High school cross country

Windjammer girls race to fourth at states, qualify for New Englands

Iltis, Wyman also qualify as individuals to New Englands, Camden Hills girls, boys run well in Class A
By Staff | Nov 03, 2019
Photo by: Zack Miller Camden Hills' Zoe O'Brien, left, and Rose O'Brien race to the finish line on Nov. 2 at the state Class A high school cross-country championships at Twin Brook in Cumberland. The O'Briens are sisters.

Cumberland — The Camden Hills girls cross-country team made a strong bid to win a second state Class A title in three years on Saturday, Nov. 2, but while that goal fell short, the Windjammers did earn a spot in the coveted and prestigious New England championships.

Additionally, two Windjammers — Grace Iltis and Claire Wyman — earned individual bids to that meet, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 9 at 11:30 a.m. at Wickham Park in Manchester, Conn.

Watch video and see more photos below.

The seven-runner Windjammer girls team and two Camden Hills boys competed in the state Class A championships on Saturday in glorious fall conditions at Twin Brook.

The Windjammer girls, unbeaten until the state meet and Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A and Class A North champions this fall, finished fourth on Saturday, behind Bonny Eagle of Standish, Falmouth and Gorham.

However, after the three high school meets — Class A, B and C were rescored —  Camden Hills finished second overall.

As for the New Englands, individuals are selected based on the results of state competition with the champion of each class (three total) and the next 22 finishers as determined by their times in the combined Classes A, B and C being invited to represent the state.

Additionally, six teams qualified for the New Englands. They were The state champions from Classes A, B and C (three teams) automatically qualify. The state meet then was rescored as one meet with all schools included in the rescoring. The teams, regardless of class, with the three best scores, not including the state champions, qualified.

The Camden Hills girls were one of those.

The state Class A girls team scores were: Bonny Eagle 72, Falmouth 114, Gortham 120, Camden Hills 124, Mount Ararat of Topsham 182, Marshwood of Eliot 182, Bangor 183, Mount Blue of Farmington 183, Windham 215, Portland 236, Scarborough 249, Brunswick 262, Cheverus of Portland 286 and Cony of Augusta 300.

The Bonny Eagle girls won by putting five scoring runners in the fourth, eighth, 11th, 22nd and 27th places. The Scots finished with a total team time of 1:42:11.67 and average runner time of 20:26.34.

Camden Hills had its scoring runners in the ninth, 14th, 17th, 38th and 46th positions. The Windjammers finished with a total team time of 1:45:17.40 and average runner time of 21:03.48.

The state Class A boys team scores were:: Mount Ararat 84, Bangor 91, Brunswick 116, Falmouth 123, Scarborough 123, Kennebunk 190, Westbrook 194, Gorham 204, Bonny Eagle 215, Massabesic of Waterboro 215, Hampden Academy 250, Deering of Portland 254, Sanford 296, Messalonskee of Oakland 362, Cony 364 and Brewer 473.

In Class A, there were 111 girls and 120 boys.

The girls champion was Falmouth's Sofie Matson, who finished the 3.1-mile (5-kilometer) course in 17:52.02, well ahead of teammate and runner-up Karley Piers, who crossed in 19:18.61.

For the boys, Mount Ararat's Lisandro Berry-Gaviria finished first at 15:51.76, while  Brunswick's Will Shaughnessy was second at 16:02.03.

The Camden Hills girls individual results were: 11, Iltis, 20:07.92; 16, Wyman, 20:27.98; 20, Elsie Hildreth, 20:41.65; 43, Phoebe Root, 21:49.26; 53, Miranda Dunton, 22:10.59; 70, Rose O'Brien, 22:49.28; and 71, Zoe O'Brien, 22:50.06. The O'Briens are sisters.

The Camden Hills boys individual results were: 77, Hayden Thibeault, 18:51.19; and 83, Ian Orsmond, 18:56.43.

The top 25 runners overall qualified for the New Englands. Falmouth's Matson was first, Iltis 14th and Wyman 22nd.

Among the 297 girls overall, Hildreth finished 27th, Root 80th, Dunton 100th, Rose O'Brien 139th and Zoe O'Brien 142nd.

As for the teams, Bonny Eagle finished first at 106 and Camden Hills second at 203

Among the 349 boys, Berry-Gaviria was first, while Thibeault was 167th and Orsmond 179th.

Windjammer coach Helen Bonzi said the Windjammers overall, especially the girls, had another standout season.

"As the season progressed the girls started running more as a pack, so they can encourage and pull each other along," the coach said. "Our number one through five girls have been one pack, with Rose and Zoe O’Brien keeping them within eyesight and running as a small pack together. The one-to-five pack have been helping each other stay focused and run their fastest. Rose and Zoe have been working together and encouraging each other, exchanging finish positions throughout the season. They are all really working together and pulling their packs along."

The coach said Dunton was slowed in the state meet due to a toe issue, which forced her from the usual front pack of Windjammers. "Though she was in a lot of pain, she dug deep and finished as strong as she could for her team," Bonzi said. "She’ll be back for the New England meet, running strong."

Bonzi added, "I’m really proud of all the girls and the way they are all showing up for each other, with their bond growing ever stronger as the season has progressed."

The coach said the state meet was close for the second through fourth spots, while Bonny Eagle simply was too tough at the top.

"We were only four points behind Gorham and 10 points behind Falmouth," she said.

"When the meet was rescored our pack showed its strength. As all the other teams were added in to the mix, our pack retained its higher placings, earning lower scores, and other teams' lower runners lost ground earning higher scores. With our lower points we were boosted up to the number two position.

"This also happened last year when the state meet was rescored. We tied for second with Falmouth in the Class A race in 2018, but lost the tie. When the meet was rescored with all the other teams added in we beat Falmouth by 10 points, coming in second over all the classes. This year we only beat Falmouth by one point and Gorham by three points in the rescored meet. It was very close. Bonny Eagle handily won the Class A race and the entire meet."

As for the future of the championship-driven Windjammer girls program at the state level, Bonzi said Bonny Eagle will continue to be tough to beat, losing only two of its top seven, but the Scots' top three are sophomores, number five a junior and number six a freshman.

"They will be the team we will be looking to challenge again next year," the coach said. "We will loose Grace Iltis and Miranda Dunton from our top five, but Claire Wyman, Elsie Hildreth, Phoebe Root, Rose O’Brien and Zoe O’Brien will all return. If we can draw the athletes rising up from the local Busline League teams our girls pack will be even stronger next year.

"On the boys team we will lose Hayden Thibeault and Danila Borodaenko from our top seven, but Ian Orsmond, Elias Porter, Jonathan McDevitt, Finn Urey and Sam VonLunkhuyzen ran very strongly this season and will all return next year. I see the possibility of our boys team gaining a lot strength with the fast and focused incoming freshman class next fall."

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

State cross-country championships
State high school cross-country championships on Nov. 2 at Twin Brook in Cumberland. (Video by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Grace Iltis. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Grace Iltis. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Grace Iltis. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Claire Wyman. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Claire Wyman. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Claire Wyman. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Claire Wyman. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Elsie Hildreth. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Elsie Hildreth. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Elsie Hildreth. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Phoebe Root. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Phoebe Root. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Phoebe Root. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Phoebe Root. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Miranda Dunton. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Miranda Dunton. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Miranda Dunton. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Miranda Dunton. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Zoe O'Brien, left, and Rose O'Brien. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Zoe O'Brien, left, and Rose O'Brien. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Zoe O'Brien, left, and Rose O'Brien. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Zoe O'Brien, left, and Rose O'Brien. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Zoe O'Brien, left, and Rose O'Brien. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Hayden Thibeault. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Hayden Thibeault. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Hayden Thibeault. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Hayden Thibeault. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Hayden Thibeault. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Ian Orsmond. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Ian Orsmond. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Camden Hills' Ian Orsmond. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
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