WALDOBORO — A typical high school cross-country race is five kilometers, or 3.1 miles, which means the runners are in for the long haul.

On Saturday morning, Aug. 27, in cool, sunny conditions, those same hard-working, highly-conditioned student-athletes essentially were in for the short haul, or “sprint” mode, for the popular preseason Panther two-mile event hosted by Medomak Valley on the Neil W. Lash Nature Trail.

The meet, one week before the start of the regular season, included 122 runners — 58 girls and 64 boys.

Windjammer runners, including in front, Zachary Clement (103), Walker Hedrich (107) and Colin Wright (115), among others. Photo by Ken Waltz

Participants came from Camden Hills of Rockport, Brunswick, Leavitt of Turner, Lincoln Academy of Newcastle, Boothbay Region/Wiscasset and Lewiston.

Camden Hills’ Jenna VanRyn finished first for girls in 12:28.94, while Brunswick’s Eli Palmer outdistanced a strong field of boys in 10:35.80.

Additionally, the Windjammer girls and Dragon boys earned team firsts.

Medomak Valley’s Kylie Blake. Photo by Ken Waltz

The meet included Class A, B and C squads.

Longtime Panther coach George Gould said no individual course records were set in the event that began in 2013.

“It was a labor of love to come up with a totally new concept for a preseason race,” Gould said. “We wanted to showcase our course with a shorter, faster race … the top runners could use as a time trial on a cross-country course rather than on a track … the new runners could have confidence knowing two miles was doable.”

Camden Hills’ Zachary Clement, left, and Medomak Valley’s Noah Morris. Photo by Ken Waltz

He said Neil Lash, for whom the course is named/dedicated, and Panther athletic director Matt Lash “agreed with the concept and helped to make it a reality.” The Lashes are father and son.

Gould said “from my conversations with coaches today, they love it. We have some of the very best programs in the state competing in this preseason meet … they trust us to put on a first-class event that will benefit their teams.”

Gould said parents and his wife, Denise, are involved, and provide food, free to those who attend.

Medomak Valley’s Amber Pendleton, right, and Brunswick’s Abby Valliere. Photo by Ken Waltz

“It is a lot of work to get the course ready as it is completely different from our 5K course,” he said.

VanRyn cruised to the girls individual win, as Lincoln Academy’s Audrey Hufnagel was second at 12:36.88. The boys race for the top spot was closer, as Palmer edged Leavitt’s Logan Ouellette (10:36.60) down the stretch by about a second.

In the races for the top team positions, the Camden Hills girls finished with the first, fifth, eighth, 10th and 12th top-five scoring runners. For the boys, Brunswick had the first, second, third, 10th and 11th scoring runners.

Individuals on squads with fewer than five runners are eliminated before the team scores are tabulated.

Message on the electronic board at the junction of Route 1 and Manktown Road for Panther assistant cross-country coach Elizabeth Bianchi, who died at age 39 on Aug. 20 after a long, courageous battle with cancer. She graduated from MVHS in 2001 and was a science teacher at the school. Photo by Ken Waltz

The girls team scores were: Camden Hills 36, Lincoln Academy 50, Brunswick 57, Medomak Valley 95, Boothbay/Wiscasset 142 and Lewiston 153.

The boys team scores were: Brunswick 27, Camden Hills 54, Lincoln Academy 61, Lewiston 117 and Boothbay/Wiscasset 125. Medomak Valley had no score.

The following are the individual results for the area girls: 1, Jenna VanRyn, CH, 12:28.94; 5, Cassie Middleton, CH, 13:10.58; 7, Kaylee Collamore, Med, 13:41.78; 8, Cara Rothwell, CH, 14:02.12; 10, Jaden Johnson, CH, 14:06.99; 11, Ava Collamore, Med, 14:09.33; 12, Lauren Howland, CH, 14:24.09; 17, Lola Black, CH, 15:09.19; 20, Amber Pendleton, Med, 15:17.02; 21, Gabriella DeStefano, CH, 15:19.91; 24, Maddie St. Charles, CH, 15:39.53; 25, Matilda Schroeder, CH, 15:45.26; 26, Lucy O’Brien, CH, 15:47.21; 27, Abbie Anderson, CH, 16:02.83; 30, Katherine McKenney, Med, 17:14.30; 37, Chloe Day-Lynch, CH, 17:53.62; 41, Ava Stuetz, Med, 18:42.82; 43, Kylie Blake, Med, 18:48.25; 44, Jalyn Drost, Med, 18:54.69; and 48, Jackie Kelly, Med, 19:32.48.

The following are the individual results for the area boys: 5, Noah Morris, Med, 11:04.75; 6, Zachary Clement, CH, 11:04.82; 10, Colin Wright, CH, 11:26.71; 14, Walker Hedrich, CH, 11:38.76; 16, Sam Tooley, CH, 11:40.38; 18, Ben Pike, CH, 11:43.29; 19, Hadrian Ward, CH, 11:44.43; 22, Mickey Knowell, CH, 12:18.31; 25, Finn Urey, CH, 12:34.07; 31, Atticus Blue, Med, 12:50.79; 39, Bennett Cohen, CH, 13:28.04; 40, Ethan Cohen, CH, 13:32.89; 41, Teague Buchanan, CH, 13:42.77; 42, Tommy Clemente, CH, 14:02.06; and 50, Owen Dostie, Med, 15:28.90,

In the breakdown of runners for each of the four grades, Kaylee Collamore was first (her twin sister Ava Collamore was fourth) and Rothwell second for freshmen, Middleton first among sophomores, VanRyn first for juniors and Howland first among seniors for the girls.

For the boys, Tooley was first for freshmen, Hedrich second for sophomores and Morris second for juniors.

Click for complete girls results.

Click for complete boys results.

Click for girls class rankings.

Click for boys class rankings.