven High School, North Haven Community School, Islesboro Central School, Mount View High School and Searsport District High School.

In the fall, VillageSoup names notables in golf, cross country, boys soccer, girls soccer, football and field hockey.

In naming notables in a sport, VillageSoup is not trying to highlight every potentially deserving student-athlete from a given team, only to highlight the most consistently strong performers during a particular season in a particular sport. Obviously, with any such list of notables being subjective, not all those considered ultimately will make the final list of notables.

The nomination process for a sport begins with the VillageSoup sports department polling area coaches to provide a list of what they feel are each respective team’s premier athletes for that season, not for a high school career. The notables are based on individual performances, although the strength of a team’s season may impact how many players from a specific team are selected.

However, in sports such as cross country, coaches are not polled simply because runners’ places and times are concrete, tangible and easily comparable, thus the notable selections are based on those criteria. VillageSoup looks at which runners have been the most consistent throughout the season and makes a cut off based on those times and places. Essentially, the notables are the ones who were the most consistently strong over the course of the entire campaign, with special focus put on the more important end-of-season races.

Again, not all potential notables will ultimately become VillageSoup’s notables.

Searsport, Vinalhaven and Islesboro did not have varsity cross-country programs this fall. Area Christian schools and other schools, such as Watershed School, which had strong runners in Nora Willauer, Reid Evans and Julieanna Brooks, for example, are not included because they do not compete in as extensive of a schedule as the local public schools athletes/teams do.

The final decisions on notables are made by VillageSoup Sports Director Ken Waltz and Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell.

There will be at least one representative notable from each school in a given sport. From that point, the rest of the notables could be a mix of athletes from many schools, or weighted heavily on one or two schools.

The Medomak Valley girls were the only local team to qualify for the state meet, thus the reason the Panthers have more runners among the notables. The Panthers have qualified for the states six straight years.

The Medomak Valley girls finished 31-3 during the regular season, 11th (243 points) at the state Class B championships, sixth (166) in the Eastern Class B championships, third (87) at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championships and second (63) in the Camden Hills Invitational. The Panthers also finished 19th (537) among 46 teams in the Festival of Champions in Belfast.

The Camden Hills girls finished 23-7 during the regular season, ninth (227) in the Eastern Class B championships, fourth (119) at the KVACs and first (58) in the Camden Hills Invitational. The Windjammers also finished 20th (572) in the Festival of Champions.

The Medomak Valley boys finished 26-12 during the regular season, 10th (274) in the Eastern Class B championships, sixth (212) at the KVACs and second (58) in the Camden Hills Invitational. The Panthers finished 36th (1,051) in the Festival of Champions.

The Camden Hills boys finished 19-15 during the regular season, ninth (266) in the Eastern Class B championships, ninth (240) at the KVACs and third (97) in the Camden Hills Invitational. The Windjammers finished 38th (1,113) in the Festival of Champions.

The Belfast boys finished 16-18-2 during the regular season, 11th (291) in the Eastern Class B championships, seventh (215) at the KVACs and fourth (111) in the Camden Hills Invitational. The Lions finished 40th (1,124) in the Festival of Champions.

The Belfast girls finished 13-17-1 during the regular season, seventh (253) in the Eastern Class B championships, fifth (150) at the KVACs and fourth (103) in the Camden Hills Invitational. The Lions also finished 25th (662) in the Festival of Champions.

Rockland and North Haven did not have enough runners to compile team scores. Rockland competed in Class B in the KVAC, Eastern Maine and state. North Haven competed in a number of meets, as well as the Western Class C regional and state Class C championships.

The following is a list, in alphabetical order, of VillageSoup’s 2010 high school cross-country notables:

Anderson, a sophomore, was the top runner for the Panthers. At the Festival of Champions, he finished 104th (18:27.29) among 730 runners. He also placed second (18:44) in the Camden Hills Invitational, was 22nd (19:40.2) at the KVACs and 22nd (18:14.31) in the regional.

Bowman, a freshman, was the Windjammers number one runner and the top all-around female cross-country athlete in the area. She qualified for both the state and New England meets. Bowman also was the KVAC Class B individual champion and she finished first in several regular-season races. She finished 39th (21:01.5) among 255 runners in the 76th annual New England High School Cross-Country Championships at Thetford Academy in Thetford, Vt. and was the fifth fastest freshman in the race. At the Festival of Champions, Bowman finished ninth (20:01.81) among 553 runners. In the freshmen race at the same event, among 132 runners, Bowman was second. She also finished first (20:13) in the Camden Hills Invitational, was first (20:46.6) at the KVACs, fourth (19:43.16) in the regional and third (19:31.73) among 101 at the states. Of the 282 girls who ran in state races, Bowman had the 10th fastest time.

Brown, a senior, was a top-three runner for the Windjammers. At the Festival of Champions, she finished 152nd (23:02.34). She also placed 13th (22:45) in the Camden Hills Invitational, was 30th (24:26.8) at the KVACs and 57th (23:11) in the regional.

Crans, a freshman, was a top-four runner for the Windjammers. At the Festival of Champions, he finished 241st (19:33.72). He also placed ninth (19:53) in the Camden Hills Invitational, was 34th (20:20.1) at the KVACs and 62nd in the regional.

Griggs, a junior, was a top-five runner for the Panthers. At the Festival of Champions, she finished 139th (22:56.67). She also finished 12th (22:43) in the Camden Hills Invitational, 27th (24:09.2) at the KVACs, 48th (22:42.47) in the regional and 77th (22:37.10) at the states.

Harris, a junior, was a top-six runner for the Panthers. She also finished 15th (23:10) in the Camden Hills Invitational, was 33rd (24:49.9) at the KVACs, 54th (23:00.21) in the regional and 75th (22:30.93) at the states.

Hersom, a freshman, was the lone Tiger female runner and qualified for both the state and New England meets. She finished 146th (22:30.1) among 255 runners at the New Englands. At the Festival of Champions, Hersom finished 39th (21:12.22). In the freshmen race at the same event, among 132 runners, Hersom was eighth. She also finished second (21:10) in the Camden Hills Invitational, was fifth (22:12.1) at the KVACs, 13th (20:44.04) in the regional and ninth (20:09.16) at the states. Of the 282 girls who ran in state races, Hersom had the 25th fastest time.

Hopkins, a junior, was a top-six runner for the Panthers. At the Festival of Champions, she finished 177th (23:25.15). She also placed 17th (23:32) in the Camden Hills Invitational, 28th (24:12.3) at the KVACs, 69th (23:53.61) in the regional and 92nd (23:37.20) at the states.

Howie, a sophomore, was the second runner for the Lions. At the Festival of Champions, she was 75th (22:01.67). She also finished fourth (21:32) in the Camden Hills Invitational, ninth (22:43.7) at the KVACs and 21st (21:22.78) in the regional,

Jones, a senior, was the lone Hawk runner. He qualified for both the state and New England meets. He finished first in several regular-season races. He finished 122nd (18:32.2) among 264 runners at the New Englands. At Festival of Champions, he placed 18th (16:59.47) among 730 runners. Jones also finished first (17:46) in the Camden Hills Invitational, eighth (17:26.60) among 98 runners in the regional and seventh (17:06.18) among 100 runners at the state. Of the 311 boys who ran in state races, Jones had the 28th fastest time.

Kassen, a freshman, was a top-three runner for the Windjammers. At the Festival of Champions, she finished 88th (22:11.30). In the freshmen race at the same event, there among 132 runners, Kassen was 14th. She also finished 10th (22:33) in the Camden Hills Invitational, 22nd (23:43.6) at the KVACs and 34th (22:04.59) in the regional.

Mauser, a freshman, was the number one runner for the Lions and qualified for the state meet. At the Festival of Champions, he finished 64th (17:57.26). In the boys freshmen race at the same event, among 166 runners, Mauser was third. At the KVACs, he was sixth (18:40.2), 13th (17:43.76) in the regional and 18th (17:22.04) among 108 runners at the states. Of the 311 overall boys who ran in state races, Mauser had the 48th fastest time.

Moiles, a senior, was the number one runner for the Panthers and qualified for the state meet. At the Festival of Champions, Moiles finished 34th (21:06.13). She also placed fifth (21:38) in the Camden Hills Invitational, seventh (22:19.7) at the KVACs, eighth (20:23.66) in the regional and 21st (20:38.04) at the states. Of the 282 girls who ran in state races, Moiles had the 44th best time.

Murphy, a senior, was a top-three runner for the Panthers. At the Festival of Champions, he finished 220th (19:25.25). He also placed fourth (19:30) in the Camden Hills Invitational, 38th (20:23.5) at the KVACs and 45th (18:57.98) in the regional.

Nugent, a senior, was a top-four runner for the Windjammers. At the Festival of Champions, he finished 173rd (19:07.05). He was 31st (20:13.7) at the KVACs and 51st (19:10.12) in the regional.

O’Donnell, a junior, was a top-three runner for the Panthers. At the Festival of Champions, he finished 158th (18:59.20). He also placed seventh (19:45.95) in the Camden Hills Invitational, 51st (21:36.4) at the KVACs and 59th (19:34.16) in the regional.

Pillitteri, a sophomore, was the second runner for the Lions. At the Festival of Champions, he finished 292nd (19:58.02). He was 37th (20:23.1) at the KVACs and 52nd (19:12.56) in the regional.

Saltonstall, a junior, was a top-four runner for the Windjammers. At the Festival of Champions, he finished 321st (20:10.29). He also placed fifth (19:41) in the Camden Hills Invitational, 47th (21:19.3) at the KVACs and 47th (18:58.89) in the regional.

Talbot, a sophomore, was the top runner for the Tigers. He finished 14th (20:22) in the Camden Hills Invitational and 46th (21:12.2) at the KVACs.

Thames, a junior, was a top-five runner for the Panthers. At the Festival of Champions, she finished 210th (23:54.62), Thames also placed 14th (23:01) in the Camden Hills Invitational, 29th (24:22) at the KVACs, 41st (22:28.38) in the regional and 78th (22:38.62) at the states.

Trapani, a freshman, was a top-three runner for the Windjammers. At the Festival of Champions, he finished 223rd (19:26.32). He also was 39th (18:48.05) in the regional.

Wessels, a junior, was the number one runner for the Lions and qualified for the state meet. She won an early-season race. At the Festival of Champions, Wessels finished 41st (21:15.67), She was sixth (22:17.1) at the KVACs, 14th (20:51.14) in the regional and 25th (20:44.90) at the states. Of the 282 girls who ran in state races, Wessels finished with the 50th fastest time.

Wyllie, a senior, was the Panthers number two runner and qualified for the state meet. At the Festival of Champions, she finished 43rd ( 21:17.95). She was 10th (22:44) at the KVACs, 19th (21:06.01) in the regional and 42nd (21:32.41) at the states.

Village NetMedia Regional Editor/Sports Director Ken Waltz can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at kwaltz@villagesoup.com.