CUMBERLAND — Abby Mace crossed the finish line a bit more out of breath than normal. The Maranacook junior, a mainstay at the top of cross country standings for three seasons, bent over at the waist, grasping for air on a sun-drenched, crisp autumn day. She sauntered over to her waiting coach and teammates.

“Wow, I am so out of shape,” Mace said, still sporting a smile.

Out of shape? Perhaps. Two weeks of low-impact running in a pool instead of training outdoors might have slowed her down a bit, and caused her to gasp for a bit more air. But the only impact that it had on the final standings at the Class B Western Regional Cross Country Championships was the distance between Mace and second place.

Mace legged out a time of 20:01.20 at Twin Brook Recreation Park on Saturday to capture the Western Class B crown, finishing 3.7 seconds in front of surprise runner-up Kristin Sandreuter of Greely, a freshman. Fellow first-year runner Heather Evans of York placed third.

“I feel really out of shape,” Mace said. “I haven’t run for two weeks, but I’ve been doing pool running. This is my first time running. I tried to take it easy this race, but it was still kind of hard. Those other girls weren’t too far behind me, so I kept looking back to make sure they weren’t gaining on me.”

Mace has been battling a stress injury to her leg.

“It felt pretty good,” Mace said. “It didn’t bother me during the race or when I was warming up, so we’ll just have to see if it hurts after.”

Kendra Lobley of Poland, a perennial top-10 contender, finished in fourth place in her final Western B regional. The senior crossed the line in 20:16.30.

“This is much better than last week,” Lobley said after slipping up at the Western Maine Conference meet a week ago. “I always like to place better, but I was happy with how I ran today. It felt a lot better.

“Around the first mile, maybe a little before that, we all settled into our positions,” Lobley added. “Then (Mace) took off about the halfway point.”

Lobley’s teammate, Julia Kreuger (16th), along with Leavitt runners Lucy Knowlton (17th) and Maddie Wiegman (20th), also qualified to run in next weekend’s Class B state meet.

In the Class B boys’ race, there was just no catching Silas Eastman. The Fryeburg sophomore bolted out to an early lead, and never looked back, finishing in 16:20.43, more than 17 seconds ahead of Falmouth’s Timothy Follo.

It’s kind of a mental challenge, but it’s nice to know that you don’t have to worry about someone out-sprinting you at the end,” Eastman said.

Gray-New Gloucester freshman Will Shafer overcame a dislike for the Twin Brook Course to post a solid time of 17:52.33, good for 14th place and a qualifying position for next week’s state championship race.

“I never really run that great here, I don’t know why,” Shafer said. “The Southwest Classic was here, and that was my worst race of the season. I did feel better about it today, though.”

Shafer’s teammate Ben Schaeffer placed 19th, but the Patriots just missed qualifying as a team. Fryeburg edged Gray-New Gloucester for the final transfer position.

“We knew it was going to be between Fryeburg and us, basically,” Shafer said.

Overall in the B meet, Greely edged Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth to win the boys’ race, while Cape Elizabeth easily defeated Yarmouth on the girls’ side.

Class C

Anna Doyle found herself in a winnable race.

A senior at Winthrop, Doyle figured she’d be able to hang with the top five or six runners.

“I went into it trying to get top five or so, but we were just in a big clump going out,” Doyle said. “Martha (Veroneau of Waynflete) kicked it in a little bit after the second mile, and I tried to go with her and see what could happen.”

Veroneau won the race, but just behind her was Doyle, who capped her senior season in Western C with a time of 21:10.10.

“I’ve been looking at the times and I knew to expect a pack of us at the front,” Doyle said. “I didn’t think we be so tightly bunched like we were. It was definitely a competitive race. It was good, we all switched off who was leading, all pushing each other. It was tense.”

Lisbon’s Meagan Thomas, who placed well last year, also cracked the top five, finishing fourth in 21:43.80.

She ran a great race today,” Lisbon coach Hank Fuller said. “The whole team did. If they didn’t all run PRs, it was close to it.”

Morgan Lee of Telstar (7th), Tiffany Pease of Monmouth (13th) and Molly Kieltyka of Winthrop (14th) also qualified for the state championships.

Telstar freshman Josef Holt-Andrews burst onto the regional scene in a big way Saturday. The first-year runner was the only such runner among the top 35.

“I went out, just tried to keep pace with the top five guys,” Holt-Andrews said. “I just passed a few of them at the end.”

“The last steep uphill, the guy was right on my tail and I had to push hard to make it,” Holt-Andrews added.

Monmouth’s Patrick and Matt McInnis finished 10th and 11th and helped to lead the Mustangs to the state meet as a team, joining Holt-Andrews’ Rebels.

Winthrop’s Kameron Souza, Adam Mahar and Ben Lewis of Telstar and Kevin Desmond of Monmouth also will run as individuals at the Class C state meet.

North Yarmouth Academy upended Freeport to earn the boys’ team title, and Waynflete topped Merriconeag-Waldorf by a single point to earn the Western C girls’ crown.


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