October 24, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY: Maranacook, Mt. Blue hope to contend at

By Gary Hawkins ghawkins@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

In a couple of instances, the fields at Saturday’s high school regional cross country meets will be exactly the same as they were at last week’s conference meets. In several others, teams will see some different opponents.

The East regionals will be held at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast while the West regionals will take place at Twin Brook Recreation in Cumberland, also the site of this year’s state meet. The top half of each regional field in Class A, B and C advances to next Saturday’s state meet along with the top 30 individuals in all three classes combined.

The Eastern Maine Class A field mirrors last week’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A meet. In that one the Mt. Blue boys finished third and the girls fifth. Both teams have excellent top three runners. The girls placed three runners in the top 14 while Josh Horne, Aaron Willingham and Dan Lesko finished first, second and fourth, respectively. The focus is on the bottom four runners.

“They know that would be a big way for us to make a change,” Mt. Blue coach Kelley Cullenberg said. “Three of the boys we’re talking about performed well at the Festival (of  Champions) and they’re looking forward to getting back on the same course.”

The Maranacook boys and girls won titles in the KVAC Class B meet but will face an almost entirely different field at Twin Brook.

“A lot of these teams we haven’t run against,” Maranacook coach Roselea Kimball said. “We have a top three goal for sure and the boys possibly a top two goal.”

Like Mt. Blue’s top two runners, Maranacook’s Jason Stevenson and Austin Landry have been near the top of the pack all year. Last week, Stevenson finished third and Landry fourth.

“They really push each other,” Kimball said.

Waterville will stay in the East and won’t see Maranacook this week, but the Purple Panthers will see some good opponents in Ellsworth, Mt. Desert island and Presque Isle.

“If we’re going to move on it’s going to come out of running well in our own right,” Waterville coach Rob Stanton said. “We have to focus on ourselves.”

Winthrop, Monmouth and Hall-Dale — all Mountain Valley Conference teams — will compete in the Western C regional. The Monmouth boys finished second last week and the girls were third. The Winthrop boys placed third and the girls fifth while the Hall-Dale boys finished third. The Erskine boys, who finished fifth in the KVAC B race last week, will compete in the expanded East field in Belfast.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

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