The scene was, in a traditional and historic sense, strange and more than a bit surreal.

Teenage student-athletes, standing, socially distant, side by side, toeing the starting line, masks that had covered their mouths and noses throughout a recent warm-up period, clutched in their hands.

The gun to begin the race fired and the only cheers for the hard-working runners over the next mettle-testing 3.1-mile trek came from teammates, coaches or meet volunteers.

No non-working spectators — parents, grandparents or classmates — to buoy the youngsters and only the sights and sounds of distance athletes getting back to what they do best: namely, compete in running.

Thus is the new norm for high school cross-country meets in the era of COVID-19.

Watch video and see more than 80 additional photos below.

That was the scenario that played out on Friday, Sept. 25 at Troy Howard Middle School as Camden Hills, Oceanside and host Belfast held an official meet, one of the area's first high school athletic events, which included plenty of safety protocols, during the restart in the pandemic world.

On a spectacular early-fall day, Belfast's Miles Cannon dominated the 30-runner boys race as he finished the 5-kilometer course in 18:14.44. Lion teammate Wesley Dyer was second at 19:24.64, while Camden Hills' Henry McDevitt was third at 19:33.55.

For the girls, Windjammer teammates Jenna VanRyn and Claire Wyman battled nearly step for step across the course as Vanryn finished first in 20:44.68 and Wyman second at 20:55.63 among the 19-runner field.

The boys team scores were: Belfast 24, Camden Hills 31 and Oceanside no score.

The girls team scores were: Camden Hills 17, Belfast 46 and Oceanside no score. The Windjammers nearly tallied a perfect score of 15, as they had the first three finishers. A perfect score is collected when a team has the first five finishers overall or the first five minus runners from squads without five scoring runners.

The individual boys results were: 1, Miles Cannon, Bel, 18:14.44; 2, Wesley Dyer, Bel, 19:24.64; 3, Henry McDevitt, CH, 19:33.55; 4, Eamon Goscinski, Bel, 19:55.87; 5, Elias Porter, CH, 20:01.22; 6, Finn Urey, CH, 20:33.22; 7, Ian Orsmond, CH, 20:43.83; 8, LaDerrick Roberts, Bel, 20:44.69; 9, Zachary Armstrong, Bel, 20:55.13; 10, Jonathan McDevitt, CH, 20:57.67; 11, Sam VanLonkhuyzen, CH, 21:13.03; 12, Soren Beckstrom, CH, 21:13.30; 13, Pietro Bacconi, Bel, 21:30.22; 14, Zachary Clement, CH, 21:30.53; 15, Gabe Kelley, Bel, 22:32.13; 16, Nathaniel Stanley, CH, 22:38.76; 17, Sawyer Carson, Bel, 22:49.42; 18, Colin Wright, CH, 23:21.14; 19, Daniel Snider, Bel, 23:29.82; 20, Seth Brown, CH, 23:34.22; 21, Alec Rolfe, Bel, 23:44.46; 22, Max Ergas, CH, 24:59.41; 23, Nicholas Spencer, CH, 25:01.32; 24, Ian Kozielec, CH, 25:09.65; 25, Patrick O'Donovan, Bel, 25:46.43; 26, Deklin Fitzgerald, Ocean, 26:13.21; 27, Robert Hicock, Bel, 26:21.88; 28, Julian Mayhorn, CH, 27:36.99; 29, Alex Todd, CH, 27:44.97; and 30, Kalen Hixson, CH, 28:02.89.

The individual girls results were: 1, Jenna VanRyn, CH, 20:44.68; 2, Claire Wyman, CH, 20:55.63; 3, Elsie Hildreth, CH, 22:03.14; 4, Juniper Fowler, Bel, 22:20.07; 5, Maria Protheroe, Ocean, 22:25.54; 6, Lauren Howland, CH, 23:42.12; 7, Zoe O'Brien, CH, 23:46.70; 8, Addie Cortese, CH, 24:14.13; 9, Rose O'Brien, CH, 24:26.73; 10, Jordan Kulbe, Bel, 24:57.56; 11, Sophie Ryan, CH, 26:37.62; 12, Abby Williams, CH, 27:20.52; 13, Caitlin Maddocks, Bel, 27:24.24; 14, Lilly Robbins, Bel, 27:28.87; 15, Margaret Richmond, CH, 27:52.59; 16, Greer LaFiura, CH, 27:56.57; 17, Bella Gallace, CH, 28:01.20; 18, Cora Littlefield, Bel, 29:46.01; and 19, Kayla Betts, Ocean, 34:20.18.