The Edward Little boys’ cross country team certainly wasn’t “peeking” at a possible state title a month ago.

What a difference a couple of races make.

Even after a week off due to heavy rains, the Red Eddies are peaking toward a championship today when the State Cross Country Championships get under way at Leavitt High School.

The Red Eddies were underdogs three weeks ago at the KVAC Championships in Augusta, but came away victorious. One week later, they ran even better in capturing the East Regional title.

“We wanted to win one of these races,” said Edward Little coach Dan Campbell. “Then we said, ‘what the heck, let’s keep on going.'”

The progress of the Red Eddies couldn’t have been orchestrated any better.

“The workouts have come together,” said Campbell. “The chemistry of the team has come together. Because of that, guys are stepping up a whole new level.”

Winning the team title will not be easy. No KVAC team has captured the boys’ Class A title since the Red Eddies won their third consecutive championship in 2000. Scarborough, Cheverus, Brunswick, Mt. Blue and Lewiston should battle EL.

The Blue Devils were the top team throughout the regular season, but the postseason has not been as favorable.

“The KVACs was just a bad day,” said Lewiston coach Ray Putnam. “(At the regional race in Belfast) we really brought it back together. We’ve grown up as a team. We needed what happened at KVACs to grow up.”

Deering’s John Misener, Mt. Blue’s Eric Marceau and Bangor runners Casey Quaglia and Riley Masters are among the favored individuals.

The girls’ race should come down to Brunswick, Scarborough or Catherine McAuley with Scarborough’s Erica Jesseman the runner everyone will be trying to catch.

Cape Elizabeth is the overwhelming favorite in the boys’ B race. The Capers are deep in talent and have the tightest pack of any team entered.

The individual race is also deep in talent and should provide the best race of the day. At last year’s state championships on the Leavitt course, seven of the top eight times came from the B race. Poland’s Nick Williams, Falmouth’s Ethan Shaw, Caribou’s Sam Sheehan and Ellsworth’s Corey DeWitt are just four of the runners to watch. DeWitt will have something to prove. He didn’t do well on the hill called “Devil’s Inferno” last fall.

The girls’ title will be wide open with MDI, Waterville, John Bapst, Cape Elizabeth and York vying for the team crown. Cape Elizabeth freshman Emily Attwood and Old Town’s Hilary Maxim are two runners to watch.

For the boys’ C title, all eyes will be on Lisbon. The Greyhounds are aiming for their fourth straight championship, but Winthrop and Foxcroft won’t make it an automatic crowning.

“My biggest worry is that Winthrop keeps getting better,” says Lisbon coach Hank Fuller. “They’ve got a good solid pack. If they move it up 15 to 20 seconds, we’re going to be in trouble. But my team knows what they need to do.”

Lisbon’s Tyler Clark will be going for his second individual championship with Winthrop’s Danny Soltan chasing him.

The Freeport girls’ are also looking for a fourth straight title. Mattanawcook could spoil that thought.

Hall-Dale’s Magen Ellis, Freeport Molly Sulsa and the Mattanawcook tandem of Casey McCloskey and Renee Laflamme are among the individuals to watch.


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