High school cross country

Panther Preseason 2-Miler takes off Aug. 30

By Staff | Aug 26, 2014

Waldoboro — While many high school cross-country teams gear up for the Laliberte Invitational, much-heralded and longstanding preseason races hosted by Cony in Augusta, longtime Medomak Valley coach George Gould will prep his teams for races of their own.

Gould, who has been the Panther cross-country coach 31 years, will welcome seven teams on Saturday, Aug. 30 for the second annual Panther Preseason 2-Miler.

The event will begin at 9 a.m and consist of runners completing a one-mile loop in front of the school twice to the finish line.

The veteran coach offers a much smaller event as an alternative to the always-growing Laliberte Invitational, which is Friday, Aug. 29 at Cony.

Gould said he made the decision three years ago that the Laliberte Invitational “was not what I wanted for my team.”

After discussions with athletic director Matt Lash, the two decided that “maybe it was time to go in another direction.”

“It is a great race but the format did not fit my training plan at all,” said Gould. “That race has grown very large and combines both boys and girls in a single race. For a young runner this could easily overwhelm them. Many runners don't practice much over the summer months and to start off in this kind of race can do more harm than good.”

Gould said he estimated more than 30 teams participate in the Laliberte Invitational and the Panther 2-miler is more “spectator-friendly.”

Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston, Camden Hills of Rockport, Spruce Mountain of Jay/Rumford, Waterville, Richmond and Lincoln Academy of Newcastle will participate in the Panther 2-miler, which will feature boys and girls races.

Parents are asked to provide food for the runners and light snacks will be on sale for spectators.

"We look forward to seeing this meet continue to grow as more coaches realize the positives that the Panther Preseason 2-Miler provides their cross-country teams,” said Gould.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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