Windjammer Trapani, Mariner Hersom rule Panther two-mile racesPreseason running event new to Midcoast
Waldoboro — Fast-footed runners from Camden Hills and Oceanside bolted to first places in the first annual Medomak Valley two-mile preseason cross-country races Saturday, Aug. 31.
High school runners from Camden Hills, Medomak Valley, Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston, Waterville and Lincoln Academy of Newcastle competed.
Ben Trapani of Camden Hills finished first among the 39 male competitors in 11 minutes and four seconds, while Abby Hersom of Oceanside bested a field of 35 females to win in 13:17.
Team results were not recorded as the focus of the meet was on the individual runners.
The top runners, male and female, in each class were:
Freshmen — Camden Hills' Caleb Love-Webb and Emma Trapani.
Sophomores — Lincoln Academy's Avery Genus and Waterville's Erica Jenson.
Juniors — Waterville's Chris Cote and Oceanside's Riley Simmons.
Seniors — Camden Hills' Ben Trapani and Oceanside's Abby Hersom.
"I could not be more pleased with the meet," said veteran Medomak Valley cross-country coach George Gould, the organizer of the event. "I think it met our expectations as to what we wanted to achieve by hosting a preseason meet."
Gould said the Panther "cross-country family stepped forward to provide food and fill in support roles. It is no doubt that Medomak Valley will host this meet for many years to come. The teams that came to this meet made it a memorable first-time event. It is my passion to give back to the cross-country community and we will continue to look for ways to do that."
Traditional high school cross-country race distances are 2.9, 3.0 or 3.1 miles. However, Gould wanted a shorter race for Medomak Valley's preseason meet.
In the past, Medomak Valley and many other teams around the state attended the still ongoing preseason Laliberte Invitational meet, hosted by Cony High School in Augusta, this year held on Friday, Aug. 30.
"Cony was the only preseason meet and I felt that meet had grown so big that it lost what we were looking for," Gould said. "Their format runs boys and girls together and the size, in numbers, is the largest cross-country meet in the state. So often, we would bring freshmen and this would be their first experience as a high school runner. For most of these young runners it was not a good experience. We wanted to have a meet with less pressure but still challenge the best runners."
Gould said he asked Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference coaches to have an additional preseason race in Waldoboro and league officials agreed.
"It is two miles because we wanted all the athletes to be able to compete and have something to build on as the season progresses," the coach said. "For the best runners this will be a true speed workout ... We will see some fast times."
All records will be compiled and be there for those to challenge for years to come.
"We are not going to score the meet teamwise as we want to have more focus on each runner," Gould said. "We will give medals to the top seven finishers in each class — freshman, sophomore, junior and senior."
The coach said School Administrative District 40 athletic director Matt Lash was instrumental in his support of the event and paving the way to gain league approval for the meet.
The individual boys results were: 1, Ben Trapani, CH, 11:04; 2, Chris Cote, Wat, 11:11; 3, Caleb Love-Webb, CH, 11:29; 4, Nick Smelcer, LA, 11:43; 5, Gavin Felch, Med, 11:50; 6, Avery Genus, LA, 12:06; 7, Eli Smith, CH, 12:17; 8, Nick Derosby, Wat, 12:18; 9, Alex Tomasello, LA, 12:22; 10, Billy Chambers, Wat, 12:26; 11, Nick Mahar, Ocean, 12:35; 12, Billy Seaman, LA, 12:43; 13, Ben Winchenbach, CH, 12:47; 14, Noah Burnham, Wat, 12:54; 15, Justin Frink, LA, 12:59; 16, Nate Osborne, LA, 13:00; 17, Alexander Casas, Med, 13:01; 18, Abe Steinberger, LA,13:06; 19, Daniel Bubar, Med, 13:22; 20, Josh Heanssler, CH, 14:04; 21, Braden Nolan, CH, 14:26; 22, Crockett Lalor, CH, 14:28; 23, Max Smith, LA, 14:43; 24, Nathan Schnee, Wat, 14:44; 25, Josh Delgado, Med, 14:51; 26, Alex Spearin, CH, 15:02; 27, Daly Winterich, Ocean, 15:08; 28, Theo Seidel, LA, 15:29; 29, Tyler Bilodeau, CH, 15:52; 30, Dylan Reese, Ocean, 16:00; 31, Isaiah Trail, LA, 16:02; 32, Gal Gilat, CH, 16:06; 33, Will Barrows, CH, 16:07; 34, Nick Leclerc, CH, 16:11; 35, Deagan Poland, Med, 17:58; 36, Nick Doran, CH, 18:58; 37, Ethan Lowe, LA, 19:42; 38, Peter Cooke, LA, 20:14; and 39, Trent Grover, Med, 20:53.
The girls individual results were: 1, Abby Hersom, Ocean, 13:17; 2, Emma Trapani, CH, 13:20; 3, Brittany Bowman, CH, 13:23; 4, Emily Kessel, CH, 13:46; 5, Erica Jenson, Wat, 13:57; 6, Cecila Morin, Wat, 14:01; 7, Jacqueline Russell, CH, 14:28; 8, Riley Simmons, Ocean, 14:41; 9, Liliy Kassen, CH, 14:57; 10, Teiga Martin, LA, 15:13; 11, Esther Martin, LA, 15:31; 12, Jill van der Schaaf, Med, 16:00; 13, Emma McGurran, CH 16:17; 14, Rayanne Leach, Med, 16:28; 15, Emily Davis, Ocean, 16:35; 16, Kiera Haining, CH, 16:40; 17, Louisa Nyhus, Wat, 16:42; 18, Callie Rogers, Wat, 16:44; 19, Mirella LaFreniere, CH, 16:52; 20, Krista Hooper, Med, 16:54; 21, Esme Power, CH, 16:55; 22, Shannon Staples, Med, 16;56; 23, Julia Ribeiro, LA 17:33; 24, Sadie Allen, CH, 17:34; 25, Bridgett Mellon, CH, 17:39; 26, Clara McGurran, CH, 18:00; 27, Monicah Parquette, Wat, 18:01; 28, Julia Schnee, Wat, 18:15; 29, Thalia Eddyblouin, LA, 18:26; 30, Myia Hanson, CH, 19:07; 31, Emily Morse, CH, 19:08; 32, Jane van der Schaaf, CH, 19:25; 33, Beth Corson, Med, 19:37; 34, Francis Field, CH, 20:46; 35, Jasmin Ramos, Med, 22:21.
594-4401, extension 114
Ken Waltz has been member of the media 30 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.
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