High school cross country

Festival of Champions true celebration of distance running

Medomak Valley, Oceanside, Camden Hills, Oceanside, Searsport, host Belfast among 1,500 athletes
By Ken Waltz | Sep 30, 2018
Photo by: Ken Waltz Medomak Valley runners, including Aiden Pike, left, and Elizabeth Bowman, right, in middle, among others, take off in one of the races on Sept. 29 during the annual Festival of Champions high school cross-country event in Belfast.

Belfast — It is an annual celebration of their sport — the fine art of distance running. And nearly 1,500 "practitioners" showed up to demonstrate their hard-earned, honed craft — namely, to lace up their sneakers, stretch and then push their feet, legs, bodies and minds to the limit over 3.1 competitive miles.

On a glorious early-fall day, Troy Howard Middle School again was the venue for the 17th Festival of Champions high school cross-country meet.

Watch video below.

Click to see more information and all results from the event.

The popular event, which also draws huge throngs of spectators, saw 1,461 young runners, who represented more than 125 teams from around New England and portions of Canada, cross the spectator-friendly course.

The festival attracted student-athletes from Midcoast schools Camden Hills of Rockport, Medomak Valley of Waldoboro, Oceanside of Rockland, Searsport and host Belfast.

From the Midcoast, there were 69 participants — 31 girls and 38 boys.

There were seven races, including A and B unseeded races, freshmen and seeded events for boys and unseeded, seeded and freshmen runs for girls. Student-athletes ran the same course, in different groups, and the results were combined for the overall results.

In all, there were 850 boys (214 unseeded A, 208 unseeded B, 226 freshmen, 200 seeded) and 611 girls (273 unseeded, 141 freshmen, 197 seeded).

Individually, Falmouth's Sofie Matson finished first in the 611-runner girls field in 18:21.52, while Edward Little's Jillian Richardson placed second at 18:29.87.

The fastest Midcoast female finisher was Camden Hills' Elsie Hildreth, who placed 26th overall in 20:09.60.

Individually, Bangor's Gabe Coffey finished first in the 850-runner boys field in 15:54.51, while Falmouth's John Auer was second at 16:02.31.

The fastest Midcoast boys finisher was Belfast's Eamon Goscinski, who placed 77th in 17:51.46.

The girls team scores were: Bonny Eagle of Standish 96, Colonel Gray of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island 130, Dr. John Gillis of Antigonish, Nova Scotia 136, Falmouth 161, Harwood Union of Moretown, Vt. 297, Camden Hills 303, Cumberland, R.I. 316, Orono 322, York 386, Cape Elizabeth 387, Mount Desert Island 437, Scarborough 457, Caribou 467, Marshwood of Eliot 468, Cheverus of Portland 510, Windham 512, Cony of Augusta 518, Ellsworth 537, Maranacook of Readfield 548, Mount Blue of Farmington 594, King's-Edgehill of Windsor, Nova Scotia 616, Maine Coast Waldorf of Freeport 624, Bangor 661, Messalonskee of Oakland 748, Gorham 776, Burrillville, R.I. 818, John Bapst of Bangor 832, Hampden Academy 848, Edward Little of Auburn 907, Portland 920, Westbrook 961, Monmouth Academy 974, Brunswick 989, Waynflete of Portland 1,009, George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill 1,017, Waterville 1,041, Medomak Valley 1,042, Gray-New Gloucester 1,043, Massabesic of Waterboro 1,060, Presque Isle 1,064, Lewiston 1,099, Kents Hill 1,130, Boothbay Region-Wiscasset 1,141, South Potland 1,190, Hermon 1,218, Charlottetown Rural of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island 1,222, Winslow 1,226, Saint Dominic Academy of Lewiston 1,235, Lincoln Academy of Newcastle 1,290, Belfast 1,290, Houlton 1,306, Sanford 1,355, Winthrop 1,358, Lake Region 1,559, Erskine Academy of South China 1,559, Madison 1,571, Washburn 1,619, Fort Kent 1,640 and Searsport no score (there may be other teams with no score).

The boys team scores were: Brunswick 121, Bangor 136, Scarborough 174, Classical 178, Falmouth 207, Hampden Academy 229, Massabesic 235, Bonny Eagle 289, Cape Elizabeth 305, Lincoln Academy 339, Hermon 356, York 366, Harwood Union 380, Caribou 507, Lincoln 542, Portland 565, Burrillville 629, Gorham 653, Colonel Gray 692, Ellsworth 692, Maine Coast Waldorf 718, Mount Desert Island 722, Orono 731, Cony 739, Brewer 772, Cheverus 785, Lake Region 827, South Portland 849, Mount Blue 858, Bootbbay Region-Wiscasset 875, Marshwood 877, Lewiston 947, George Stevens Academy 969, Windham 973, Maranacook 993, Sanford 1,020, Saint Dominic 1,042, Waynflete 1,075, Westbrook 1,108, Erskine Academy 1,110, Gray-New Gloucester 1,142, Lisbon 1,157, North Yarmouth Academy 1,161, Messalonskee 1,199, John Bapst 1,240, Camden Hills 1,251, Charlettetown Rural 1,273, Presque Isle 1,317, Old Town 1,340, Kents Hill 1,357, Madison 1,368, Belfast 1,386, Edward Little 1,438, Hall-Dale of Farmingdale 1,477, Monmouth Academy 1,477, Gould Academy of Bethel 1,500, Lawrence of Fairfield 1,624, Greater Houlton Christian 1,641, Washburn 1,728, Bucksport 1,760, Winslow 1,847, Medomak Valley 1,856, Houlton 1,940, Searsport 2,055 and Oceanside no score (there may be other teams with no score).

The overall individual results for Midcoast girls were: 26, Elsie Hildreth, CHi, 20:09.60; 50, Claire Wyman, CH, 20:53.80; 64, Augusta Stockman, CHi, 21:17.60; 72, Serena Blasius, Med, 21:34.92; 76, Phoebe Root, CH 21:40.34; 93, Miranda Dunton, CH, 21:55.12; 95, Rose O'Brien, CH, 21:59.12; 165, Lauren Rothwell, CH, 22:59.02; 170, Caitlin Maddocks, Bel, 23:01.94; 187, Kaitlyn Kessel, CH, 23:10.89; 253, Alma Bournival, CH, 24:02.19; 261, Alexis Parent, Med, 24:08.50; 264, Lillie Mitchell, Bel, 24:09.87; 283,Bella Gallace, CH, 7:51.8 24:25.57; 303, Margaret Richmond, CH, 24:44.51; 314, Emily Mahoney, Med, 24:55.61; 324, Gia Davila, Bel, 25:03.79; 337, Jordan Kulbe, Bel, 25:12.13; 379, Jayla Robinson, Med, 25:43.52; 398, Reese Hesseltine, Med, 26:07.78; 443, Aiden Pike, Med, 26:55.57; 513, Tara O'Donovan, Bel, 28:44.79; 515, Morgan Flanders, Med, 28:45.80; 523, Rhiannon Gould, Med, 28:55.71; 530, Elizabeth Bowman, Med, 29:05.51; 554, Katherine Upham, CH, 29:55.04; 572, Kassi Soule, Med, 30:58.01; 584, Emma Gaecklein, Sears, 31:45.00; 585, Molly Jennings, Med, 31:51.38; 592, Genevieve Thimlar, Med, 32:33.16; and 602, Hannah Littlefield, Belfast, 35:02.77.

The unseeded individual results for Midcoast girls were: 6, Caitlin Maddocks, Bel, 23:01.94; 45, Bella Gallace, CH, 24:25.57; 57, Margaret Richmond, CH, 24:44.51; 69, Gia Davila, Bel, 25:03.79; 76, Jordan Kulbe, Bel, 25:12.13; 107, Jayla Robinson, Med, 25:43.52; 204, Tara O'Donovan, Bel, 28:44.79; 210, Rhiannon Gould, Med, 28:55.71; 232, Katherine Upham, CH, 29:55.04; and 267, Hannah Littlefield, Bel, 35:02.77.

The freshmen individual results for Midcoast girls were: 4, Elsie Hildreth, CH, 20:09.60; 51, Alma Bournival, CH, 24:02.19; 63, Emily Mahoney, Med, 24:55.61; 81, Reese Hesseltine, Me, 26:07.78; 94, Aiden Pike, Med, 26:55.57; 113, Morgan Flanders, Med, 28:45.80; 119, Elizabeth Bowman, Med, 29:05.51; 131, Kassi Soule, Med, 30:58.01; 134, Emma Gaecklein, Sears, 31:45.00; 135, Molly Jennings, Med, 31:51.38; and 136, Genevieve Thimlar, Med, 32:33.16.

The seeded individual results for Midcoast girls were: 40, Claire Wyman, CH, 20:53.80; 52, Augusta Stockman, CH, 21:17.60; 57, Serena Blasius, Med, 21:34.92; 60, Phoebe Root, CH, 21:40.34; 74, Miranda Dunton, CH, 21:55.12; 76, Rose O'Brien, CH, 21:59.12; 128, Lauren Rothwell, CH,  22:59.02; 143, Kaitlyn Kessel, CH, 23:10.89; 151, Mackenzie Emerson, Med, 23:20.72; 174, Alexis Parent, Med, 24:08.50; and 175, Lillie Mitchell, Belfast 24:09.87.

The overall individual results for Midcoast boys were: 77, Eamon Goscinski, Bel, 17:51.46; 108, Hayden Thibeault, CH, 18:09.24; 237, Ian Orsmond, CH, 19:26.37; 273, Connor Daigle, Med, 19:42.73; 278, Elias Porter, CH, 19:45.22; 354, Nate Vanlonkhuyzen, CH, 20:12.19; 374, Joseph Potter, Bel, 20:20.28; 383, Gary Moline, Bel, 20:23.49; 449, Elias Howard, Bel, 20:53.92; 456, Brian Rollerson, Bel, 20:57.25; 472, Eli Jolliffe, Bel, 21:06.65; 483, Zachary Armstrong, Bel, 21:14.03; 504, Keegan Fitzgerald, Ocean, 21:29.01; 563, Nolan Gahagan, Med, 22:03.53; 571, Steven Courtney, Sears, 22:07.72; 598, Jonathan McDevitt, CH, 22:24.52; 599, Robin Apollonio, CH, 22:24.80; 620, Colin Stewart, CH, 22:34.61; 624, Jame Rose, Med, 22:37.85; 657, Alex Mahar, Ocean, 22:53.73; 695, Ellis Braga, Sears, 23:27.01; 698, Ryan Lynch, Oceans, 23:29.48; 701, Thomas Bradley, Sears, 23:31.70; 722, Patrick O'Donovan, Bel, 24:01.52; 735, Ben Kern, CH, 24:18.48; 741, Billy DeLong, Med, 24:34.01; 771, Sawyer Carson, Bel, 25:30.30; 778, Ben Noyes, Med, 25:41.18; 781, Andrew Donald, Sears, 25:50.36; 782, Max Osbourne, Med, 25:52.09; 793, Danila Borodaenko, CH, 26:19.49; 798, Julian Mayhorn, CH, 26:34.15; 803, James Noyes, Med, 26:44.30; 815, Caleb Fairbrother, Sears, 27:23.08; 821, Kyle Brown, Bel, 27:44.98; 832, Edwin Stone, Med, 28:52.20; 843, William Bradley, Sears, 31:05.43; and 844, John Eagar, CH, 33:53.49. Belfast's Nicholas Ritchie also participated.

The unseeded A individual results for Midcoast boys were: 55, Steven Courtney, Sears, 22:07.72; 65, Jonathan McDevitt, CH, 22:24.52; 66, Robin Apollonio, CH, 22:24.80; 80, Colin Stewart, CH, 22:34.61; 102, Alex Mahar, Ocean, 22:53.73; 132, Patrick O'Donovan, Bel, 24:01.52; 142, Ben Kern, CH, 24:18.48; 146, Billy DeLong, Med, 24:34.01; 166, Sawyer Carson, Bel, 25:30.30; 169, Ben Noyes, Med, 25:41.18; 170, Max Osbourne, Med, 25:52.09; 179, Danila Borodaenko, CH, 26:19.49; 184, James Noyes, Med, 26:44.30; 197, Kyle Brown, Bel, 27:44.98; 204, Edwin Stone, Med, 28:52.20; 211, William Bradley, Sears, 31:05.43; and 212, John Eagar, CH, 33:53.49.

The unseeded B individual results for Midcoast boys were: 24, Ian Orsmond, CH, 19:26.37; 46, Elias Porter, CH, 19:45.22; 88, Nate Vanlonkhuyzen, CH, 20:12.19; 104, Joseph Potter, Bel, 20:20.28; 111, Gary Moline, Bel, 20:23.49; 152, Brian Rollerson, Bel, 20:57.25; 158, Eli Jolliffe, Bel, 21:06.65; and 177, Keegan Fitzgerald, Ocean, 21:29.01.

The freshmen individual results for Midcoast boys were: 43, Connor Daigle, Med, 19:42.73; 84, Elias Howard, Bel, 20:53.92; 94, Zachary Armstrong, Bel, 21:14.03; 122, Nolan Gahagan, Med, 22:03.53; 138, Jame Rose, Med, 22:37.85; 166, Ellis Braga, Sears, 23:27.01; 169, Ryan Lynch, Ocean, 23:29.48; 171, Thomas Bradley, Sears, 23:31.70; 204, Andrew Donald, Sears, 25:50.36; 208, Julian Mayhorn, CH, 26:34.15; and 215, Caleb Fairbrother, Sears, 27:23.08.

The seeded individual results for Midcoast boys were: 68, Eamon Goscinski, Bel, 17:51.46; and 97, Hayden Thibeault, CH, 18:09.24.

Festival of Champions cross country
Festival of Champions high school cross country on Sept. 29 in Belfast. (Video by: Ken Waltz and Holly Vanorse Spicer)
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Ken Waltz
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Ken Waltz has been a media member 35 years and has received hundreds of Maine Press Association and New England Press Association awards for his writing, photography and page design. He has an associate degree in law enforcement and studied journalism at the University of Maine in Orono. He lives in South Thomaston with his wife, Sarah. The couple has an adult son, Brandon, who lives in North Carolina with his wife, Hannah, and daughter, Audrey Josephine. Ken loves to golf, ride his motorcycle, exercise at the YMCA and follow his beloved Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins. He also has had a lifelong passion for the mysterious and all things paranormal/cryptozoological.

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