By Phil Stuart
Two Narraguagus High School runners cracked the top ten at the Penobscot Valley Conference (PVC) cross country championships in Ellsworth on Oct.14. Alexa Johnson, a sophomore finished 7th in the girls race, while another sophomore, Lucas Pounder, came in tenth for the boys.
The girls race was a battle between Orono High School and Houlton/Greater Houlton Christian Academy. The Red Riots edged out the Aroostook County side 32-34. George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill was a distant third, while Mattanawcook of Lincoln, and Washington Academy of East Machias finished fourth and fifth respectively at 84 and 127.
Only 5 teams were able to come up with a full squad. Twenty years ago, Class D had 10 teams with full squads and Class C had 12. Other schools that had runners competing this year were Deer Isle-Stonington, Machias, Calais, Central, Sumner, Bangor Christian, Jonesport-Beals, Foxcroft Academy, and Bucksport.
Ruth White of Orono was the overall winner with a time of 16:31 on the girls side. Johnson was 7th in 21:28. Other Downeast girl runners were Mia Mills of Jonesport-Beals (18th in 23:48), Bailey O’Rourk of Calais (21st in 24:05), Shaelynn Brown WA (23rd at 24:56), Acadia Thimlar WA (36th in 28:31), Payge Sprowl of Machias (37th in 28:49), Stellar Jung WA (43rd in 30:09), Emma Worcester of Machias (44th in 30:24), Ruth Lassen WA (46th in 31:20), and Novella-Neptune Miliano WA (49th in 34:37).
On the boys side, there were no surprises as Kaleb Colson of Sumner averaged 5:14 minutes per mile and outdistanced his teammate Ren Salisbury 16:18 to 16:34 for individual honors. There were ten teams this year for Class C boys. Sumner won the title easily by besting the Orono Red Riots 51-77. The rest of the teams and their scores were: Bucksport 87; George Stevens Academy 88; Houlton/GHCA 94; Narraguagus 159; Foxcroft Academy 175; Washington Academy 207; Central 251; and Machias 259. Individual runners were also there from Deer Isle-Stonington, Schenck, Mattanawcook Academy, Piscataquis, and Bangor Christian.
Lucas Pounder of Narraguagus cracked the top ten with a time of 17:43, only a second out of ninth place. The remainder of the Washington County finishers and their times were Robert Berry of Narraguagus (20th in 18:19), Dakoda Davis WA (22nd in 18:20), Zack Mussman of Narraguagus (38th in 20:27), Hunter Roberts WA (40th in 20:32), Cedar Lenke-Beeftink of Machias (42nd in 20:34), Coburn Morris WA (44th in 20:50), Keegan Trainor of Calais (46th in 21:04), Blake Lovejoy of Narraguagus (47th in 21:08), Dracen Morgan of Narraguagus (50th in 21:41), William Good of Machias (54th in 22:13), Vic Mubang WA (55th in 22:15), Leo Whittemore WA (58th in 23:15), Tyler Evans of Machias (59th in 23:17), Brandon Buck of Machias (66th in 24:56), Matt Glidden of Woodland (68th in 25:50), Brystin Rudge of Machias (70th in 26:43), Darren Drake of Machias (72nd in 31:23), Jack Surles of Woodland (73rd in 36:22), Phil Benner of Woodland (74th in 36:47), and Wyatt Demmons of Calais (75th in 38:34).
Cross country is really struggling in Downeast Maine. Washington Academy was the only school with a girl’s team while Machias, WA, and Narraguagus had full boys teams. All of the schools with full teams had just 5 runners with the exception of Machias who had six, so things are not looking promising, except that most of the runners will be back for another year.
The regionals and state meets are up next and it does not look like any local teams will be qualifying to run in the state meet, but potentially three boys and two girls could qualify to run.