Wednesday, May 22, 2013
By Bill Stewart email@example.com
Gardiner Area High School cross country coach Matt Colvin acknowledged he was a bit nervous when the season started considering his team's depth was far from desirable.
WEEKLY HONOR ROLL
Mt. Blue’s Justin Tracy was the top finisher in a four-team home meet with a time of 17:58
Mt. Blue’s Sully Jackson finished second in 18:23
Messalonskee’s Lindi Forsely was the top girls finisher in a four-team meet
Winslow’s Molly Schassberger finished first at a five-team meet in Winslow with a time of 19:54.70
Gardiner’s Christian Heath won the boys race at Winslow in 18:05.42
Maranacook’s Caroline Colan was the top girls finisher at a seven-team meet in Readfield with a time of 21:23.
"I was starting to get worried that no new kids were coming up," he said. "I didn't know what to expect."
Things changed quickly, at least for the Gardiner girls team.
With a pair of juniors expected to come out this week after leaving the golf team -- Courtney Cotnoir and Amani Trouant -- the Tigers will field a deep enough team to score for the first time in four years.
"I can't remember the last time I had a full girls team," Colvin said. "I'm really excited."
The late additions will join a team that featured one returning runner, sophomore Sophia Oliveri.
The Gardiner boys aren't deep enough to score at meets -- teams need at least five runners -- but Christian Heath has enjoyed a strong start to the season nonetheless. He was the top finisher at a meet last Friday at Winslow, finshing in 18 minutes, 5 seconds. Heath finished seventh in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship meet last season.
"I was really surprised he finished the way he did," Colvin said. "For me as a coach, not having a big team, to have someone who can compete at the top level is exciting.
"Heath has really turned things around. He has that fire in his belly. I'm curious to see how he does as the year progresses."
Gardiner will next compete Friday at Lawrence.
• • •
The Monmouth girls picked up this season where they left off.
After a strong showing at the preseason Scot Laliberte Invitational, the Mustangs finished third at a five-team meet at Maranacook that included one Class A school and three from Class B. The Mustangs had five runners in the top 20.
"Any coach has high expectations," Monmouth coach Tom Menendez said, "but looking at what I've got coming back, it's promising. I didn't lose any girls. Everybody who ran is back."
Monmouth won the Mountain Valley Conference championship last season and is favored to repeat.
"We have a strong team," Menendez said.
Tiffany Pease, Becky Bryant, Jordyn Mann, Ashleigh Hartford and Carey Knowles all finished in the top five. Hartford and Knowles are newcomers.
"It's a pretty good start," Menendez said. "Maranacook is a tough course but we looked pretty good."
• • •
Winthrop competed in the annual Bulldog Challenge at Madison last Friday and came away with a pleasant surprise.
The season-opening meet, which attracted seven MVC teams, features teams of four that run three-kilometer races.
Angel Abbott, Molly Kieltyka, Isaac Johnson and Nick Charest combined to post a time of 52:18 to win the co-ed division.
"We were definitely happy about that," Winthrop coach Ed Van Tassel said. "They were ecstatic. Every team had a boys team, a girls team and a co-ed team. We had a good showing."
• • •
The Kents Hill girls should be contend in the Maine Association of Independent School Athletic Directors this fall thanks to a strong core of local runners.
Hallowell native Laura MacDonald was the top runner at the MAISAD championships last season while senior Bridget West finished fourth.
Coach Brian Beard is also counting on Anne McKee, also of Hallowell, and Leila Alfaro to step in and contribute right away.
"The leadership and experience of returning seniors Laura MacDonald, who handily won MAISAD last year, and Bridget West, who finished fourth, combined with the impressive speed and dedication of freshmen phenoms Anne McKee and Leila Alfaro, promise to make this year's cross country team the fastest in recent memory," Beard wrote in an e-mail.
Bill Stewart -- 621-5640