BELFAST — Midcoast high school distance athletes tested their mettle against hundreds of talented, hard-working cross-country runners — as well as the rain-saturated 3.1-mile Troy Howard Middle School course — on Saturday, Oct. 2 in the 20th annual “Festival of Champions” meet.

As usual, area runners performed well in the largest high school sporting event in the state, especially two remarkable athletes — Medomak Valley’s Connor Daigle and Camden Hills’ Jenna VanRyn — as the Panthers of Waldoboro, Windjammers of Rockport, Mariners of Rockland, Lions of Belfast and Vikings of Searsport were among those who participated in the event, always a true celebration of young distance athletes’ work ethic, determination and, ultimately, individual and team success.

Medomak Valley’s Jackie Kelly, left, Kylie Blake, middle, and Morgan Flanders. Photo by Zack Miller

Daigle, a senior, turned in perhaps the finest performance by a local racer in the event’s history as he finished third overall (16:05.97) among the 671 boys, many of them among New England’s elite runners.

Additionally, VanRyn, a sophomore, finished 17th among 534 girls in 19:50.81.

Camden Hills’ Addie Cortese. Photo by Zack Miller

Other area runners also had strong finishes and times in the races, which included, for the girls, 183 seeded, 225 unseeded and 126 freshmen, while, for the boys, there were 238 seeded, 275 unseeded and 158 freshmen.

In all, 1,205 young distance athletes took off over the 5-kilometer trail course for six races.

Medomak Valley’s Noah Morris. Photo by Zack Miller

Ruth White of Orono set a girls course record of 17:28.46. The previous best was 17:31.65 by Julia Robitaille of Manchester, N.H in in 2017.

The girls team scores were: Bonny Eagle of Standish 91, Harwood Union of of Moretown, Vt. 92, Cumberland of Cumberland, R.I. 148, Mount Desert Island 192, Marshwood of Eliot 196, Gorham 276, Bangor 292, Cape Elizabeth 349, Mount Blue of Farmington 373, Camden Hills of Rockport 379, York 389, Falmouth 439, Brunswick 445, Cheverus of Portland 479, Portland 495, Maine Coast Waldorf of Freeport 498, Lincoln Academy of Newcastle 514, Kennebunk 539, Burrillville of Burrillville, R.I. 596, Cony of Augusta 643, Waterville 662, Monmouth Academy 751, Maranacook of Readfield 754, Windham 776, Hampden Academy 792, Mount Saint Charles of Woonsocket, R.I. 874, Sanford 921, Kents Hill 934, Messalonskee of Oakland 944, George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill 962, South Portland 977, Houlton/Greater Houlton 989, Poland 993, Scarborough 1024, Caribou 1025, Boothbay-Wiscasset 1031, Brewer 1062, John Bapst of Bangor 1070, Gray-New Gloucester 1,070, Belfast 1,074, Hermon 1,134, Oceanside of Rockland 1,192, Presque Isle 1,213, Medomak Valley of Waldoboro 1,269, Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft 1,269 and Lewiston 1285. Searsport participated but did not have five scoring runners.

The Scots finished with a total time of 1:38:14.39 and an average runner time of 19:38.88.

The boys team results were: Brunswick 150, Bangor 229, Cape Elizabeth 260, Portland 320, Hampden Academy 325, South Portland 328, Messalonskee 360, Scarborough 383, Bonny Eagle 427, Harwood Union 429, Marshwood 436, Maine Coast Waldorf 459, York 474, Kennebunk 498, Falmouth 510, Mount Blue 524, Yarmouth 528, Poland 631, Burrillville 646, Cony 650, Lincoln Academy 687, Gorham 726, Hermon 729, Caribou 733, Kents Hill 756, Gray-New Gloucester 787, George Stevens Academy 793, Cheverus 825, Biddeford 841, John Bapst 878, Orono 887, Lewiston 900, Camden Hills 910, Windham 910, Erskine Academy of South China 954, Brewer 969, Sanford 1,011, Belfast 1,012, Monmouth Academy 1,029, Gould Academy of Bethel 1032, Presque Isle 1,063, Boothbay-Wiscasset 1,097, Ellsworth 1,099, Lisbon of Lisbon Falls 1,101, Old Town 1,164, North Yarmouth Academy 1,184, Waterville 1,185, Winthrop 1,195, Lake Region 1,204, Maranacook 1,297, Sumner of Sullivan 1,369, Edward Little of Auburn 1,423 and Lee Academy 1,461. Medomak Valley, Oceanside and Searsport participated but did not have five scoring runners.

The Dragons finished with a total team time of 1:27.04.58 and an average runner time of 17:24.92.

The individual results, with winner of race listed, for Midcoast participants included:

Girls seeded: 1, Ruth White, Orono, 17:28.46; 16, Jenna VanRyn, CH, 19:50.81; 66, Maria Protheroe, Ocean, 21:33.18; 84, Lauren Howland, CH, 21:53.71; 107, Juniper Fowler, Bel, 22:30.11; 111, Elsie Hildreth, CH, 22:41.40; and 156, Zoe O’Brien, CH, 23:27.74.

Girls unseeded: 1, Angel Lutes, Hyde, 21:49.11; 3, Addie Cortese, CH, 22:58.86; 13, Meara McVearry, Bel, 23:46.41; 20, Kassi Soule, Med, 23:58.74; 39, Savannah Eastler, CH, 24:35.05; 69, Emily Mahoney, Med, 25:25.76; 105, Erin Robbins, Bel, 26:13.95; 117, Jalyn Drost, Med, 26:41.62; 127, Sydney Marriner, Bel, 27:11.30; 162, Bella Campbell, Sears, 29:07.82; 164, Elizabeth Bowman, Med, 29:08.55; 168, Kayla Betts, Ocean, 29:23.26; 169, Alma Bournival, CH, 29:24.38; 173, Jackie Kelly, Med, 29:49.71; 177, Molly Jennings, Med, 30:05.06; 188, Alyson Johnson, Bel, 31:03.71; 190, Kylie Blake, Med, 31:25.65; 193, Emma Gaecklein, Sears, 31:54.41; 202, Giuliana Galizia, Ocean, 32:56.40; and 203, Morgan Flanders, Med, 33:16.59

Girls freshmen: 1, Kiley DeFusco, Cumberland, 19:25.28; 4, Cassie Middleton, CH, 20:32.02; 37, Lola Black, CH, 23:55.98; 44, Kayla Baines, Ocean, 24:21.53; 48, Matilda Schroeder, CH, 24:46.07; 64, Lucy O’Brien, CH, 25:38.18; 79, Abbie Anderson, CH, 26:38.29; 93, Estella Sprague, Bel, 28:06.67; and 122, Isabella Grey, Ocean, 33:23.71.

Boys seeded: 1, Daniel McCarthy, Bangor 15:34.24; 3, Connor Daigle, Med, 16:05.87; 76, Will Robbins, Bel, 18:16.60; 78, Westley Dyer, Bel, 18:19.17; 150, Noah Morris, Med, 19:06.24; 158, Zachary Clement, CH, 19:11.51; and 171, Colin Wright, CH, 19:24.42.

Boys unseeded: 1, Jacob Farnham, Hyde School, 18:28.82; 17, Isaiah Smith, CH, 19:54.57; 25, Finn Urey, CH, 20:06.08; 40, Alec Rolfe, Bel, 20:31.13; 53, Sam VanLonkhuyzen, CH, 20:49.51; 58, Zachary Armstrong, Bel, 20:53.35; 105, Logan Grubb, Med, 21:46.59; 119, Deklin Fitzgerald, Ocean, 21:57.38; 154, Ian Kozielec, CH, 22:47.12; 164, Thomas Bradley, Sears, 22:57.28; 167, Ryan Lynch, Ocean, 23:04.69; and 251, Kalen Hixson, CH, 27:32.36.

Boys freshmen: 1, Henri McCourt, Mount Blue 17:59.71; 12, Walker Hedrich, CH, 18:42.97; 32, Ben Pike, CH, 19:31.74; 68, Cole Clark, Bel, 21:08.93; 73, Atticus Blue, Med, 21:39.07; 85, Hunter Beveridge, CH, 22:09.57; 118, Alexander McCafferty, CH, 24:15.16; 136, Gabe Wheeler, CH, 26:17.44; and 142, Ryan Eldridge, Bel, 26:57.48.

Belfast’s Ryan Eldridge. Photo by Zack Miller

Additionally, seven Midcoast runners finished among the top 100 overall in their races, including Daigle (3rd), Robbins (82nd) and Dyer (85th) among the 671 boys and VanRyn (17th), Middleton (33rd), Protheroe (76th) and Howland (98th) among the 534 girls.

MaineStay Media/VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com.