Belfast—The George Stevens Academy girls brought home the state title in cross country on Saturday, November 5, fulfilling what no Eagles girls team has done since at least 1975, when the Maine Press Association began recording girls’ titles, and probably a few decades before then.
The team also qualified for the New England Championships in Rhode Island on November 12, placing sixth out of 37 teams from all classes.
Eighty-five girls from 10 schools qualified for the Class C state meet. Powered by second, third and fifth-place finishes, the Eagles scored 52, a sizable margin over second-place winner Orono, the team they beat by one point at the regionals.
Senior John Hassett won the Class C title, coming in at 15:56.12, more than 22 seconds faster than his time at the regionals. Among the 336 runners from all classes, Hassett placed fourth, qualifying for his third straight New England Championship.
“Thank you for an amazing year!” Coach Erich Reed told his teams as the season drew to its end.
In individual times, several Eagle athletes beat their time at the Northern Regional Championships at the same Belfast track one week before.
Junior Eliza Broughton placed second, beating her time on the same Belfast track a week earlier by over 20 seconds, coming in at 19:44.07. Third-place winner junior Zeya Lorio, came in at 19:53:80, shaving off 25 seconds. Junnior Mary Richardson placed fifth at 20:05.05, beating her regional time by nearly 12 seconds.
Mary Brenna Catus came in 22nd, at 21:07.19 and Tess Williams 24th, at 21:15.55, for the top five finishes, which add up to the team’s final score for the Class C championship.
Bella Cimeno came in at 39th (22:13.87) and Emma Larson-Whittaker, 53rd (23:06.78), keeping the team down to 248 total points towards qualifying for the New England championship race.
“This was the one race that we had our top seven compete together,” Reed said, noting that the team “had to manage more than their share of aches and pains during the season.”
Missing qualifying for the New England Championships by six seconds, Ollie Dillon placed fourth at 16:53:98, slicing nearly two seconds off his regional time, with Max Mattson, 45th (18:53.45), Caden Mattson (18:58.72) and Beckett Slayton, 61st (19:25.91) rounding out the boys’ top five scorers. Sean Schweizer came in 67th and Nyamh Wolf 88th.
The Eagle boys team placed fifth among 12 schools, with Orono winning the state title.
Deer Isle-Stonington’s Brendan Penfold, who placed second at the Class C Northern Regionals, “caught a tough break,” Penobscot Bay Press columnist Jack Scott wrote in an email after the race, after straining a muscle in practice before the state meet. He finished 18th, more than 50 seconds behind his time at the regionals.