Cross country state championship preview

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After a long and fast fall, aided by incredibly-friendly weather throughout, it’s time for the Class A, B, and C state meet at Twin Brook. On Saturday, however, the weather may affect the quick times runners have been accustomed to in 2017.

In Class A, the boys’ are led by sophomore Lisandro Berry-Gaviria of Mt. Ararat, who won the Class A North regional race last Saturday at Belfast with a time of 15:53. Followed by Gabe Coffey of Bangor with a time of 16:05 and Hampden’s Wyatt Lord just 10 seconds later, the top-three in the North look primed to jostle for the state championship. A couple of local runners to watch for are Oxford Hill’s Dominic Sclafani and Edward Little’s Russell Allen, who finished fourth and seventh at Belfast, respectively.

The times at Belfast this season have been unusually low because of low amounts of rain, coupled with unseasonably-high temperatures for late-September and October.

In the Class A girls’ race, freshman phenom Sofie Matson looks to put the cherry on top of her dazzling rookie year. Matson won at Festival of Champions with a time of 18:17, defeating Class A North regional runner-up Grace Iltis of Camden Hills by 29 seconds.

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Matson ran a 19:03, winning Class A South by just under a minute on Saturday. Iltis was runner-up behind teammate Augusta Stockman who ran 18:35 en route to victory, a 29-second jump from Festivals, as they look to lead the overwhelming team-favorite Windjammers. Edward Little’s Jillian Richardson, whose personal best on the season is 19:20, is a runner to watch.

The girls’ side of Class B North is led by Winslow freshman Olivia Tiner who won regionals with a time of 19:38. The two top-runners in the south, Anneka Murrin of Yarmouth and Lily Horne of Freeport, should also have a run at the title. Look out for Cape Elizabeth freshman Lila Gaudrault who finished third in the south regional final.

In the team competition, if Yarmouth can get the most out of their fifth runner, Yarmouth is primed to cruise to the Class B girls’ title.

In what might be the largest time-discrepancy in all classes, the Class B boys’ race is Luke Laverdiere’s to lose.

Laverdiere came within four seconds of breaking the Belfast course record during this year’s Festival of Champions, coming in at 15:10. At regionals, Laverdiere put the hammer down halfway through and cruised to a time of 16:11, a 41-second win over Mitch Libby of Wells.

Libby should be present in the battle for second, as should Nick Dall of Waterville and Dylan Marrero of Caribou. In the race for the team title, all Class B teams will be chasing Lincoln Academy who had four runners finish in the top ten at regionals.

Class C boys is led by three runners in the North region. Brendan Penfold of Deer Isle, Orono’s Jonathan Steelman and teammate Matt Keresey look to be the head of the pack, finishing one through three on Saturday. On the team side, Orono looks to runaway with the title as they had their top five runners finish in the top eight at Belfast.

Class C girls is led by George Stevens senior Eliza Broughton, who won the North title at Belfast. Orono runners Erin Gerbi and Camielle Kohtala look to give Broughton a run for her money, as well as Maine Coast freshman Olivia Reynolds, who won the Class C south title. On the team side, while Monmouth and St. Dom’s have strong, young sides, the Maranacook girls’ team should carry the day.

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