Updated with video

Nearly 1,700 young distance runners celebrate sport at Festival of Champions

Camden Hills girls race to impressive second, Windjammer Iltis fourth overall in 16th event
By Ken Waltz | Oct 02, 2017
Photo by: Ken Waltz Camden Hills runners, from left, Augusta Stockman, Grace Iltis, Miranda Dunton, Alli Wells and Lauren Rothwell, take off in the girls seeded race during the 16th annual Festival of Champions, a high school cross-country meet on Sept. 30 at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast.

Belfast — Dozens of yellow school buses filled the parking lot, hundreds of fans milled around the campus and more than 1,680 of the most fleet of feet — and overall fit — high school student-athletes in New England descended on Troy Howard Middle School on Saturday, Nov. 30 for a true music-filled celebration of and for distance runners.

When the seven races and nearly 22 miles of the trail/course had been trampled by the 3,400 feet of the youngsters who pushed themselves to the limit in the four-plus-hour event, Midcoast cross-country runners had competed against some of the best in New England during the 16th annual Festival of Champions.

Click for photos from this event.

Watch video below.

While about 2,000 runners were registered for the event, ultimately, 749 girls and 933 boys finished races and covered the 3.1-mile course.

There were seven races, an increase of one from previous years. There were freshmen, unseeded and seeded races for boys and girls. In fact, there were two unseeded races for the boys, as opposed to one for the girls and one previously for boys.

The results from all the races over the same course for the day were combined to come up with overall individual and team results.

The times achieved on a perfect day for running — namely, cool temperatures — were, in many cases, eye-popping.

The fastest finisher overall for girls was Falmouth's Sofie Matson, the lone freshman who ran in the seeded race. She finished in 18:17.33.

Amazingly, Camden Hills sophomore Grace Iltis, one of the best young runners in Maine, finished fourth overall in 18:46.43. Matson had a per mile time of 5:53.2 and Iltis 6:02.6.

Among the boys, Yarmouth's Luke Laverdiere finished first overall in 15:10.86, with a 4:53.2 mile pace, and came within a whisker of setting a course and meet record. The standards were 15:06.92 set by Telstar's Josef Holt-Andrews in 2013. Laverdiere also won the meet in 2016.

The top Midcoast boy finisher was Belfast's Ricky Smith, a senior, at 17:45.06 and 5:42 mile pace.

There were 62 scoring girls teams (minimum of five individual scoring runners) and other squads represented by a few runners. There were 68 scoring boys teams, along with runners from other squads that did not score.

Deep, talented Camden Hills, which is unbeaten this season and has its eyes set on winning the state Class A title in a few weeks, pushed for the girls team championship on Saturday.

Ultimately, Glastonbury of Connecticut finished first at 115, with its five scoring runners in the seventh, 17th, 18th, 27th and 46th places (after individuals from non-scoring teams were eliminated). That team finished with a total time of 1:37:01.68 for its top seven runners, with an average individual time of 19:24.34.

Camden Hills placed second at 1:39:24.58 and 19:52.92. The Windjammers earned the fourth, 11th, 29th, 83rd and 101st spots for its top five runners.

Concord of New Hampshire dominated the boys meet at 58, grabbing the third, seventh, ninth, 19th and 20th spots, with a total time of 1:20:57.59 and average runner time of 16:11.52.

For the Midcoast, Belfast, Medomak Valley of Waldoboro, Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston, Camden Hills of Rockport and Searsport were represented.

The boys team scores were: Concord of N.H. 58, East Greenwich of Conn. 123, Nashua of N.H. 139, Falmouth 156, Greely of Cumberland 243, Hanover of N.H. 353, Lincoln Academy of Newcastle 353, Harwood of Vt. 390, Bangor 393, Hampden Academy 434, Lincoln of R.I. 435, Mount Desert Island 448, Cumberland of R.I. 460, Scarborough 480, Canton of Mass. 492, Yarmouth 504, Orono 513, Caribou 561, Colonel Gray, Prince Edward Island 563, Brunswick 568, Burrillville of R.I. 577, Cape Elizabeth 581, Massabesic of Waterboro 594, Biddeford 672, Maine Coast Waldorf of Freeport 708, Gorham 793, Lewiston 796, Bonny Eagle of Standish 820, Mount Blue of Farmington 822, Sanford 824, Waterville 852, Hermon 862, South Portland 869, Windham 971, Edward Little of Auburn 986, Maranacook of Readfield 1,001, Brewer 1,006, Cony of Augusta 1,006, Lake Region 1,082, Ellsworth 1,127, Belfast 1,162, Oxford Hills of South Paris 1,241, Gray-New Gloucester 1,246, Westbrook 1,248, Charlottetown of Canada 1,263, Camden Hills 1,287, Presque Isle 1,363, Leavitt of Turner 1,441, Saint Dominic Academy of Auburn 1,471, Gould Academy of Bethel 1,479, John Bapst of Bangor 1,497, Greater Houlton Christian 1,499, Monmouth Academy 1,500, George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill 1,507, Messalonskee of Oakland 1,540, Boothbay Region 1,597, Dr. John H. Gillis of Novia Scotia 1,671, Washburn 1,702, Old Town 1,751, Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln 1,796, Hyde School of Bath 1,840, Winthrop 1,880, Hall-Dale of Farmingdale 1,910, Searsport 1,921, Oceanside 1,936, Lisbon of Lisbon Falls 1,968, Winslow 2,004, Bucksport 2,006. Other teams, including Medomak Valley, had no score.

The girls team scores were: Glastonbury of Conn. 115, Camden Hills 228, Cumberland 240, East Greenwich 278, Yarmouth 284, Dr. John H. Gillis 287, Gorham 300, Bonny Eagle 342, Greely 394, Colonel Gray 405, Concord 440, Cape Elizabeth 449, York 462, Maranacook 477, Hanover 486, Falmouth 518, Harwood Union 537, Canton 579, Orono 587, Caribou 605, Maine Cost 610, Nashua 658, Mount Desert Island 745, Westbrook 750, Ellsworth 753, Brewer 758, Scarborough 759, Massabesic 791, Bangor 808, Saint Dominic 825, Brunswick 847, Messalonskee 872, Windham 895, Cony 915, Greater Houlton Christian 919, Hampden Academy 950, Lewiston 1,027, Monmouth Academy 1,065, Mount Blue 1,065, Lincoln Academy 1,086, George Stevens Academy 1,091, Kents Hill 1,103, Boothbay Region 1,127, Presque Isle 1,216, Gould Academy 1,222, Burrillville 1,245, Winslow 1,315, Old Town 1,326, Belfast 1,335, Oxford Hills 1,352, King's Edgehill 1,420, Mattanawcook Academy 1,453, Gray-New Gloucester 1,485, Biddeford 1,490, John Bapst of Bangor 1,495, Washburn 1,545, Winthrop 1,566, Hermon 1,610, Lake Region 1,734, South Portland 1,756, Sanford 1,803 and Maine Girls Academy of Portland 1,903. Other teams, including Medomak Valley, Belfast, Oceanside, had no score.

The overall individual results for Midcoast girls (749 total runners) were: 4, Grace Iltis, Camden Hills 18:46.43; 11, Augusta Stockman, CH, 19:04.60; 30, Miranda Dunton, CH, 19:41.02; 86, Claire Wyman, CH, 20:47.11; 108, Phoebe Root, CH, 21:05.42; 116, Alli Wells, CH, 21:11.33; 124, Rose O'Brien, CH, 21:20.81; 161, Zoe Deans, Bel, 21:53.12; 186, Serena Blasius, Med, 22:09.90; 215, Lillie Mitchell, Bel, 22:29.81; 247, Lauren Rothwell, CH, 22:45.39; 271, Kaitlyn Kessel, CH, 22:57.37; 349, Macy Pushaw, CH, 23:46.03; 351, Bella Gallace, CH, 23:48.70; 376, Thia Allen, CH, 24:04.40; 379, Margaret Richmond, CH, 24:04.87; 394, Mackenzie Emerson, Med, 24:14.14; 419, Tara O'Donovan, Bel, 24:27.74; 457, Rowan Walsh, Bel, 24:56.89; 514, Jordan Kulbe, Bel, 25:36.95; 552, Alyssa Hastings, Bel, 26:16.50; 555, Maddie Holt, CH, 26:20.75; 556, Sadie Cameron, CH, 26:22.50; 570, Gia Davilla, Bel, 26:37.88; 580, Molly Davis, Ocean, 27:04.80; 582, Katherine Upham, CH, 27:06.45; 601, Delia Cognard, Bel,  27:25.10; 619, Natalie Owre, CH, 27:36.62; 621, Emma Spiegel, Sears, 27:39.22; 669, Jayla Robinson, Med, 28:34.77; 732, Hannah Littlefield, Bel, 32:32.24; and 736, Erin Hayes, Bel, 33:07.33. Caitlin Maddocks of Belfast also participated in the event.

The overall individual results for Midcoast boys (933 total runners) were: 107, Ricky Smith, Bel, 17:45.06; 187, Brendan Moline, Bel, 18:21.18; 227, Nate Vanlonkhuyzen, CH, 18:35.03; 228, Eamon Goscinski, Bel, 18:35.52; 256, Holden Clapp, Sears, 18:44.70; 262, Hayden Thibeault, CH, 18:47.73; 327, Ian Orsmond, CH, 19:11.91; 344, Elias Porter, CH, 19:18.12; 357, Tyler Bowman, Med, 19:21.45; 358, Jimmy Weinand, Ocean, 19:21.55; 380, Sam Poutasse, CH, 19:29.04; 397, Isaiah Potter, Med, 19:34.94; 400, Timmy Smith, Bel, 19:35.58; 461, Stephen Crawford, CH, 19:58.85; 503, Steven Courtney, Sears, 20:17.25; 508, Will Karod, CH, 20:18.87; 538, Robin Apollonio, CH, 20:28.87; 555, Patrick Corcoran, Ocean, 20:36.12; 579, Cyrus Allen, Ocean, 20:45.81; 595, Joseph Potter, Bel, 20:53.84; 611, Gary Moline, Bel, 21:02.51; 635, Nathaniel Morsey, Bel, 21:15.13; 668, Adam Bifulco, CH, 21:34.82; 693, Danila Borodaenko, CH, 21:50.82; 702, Jonathan McDevitt, CH, 21:55.63; 744, Brian Rollerson, Bel, 22:27.46; 757, Patrick Conlon, Bel, 22:36.03; 764, Keegan Fitzgerald, Ocean, 22:41.48; 765, Devin Fairbrother, Sears, 22:42.12; 771, Sam Gallagher, CH, 22:47.50; 772, Colin Stewart, CH, 22:47.93; 778, Kyle Arey, Ocean, 22:51.33; 805, Matthew Thomas, Ocean, 23:19.74; 806, Alex Mahar, Ocean, 23:20.14; 813, Hunter Hoskins, CH, 23:29.77; 829, Sawyer Carson, Bel, 23:43.51; 862, Ben Kern, CH, 24:41.24; 867, Christian Sukeforth, Bel, 24:50.60; 871, Max Osborne, Med, 25:03.86; 879, Jack Poutasse, CH, 25:25.75; 894, Edwin Stone, Med, 25:56.83; 900, Patrick O'Donovan, Bel, 26:12.21; 905, Thomas Eagar, CH, 26:31.52; 912, Samuel Goscinski, Bel, 27:35.67; and 924, William Bradley, Sears, 29:17.31. Luke Blow of Belfast also participated in the event.

The individual seeded results for Midcoast girls (250 total runners) were: 4, Grace Iltis, CH, 18:46.43; 10, Augusta Stockman, CH, 19:04.60; 25, Miranda Dunton, CH, 19:41.02; 91, Alli Wells, CH, 21:11.33; 128, Zoe Deans, Bel, 21:53.12; 148, Serena Blasius, Med, 22:09.90; 187, Lauren Rothwell, CH, 22:45.39; 206, Kaitlyn Kessel, CH, 22:57.37; and 236, Macy Pushaw, CH, 23:46.03.

The individual unseeded results for Midcoast girls (313 total runners) were: 80, Tara O'Donovan, Bel, 24:27.74; 103, Rowan Walsh, Bel, 24:56.89; 176, Maddie Holt, CH, 26:20.75; 177, Sadie Cameron, CH, 26:22.50; 188, Gia Davilla, Bel, 26:37.88; 196, Molly Davis, Ocean, 27:04.80; and 228, Natalie Owre, CH, 27:36.62.

The individual freshmen results for Midcoast girls (186 total runners) were: 19, Claire Wyman, CH, 20:47.11; 25, Phoebe Root, CH, 21:05.42; 29, Rose O'Brien, CH, 21:20.81; 44, Lillie Mitchell, Bel, 22:29.81; 78, Bella Gallace, CH, 23:48.70; 87, Thia Allen, CH, 24:04.40; 89, Margaret Richmond, CH, 24:04.87; 91, Mackenzie Emerson, Med, 24:14.14; 122, Jordan Kulbe, Bel, 25:36.95; 130, Alyssa Hastings, Bel, 26:16.50; 136, Katherine Upham, CH, 27:06.45; 139, Delia Cognard, Bel, 27:25.10; 143 Emma Spiegel, Sears, 27:39.22; 162, Jayla Robinson, Med, 28:34.77; 182, Hannah Littlefield, Bel, 32:32.24; and 183, Erin Hayes, Bel, 33:07.33.

The individual seeded results for Midcoast boys (232 total runners) were: 97, Ricky Smith, Bel, 17:45.06; 156, Brendan Moline, Bel, 18:21.18; 178, Nate Vanlonkhuyzen, CH, 18:35.03; and 188, Holden Clapp, Sears, 18:44.70.

The individual unseeded "A' results for Midcoast boys (227 total runners) were: 63, Adam Bifulco, CH, 21:34.82; 97, Brian Rollerson, Bel, 22:27.46; 101, Colby Johnson, Sears, 22:30.42; 107, Patrick Conlon, Bel, 22:36.03; 111, Keegan Fitzgerald, Ocean, 22:41.48; 112, Devin Fairbrother, Sears, 22:42.12; 118, Colin Stewart, CH, 22:47.93; 139, Matthew Thomas, Ocean, 23:19.74; 140, Alex Mahar, Ocean, 23:20.14; 144, Hunter Hoskins, CH, 23:29.77; 179, Christian Sukeforth, Bel, 24:50.60; 187, Jack Poutasse, CH, 25:25.75; 198, Edwin Stone, Med, 25:56.83; 210, Samuel Goscinski, Bel, 27:35.67; and 218, William Bradley, Sears, 29:17.31.

The individual unseeded "B" results for Midcoast boys (262 total runners) were: 38, Hayden Thibeault, CH, 18:47.73; 89, Tyler Bowman, Med, 19:21.45; 101, Sam Poutasse, CH, 19:29.04; 109, Isaiah Potter, Med, 19:34.94; 112, Timmy Smith, Bel, 19:35.58; 152, Stephen Crawford, CH, 19:58.85; 174, Steven Courtney, Sears, 20:17.25; 177, Will Karod, CH, 20:18.87; 199, Robin Apollonio, CH, 20:28.87; 210, Patrick Corcoran, Ocean, 20:36.12; 221, Leo Kalajian, CH, 20:51.96; 223, Joseph Potter, Bel, 20:53.84; 230, Gary Moline, Bel, 21:02.51; and 249, Danila Borodaenko, CH, 21:50.82.

The individual freshmen results for Midcoast boys (212 total runners) were: 27, Eamon Goscinski, Bel, 18:35.52; 48, Ian Orsmond, CH, 19:11.91; 53, Elias Porter, CH, 19:18.12; 55, Jimmy Weinand, Ocean, 19:21.55; 105, Cyrus Allen, Ocean, 20:45.81; 143, Jonathan McDevitt, CH, 21:55.63; 164, Sam Gallagher, CH, 22:47.50; 165, Kyle Arey, Ocean, 22:51.33; 181, Sawyer Carson, Bel, 23:43.51; 193, Ben Kern, CH, 24:41.24; 196, Max Osborne, Med, 25:03.86; 203, Patrick O'Donovan, Bel, 26:12.21; and 205, Thomas Eagar, CH, 26:31.52.

Festival of Champions cross-country meet
Festival of Champions high school cross-country meet on Sept. 30 in Belfast. (Video by: Ken Waltz and Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Harry Fitzgerald | Oct 03, 2017 08:48

Congratulations to those at Belfast Area High School and Troy Howard Middle School, to the City of Belfast, to all the many volunteers, and to the sponsors of this wonderful event. For anyone who missed this year's Cross Country Festival of Champions, it was an amazing event that included almost 1700 runners, their coaches, volunteers, and countless numbers of spectators. Teams came from as far away as Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and included 5 teams from Canada, along with around 60 teams from Maine., including local high school teams. Everyone did a great job pulling this together, the competitors were fun to watch and the fans were fantastic. We are looking forward to next year's event.



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Ken Waltz
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Ken Waltz has been member of the media nearly 35 years and has received hundreds of Maine Press Association and New England Press Association awards for his writing, photography and page design. He 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.

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