BELFAST — The conditions were less than perfect along the cross country course at the Troy Howard Middle School, with warm and rainy weather accentuating frequent standing water and the otherwise muddy texture of the 3.1-mile route.

But the bottom line — the finish line — was in ideal shape for the Lewiston High School boys’ team, which placed four runners among the top 10 finishers Saturday to win the Eastern Maine Class A championship, defeating defending champion Bangor 59-83.

“We were pretty close together throughout the whole race,” said Isaiah Harris, a Lewiston sophomore who finished third overall, just behind second-place teammate Mohamed Awil. “I think we could see each other the whole race. We didn’t plan on it, but that’s how it worked out.”

Senior Mohamed Barre placed sixth overall for the Blue Devils, while junior Mohamed Mohamed finished 10th and senior Jordan Balsamo rounded out Lewiston’s scoring contingent in 38th place.

“This is the toughest race I’ve ever run,” said Barre, his team’s top finisher a week ago when Lewiston won the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A title. “It didn’t come down to who was the fastest today; it came down to who was the toughest.”

Sam Wood, a junior from Mt. Ararat of Topsham, took the lead 2 miles into the race and went on to win the Eastern A boys individual title with a time of 17 minutes, 0.81 seconds. Awil finished 4 seconds behind Wood, with Harris next in 17:09.47.

“There’s no way to describe that, I don’t even know,” said Harris. “It was like swimming. It was terrible, but it was still fun. After the start, you forgot about it, but there was a lot of water.”

Bangor was led by junior Jonathan Stanhope’s seventh-place finish, while Mt. Ararat (89 points), Mt. Blue of Farmington (91), Hampden Academy (96) Brewer (136) and Brunswick (162) also qualified for next week’s state championship meet to be held on the same course.

Mt. Blue was led by senior Justin Tracy, last week’s KVAC Class A individual champion, and junior Josh Horne, who finished eighth and ninth.

Hampden Academy won the tightest team battle of the day in the Class A girls’ meet, edging both newly crowned KVAC Class A champion Mt. Ararat and Brunswick by two points to win the regional title.

The Broncos were paced by senior Kylee Parker and sophomore Elizabeth Lebun, who finished third and fourth behind race winner Erzsebet Nagy of Lawrence of Fairfield (20:10.33) and runnerup Tessa Cassidy, a freshman from Brunswick who was timed in 20:36.1.

Sarah Tatgenhorst (12th), Bryanna Parker (23rd) and Roxy Winters (24th) supplied the depth needed for Hampden to finish with 63 points, compared to 65 each for Mt. Ararat and Brunswick.

Those teams all earned trips to the state meet, along with Mt. Blue (119), Brewer (146) and Bangor (169).

The Ellsworth boys and Camden Hills girls won Eastern Maine Class B titles, while the Orono boys and Washburn girls won Class C regional crowns.

Ellsworth put on one of the more dominant performances of the day, totaling just 27 points as led by junior Dan Curts, whose winning time of 16:49.68 was the fastest of the day regardless of class.

Camden Hills won the Eastern B girls crown for the second straight year, its 51 points edging runner-up Waterville (65), defending state champion Mt. Desert Island of Bar Harbor (78) and Caribou (81).

Camden Hills was led by junior Brittany Bowman, who finished third behind race winner Bethanie Brown of Waterville (18:46.11) and runner-up Aleta Looker of Ellsworth.

MDI was competing without top runner Maggie Painter, sidelined by illness.

Senior Tyler White sparked Orono’s winning effort in the Eastern C boys race, leading a pack of six Red Riots among the top 13 finishers with his first-place time of 17:27.97.

Orono finished with 30 points, half that of 2011 regional champion Bangor Christian, the runnerup with 60.

Two-time defending Class C individual state champion Carsyn Koch was one of five Washburn girls to place among the top 16 in their race with her winning time of 20:57.14. Fellow juniors Carmen Bragg (third) and Mackenzie Worcester (fifth), freshman Emilia Churchill (10th) and
sophomore Hannah Heald (16th) helped the Beavers defeat second-place Orono 28-41.


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