Wednesday, December 11, 2013
AUGUSTA — Emma Wilson had a simple strategy at the Mountain Valley Conference championship meet Saturday morning at the University of Maine at Augusta.
“I just didn’t want to exhaust myself,” she said. “It’s easy to lose your focus out there. I just wanted to run my race and hope it was good enough.”
The Hall-Dale junior did just that, finishing second at the MVC meet. Wilson finished the 3.1-mile race in 21 minutes, 39 seconds. Boothbay senior Sophia Thayer won her third MVC title in 21:05.
“I wish I could’ve finished higher but (Sophia) is a fast runner,” Wilson said. “I’ve tried to take the lead on her before and I didn’t want to exhaust myself this time.”
Thayer and Boothbay came in as the favorites to win a conference title, but Lisbon used a tight pack of runners to stun the field.
The Greyhounds, behind third-place finisher Bree Sautter (21:56), finished with 76 points to edge the Seahawks by one point. Monmouth finished third with 92.
Boothbay cruised to the boys title with an impressive 38 points. Monmouth (67), Winthrop (83) and Hall-Dale (100) followed.
Josef Holt-Andrews, of Telstar, won the boys race in 17:14. Winthrop junior Ben Allen was second in 17:34.
“I knew Josef wasn’t going to go out and kill it,” Allen said. “I just wanted to stay with him. He really pushed me. I came into the race really wanting to get second. I was second in the preview and I had to go out and do it again (Saturday).”
Boothbay won the race by placing three runners in the top seven, including Benn Scully (18:02), Joey Paolio (18:07) and Robert Campbell (18:10).
“The boys were predicted to win by a lot,” Boothbay coach Lauren Forgues said. “We really have a good top three and then we have five more really solid runners. There was a little more pressure because we were expected to do so well, but we handled it well.”
The Lisbon girls expected a tight showdown with Monmouth and Boothbay, and they got one. The Greyhounds knew all too well how the sting of defeat by the slimmest of margins feels.
They missed out on a top-three finish at the MVC race last season by a point and then failed to qualify for the Class C state championship a week later, again by a point.
They found redemption Saturday.
After Sautter, the Greyhounds received strong performances from Kaylin Le, who finished seventh in 22:03, and Caitlyn Bundy (23:08).
“We knew Boothbay would have the top runners,” Lisbon coach Hank Fuller said. “We targeted a few of the Boothbay runners and then tried to beat the Monmouth ones as they came. What a race. It’s cool as a moose, as they’d say in my day.”
Carey Knowles led Monmouth. She finished 11th in 22:45. Tiffany Pease (22:44) and Jordyn Mann (22:47) also finished strong for the Mustangs.
Molly Kieltyka, of Winthrop, finished sixth in 22:01.
Thayer, meanwhile, hoped to eclipse 21 minutes but said a tough course, particularly during the first and second miles, slowed her down.
“I wished I was faster but it’s a slow course,” she said. “The first mile was fast but then it slowed down in the second one. I enjoyed the finish, though.”
Bill Stewart – 621-5640