WALDOBORO — The weather conditions and course distance were perfect to kick off the 2021 Midcoast high school cross-country season on Saturday morning, Aug. 28, as dozens of area distance athletes got their campaigns off and running in the growing preseason Panther Two-Miler.

A record 138 runners registered and 112 were able to compete in the popular event, which began in 2013, and has used the same course layout, with only the start area modified to accommodate the annually growing field.

Camden Hills’ Cassie Middleton, left, and Lincoln Academy’s Dylan Burmeister. Ken Waltz

In the end, on Saturday, with temperatures in the 60s and ideal for running, Medomak Valley’s Connor Daigle and Camden Hills’ Jenna VanRyn ruled the short course, as the Panther senior and Windjammer sophomore dominated the field.

Daigle bested a 55-runner boys group with a time of 10 minutes and 10.3 seconds. He outdistanced the field, and runner-up Liam Card of Lincoln Academy, who finished in 10:50.87.

VanRyn finished first in the 57-runner girls field in 12:34.32 to outdistance runner-up Grace Houghton of Lincoln Academy, who crossed in 13:29.23.

Daigle set a new course record, as he bested the mark set by Lincoln Academy’s Jarrett Gulden of 10:23.32 in 2019. The girls course record remains with Camden Hills’ Grace Iltis at 12:21.65 in 2019.

Lincoln Academy’s Liam Card. Ken Waltz

The event was not held last year due to the pandemic.

Typical high school cross-country races are 3.1 miles (or 5 kilometers) in length.

On Saturday, the top runners by grade were: Freshmen — Camden Hills’ Cassie Middleton (14:23.95 among 20 participants) and Foxcroft Academy’s Runner Jarrett (11:53.61 among 11). Sophomores — Camden Hills’ VanRyn (12:34.32 among 18) and Lincoln Academy’s Nick Russ (12:00.48 among 15). Juniors — Camden Hills’ Lauren Howland (13:55.87 among five) and Lincoln Academy’s Card (10:50.87 among 18). Seniors — Lincoln Academy’s Houghton (13:29.23 among 14) and Medomak Valley’s Daigle (10:10.30 among 12).

As with any cross-country race, there were many exciting, gut-check, one-, two- and three-person duels to the finish line.

Leavitt’s Molly Sirois, left, Oceanside’s Kayla Baines, middle, and Lewiston’s Zawadi Debola. Ken Waltz

Leavitt’s Jonathan Schomaker, sitting in a modified wheelchair he moved with the strength of his arms, also finished a one-mile version of the course in 17:56.43.

As for the top team honors, Lincoln Academy of Newcastle, which possesses incredible depth with 44 runners, finished first for boys and girls.

Medomak Valley of Waldoboro, Oceanside of Rockland, Camden Hills of Rockport, Boothbay Region-Wiscasset, Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft, Leavitt of Turner and Lewiston also participated.

To score points, teams must have five finishing runners.

Medomak Valley’s Noah Morris. Ken Waltz

The girls team scores were: Lincoln Academy 23, Camden Hills 38, Medomak Valley 91 and Lewiston 101. The Eagles had a average runner time of 13:48.10 and overall team time of 1:09.00.46, while Camden Hills was at 14:19.37 and 1:11:36.8.

The boys team scores were: Lincoln Academy 30, Lewiston 45, Camden Hills 74 and Boothbay-Wiscasset 75. The Eagles finished with an average runner time of 11:53.93 and total time of 59:29.61.

“Everything about the race was what we hoped it would be,” said veteran Panther coach George Gould.

He said the father and son team of Neil Lash and Matt Lash (Medomak Valley athletic director) have worked diligently, with him, for years to help the campus go from no cross-country course to a completed, trail-based course which can host large events.

Camden Hills’ Jenna VanRyn. Ken Waltz

Gould added parents of Panther runners donated a large supply of morning food available free to runners, coaches and event personnel.

The individual girls results were: 1, Jenna VanRyn, CH, 12:34.32; 2, Grace Houghton, LA, 13:29.23; 3, Audrey Hufnagel, LA, 13:33.54; 4, Adeline Hall, LA, 13:35.02; 5, Lauren Howland, CH, 13:55.87; 6, Marina McManus, LA, 13:56.97; 7, Cassie Middleton, CH, 14:23.95; 8, Dylan Burmeister, LA, 14:25.70; 9, Bronwen Coffin, LA, 14:28.04; 10, Abby Marston, Leav, 14:33.19; 11, Clara Goltz, LA, 14:58.27; 12, Molly Sirois, Leav, 15:02.60; 13, Zawadi Debola, Lew, 15:03.60; 14, Kayla Baines, Ocean, 15:04.35; 15, Lola Black, CH, 15:06.38; 16, Annie Edge, CH, 15:36.32; 17, Kassi Soule, Med, 15:40.82; 18, Margo Fairfield, LA, 15:41.73; 19, Savannah Eastler, CH, 15:47.55; 20, Emily Mahoney, Med, 15:49.81; 21, Reed Gulden, LA, 15:57.21; 22, Lucy O’Brien, CH, 16:05.76; 23, Julia Truesdell, Booth-Wis, 16:18.22; 24, Alicia Flis, LA, 16:18.72; 25, Matilda Schroeder, CH, 16:19.44; 26, Mya Bessey, LA, 16:39.53; 27, Violet Bailey, LA, 16:56.64; 28, Lindsay Bates, Leav, 16:57.41; 29, Amelia Wedderburn, Lew, 16:58.31; 30, Makenzie Neumann, LA, 17:01.72; 31, Amelia Porter, CH, 17:09.30; 32, Emily Gilliam, Booth-Wis, 17:17.26; 33, Abbie Anderson, CH, 17:23.26; 34, Jennifer Campbell, LA, 17:38.45; 35, Olivia Nixon, LA, 17:39.29; 36, Kennedie Anderson, LA, 17:42.33; 37, Mira Hartmann, LA, 17:45.00; 38, Jalyn Drost, Med, 17:45.78; 39, Delia Saft, LA, 17:48.99; 40, Maeve Tholen LA, 17:49.50; 41, Olivia McCorrison, FA, 17:54.79; 42, Maddie Orchard, Booth-Wis, 17:55.35; 43, Emily Fuller, FA, 18:06.29; 44, Ashley Nixon, LA, 18:34.51; 45, Alison Roberts, LA, 18:37.53; 46, Jackie Kelly, Med, 18:48.95; 47, Madi Binette, Lew, 18:49.64; 48, Lilly Rosa, LA, 19:05.54; 49, Elizabeth Bowman, Med, 19:17.42; 50, Morgan Flanders, Med, 20:16.61; 51, Kylie Blake, Med, 21:47.47; 52, Kayla Betts, Ocean, 21:58.14; 53, Anna Weiss, Lew, 22:25.36; 54, Isabella Grey, Ocean, 22:27.63; 55, Charlotte Brooke, Leav, 23:27.40; 56, Lauren Daigle, Med, 24:00.93; and 57, Katelyn Lynch, Lew, 26:32.99.

Medomak Valley’s Connor Daigle. Ken Waltz

The individual boys results were: 1, Connor Daigle, Med, 10:10.30; 2, Liam Card, LA, 10:50.87; 3, Logan Ouellette, Leav, 10:53.35; 4, Julien Turmenne, Lew, 11:52.61; 5, Runner Jarrett, FA, 11:53.61; 6, Will Sherrill, LA, 12:00.04; 7, Nio Fatone, Lew, 12:00.46; 8, Nick Russ, LA, 12:00.48; 9, Lucas Hardwick, Booth-Wis, 12:06.47; 10, Adam Bilodeau Lew, 12:11.92; 11, Zachary Clement, CH, 12:13.01; 12, Feysal Abdirahaman, Lew, 12:13.42; 13, Aiden Jacobs, LA, 12:18.80; 14, Conor Glasier, LA, 12:19.42; 15, Dominick Dow, Booth-Wis, 12:28.86; 16, Noah Morris, Med, 12:31.39; 17, Nate True, LA, 12:36.96; 18, Walker Hedrich, CH, 12:38.01; 19, Colin Wright, CH, 12:40.09; 20, Ryan Clark, Booth-Wis, 12:53.29; 21, Will Clark, LA, 13:05.53; 22, Roan Donaghy, LA, 13:11.38; 23, Hunter Beveridge, CH, 13:18.25; 24, Cedar Cannon, LA, 13:20.49; 25, Thaddeus Eddy-Blouin, LA 13:20.81; 26, C.J. Savastano, LA, 13:27.10; 27, Deklin Fitzgerald, Ocean, 13:29.29; 28, Ben Pike, CH, 13:31.26; 29, Henry Putnam, Booth-Wis, 13:31.32; 30, Jake Maheu, Leav, 13:32.90; 31, Marlowe Recoing-Tallen, Booth-Wis, 13:33.37; 32, Aidan Currie, FA, 13:40.62; 33, Bryan Gagnon, Booth-Wis, 13:52.21; 34, Conrad Kortemeier, LA, 13:57.49; 35, Kristopher Edgar, LA, 14:08.64; 36, Elliott Chapman, LA, 14:13.90; 37, Connor McFarland, LA, 14:14.37; 38, Ryan Lynch, Ocean, 14:37.17; 39, Jorgen Helverson, FA, 14:46.97; 40, Atticus Blue, Med, 14:49.13; 41, Joshua Nsenga, Lew, 14:55.41; 42, Cole Ward, Lew, 14:56.34; 43, Brandon Lynch, Lew, 14:59.99; 44, Zachary Pierce, FA, 15:09.95; 45, Alexander McCafferty, CH, 15:23.99; 46, Ryan Seeber, CH, 15:24.52; 47, Ian Kozielec, CH, 15:30.38; 48, Desmon Young, Leav, 16:07.44; 49, Jordan Anderson, LA, 16:25.63; 50, Elgin Physic, Lew, 16:50.99; 51, Arveragus Eddy-Blouin, LA, 16:53.70; 52, Kalen Hixson, CH, 18:23.49; 53, Gabe Wheeler, CH, 19:16.13; 54, Connor Parson, LA, 22:05.83; and Eric Deetjen, CH, did not finish.