Wednesday’s meet just reinforced what most people who have followed the conference through the first three weeks of the season already knew — defending conference champions Josef Holt-Andrews of Telstar and Sophia Thayer of Boothbay are still the most dominant runners in the MVC, the boys’ team title is Boothbay’s to lose and the battle for girls’ supremacy might have to be decided by a treaty.

Thayer finished the course in 21:27, 27 seconds ahead of Hall-Dale’s Emma Williams. Teammate Hannah Morley, who finished third overall, joined her to finish 1-2 in the team scoring, but Lisbon scored five of the top 20 runners to edge the Seahawks by one point, 57-58. St. Dom’s (79) was third. Madison (95), Telstar (100) and Monmouth (109), running without top runner Becki Bryant, rounded out the team standings.

“It couldn’t be any closer,” Lisbon coach Hank Fuller. “This is a very even league this year with the girls.”

Bree Sautter led the Greyhounds by finishing sixth overall (fourth in team scoring). Kaylin Le, Caitlyn Bundy, Adrianna White and Bailey Eveson, all either sophomores or freshmen, crossed the finish line in 24:26 or better to give the Greyhounds the win.

More important, perhaps, was the experience Fuller’s young team got in a big meet on the conference’s ultimate course.

“From this we can pick out who we need to beat,” Fuller said. “It makes it a lot easier if an athlete knows that he or she just has to get ahead of one person or another person. We also know what kind of work we have to do, because this is a hilly course.”

Organizers managed to keep the challenging hills in the race route despite having to close off one of the muddiest sections of the course.

Winthrop senior Molly Kieltyka, the top local finisher (fifth place, 22:46) appreciated the fast course.

“Usually the first loop is really muddy, so to take that out was a relief. It was a little muddy here and there, but nothing I couldn’t handle,” Kieltyka said. “My first mile was really fast, but it got me up there, and my second mile I stayed up there. The last part of my race was kind of slow, but in the scheme of things I think I had a pretty good race.”

Telstar’s Gabi Stone (seventh), Kaitlin Souza of Winthrop (eighth) and Ellen Tuttle of St. Dom’s (10th) also posted top 10 times.

The Boothbay boys posted four of the top nine times and five in the top 14 to cruise to victory with 39 points. Monmouth (74), Winthrop (80), Hall-Dale (111) and Lisbon (133) rounded out the top five.

Holt-Andrews pulled away on the hills and finished in 17:24. Winthrop’s Ben Allen (17:55) kept him within sight for much of the race, but didn’t entertain any thoughts of trying to run the leader down.

“It’s a tough course, but I made the best of it. I enjoyed myself out there,” Allen said. “With a guy like Joe in front of you, the big thing is you’ve just got to go out and run your own race. He’s steps ahead of everyone. So I went out there and ran my own race and that’s what I’ve got to do, I think, to get the best results.”

Nicholas Harriman of Lisbon (fourth) and Ben Bailey of Monmouth (eighth) finished in the top 10.

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