But Telstar’s Josef Holt-Andrews and the Lewiston Blue Devils now have something that stands above them all.

Holt-Andrews shattered the Festival of Champions record and Lewiston rode personal records from each of its top five to its second Festival title since 2007 at Troy Howard Middle School.

Mount Desert Island won its third consecutive girls’ title. Kialeigh Marston of Bonny Eagle won the individual title.

With more than 1,400 runners and 108 teams from around New England and Canada on the course, bushels of PRs figured to fall on the dry, fast 5K course under an overcast sky. But what Holt-Andrews did, especially when his much-anticipated dual with Ellsworth’s Dan Curts was cut short by Curts’ hamstring troubles, was exceptional.

The Telstar senior took control of the race during the hilly second mile and pulled away to vaporize last year’s record, set by Mike Tate of Nova Scotia, by 20 seconds, crossing in 15:06.92.

“The first mile, I wasn’t trying to get a lead or anything,” Holt-Andrews said. “I knew a couple of guys beat me out (Mt. Blue’s Aaron Willingham and Josh Horne), so I was just sitting behind them. And then after the mile, up the hill, I put a charge in. I knew I had to start going early because I know I don’t have much speed (training) yet. I’ve been working on strength, so I was going to count on that.”

Willingham (15:42.18) and Horne (15:54.21) finished second and third. Holt-Andrews was glad the pair was eager to set the pace early.

“Having a fast first mile without having to really work at all is definitely a plus,” he said.

Willingham, a transfer student from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, has been battling a foot infection for the past two weeks but ran his second sub-16 race of the season.

“I was trying to keep up with Dan Curts and Holt-Andrews, and I did at first,” Willingham said. “Josh and I are definitely a pair, one and two every race, switching off. He was there at the mile with me, but then Dan and Andrew went and I kind of went on with them. (Holt-Andrews) is crazy.”

Curts, who beat Holt-Andrews last week at the Manchester (N.H.) Invitational, battled hamstring issues throughout the race but didn’t pull out until the final 500 meters.

With most of its top five back this year, Lewiston expected to contend after losing  to Cumberland, RI by only a point last year. The Blue Devils kept their trademark pack together long enough for five runners break the 17-minute mark and finish in the top 34. That gave them a 20-point cushion over runner-up Harwood Union of Moretown, Vt.,

“We expected to be in the top three, but we didn’t expect our fifth guy to break 17 (minutes),” junior Isaiah Harris said.

“We had top five with PRs,” senior Mohamed Awil said. “We had everybody running hard and pushing each other.”

Harris closed the gap on Awil and about a half-dozen other runners in the final 500 yards to lead the pack in eighth. Awil (12th), Mohamed Mohamed (15th), Farhan Abdillahi (23rd) and Osman (36th) finished within 34 seconds of each other.

Lewiston coach T.J. Niles said some of his runners were 20 or 30 seconds ahead of their personal best. The hope is the FOC title is a springboard to a Class A state title, which Lewiston also last won in 2007.

“They’ve been doing things the team has never done before,” Niles said. “We’re right where I want us to be. I’m very happy. They’re working way harder than they were last year. I think they learned from last year. And all five of them want to be the No. 1 runner. They push each other.”

Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough and Falmouth rounded out the top five. Mt. Blue was ninth.

MDI had five of the top 36 but no one that even came close to challenging its three-peat, lapping runner-up Falmouth, 95-181. Harwood was third, followed by Cape Elizabeth and Cumberland, RI.

Lewiston was the top local team, finishing 13th, followed by Monmouth (27th). The Blue Devils also produced the top local female, junior Farhiyo Aden, who set a new PR at 20:13.51 and finished 26th overall.

“Farhiyo had a huge breakthrough race,” Niles said. “The girls did amazing. We had the second-best team from Eastern A, only 11 points behind Hampden, so I’m very happy with the girls.”

“I’m really suprised because this is my first year running cross country,” said Aden, who has run indoor and outdoor track. “I wanted a PR and I think I got it.”

Marston, a sophomore, is another first-year runner who didn’t look like it in her 18:42.94 run, 17 seconds in front of South Portland’s Shannon Conley and Anne McKee of Kents Hill.

Other local runners of note: Girls — Maggie Hickey (Mt. Blue, 54th), Julia Labbe (Leavitt, 57th), Sarah Wade (Mt. Blue 78th), Faith Shaw (Lewiston, 84th), Gabi Stone (Telstar, 89th), Bree Sautter (Lisbon, 93rd); Boys — Wil Shafer (Gray-New Gloucester, 8th), Dan Lesko (Mt. Blue, 22nd), Ben Allen (Winthrop, 30th), Nicholas Harriman (Lisbon, 65th), Harrison Knowlton (Leavitt, 81st), and Ben Garcia (Gray-New Gloucester, 88th).


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