The Cougars, sparked by individual winner Tucker Barber, who recorded the fastest time of the day (15:57.44), tallied 76 points to Hampden’s 93.

Also qualifying for the state meet were Mount Ararat of Topsham (99), Brunswick (120), Bangor (125) and Lewiston (145).

Given the strong performance that Mt. Blue showcased, Hampden coach Dick Balentine got about what he expected from his Broncos.

Balentine also was happy with the effort of Casavant, who started racing in early October after missing the early part of the season due to an undisclosed injury.

“That helps having (Casavant and Lord) 1-2 and Webb not far behind them, (but) we’ve got to work on moving the other guys up a little closer,” Balentine said.

Along with Barber, other tri-county runners who finished in the top 30 to qualify for state individually are Edward Little’s Jacob Gamache (fourth) and Russell Allen (17:17.53); Mt. Blue’s Zeke Robinson (13th), Emmett Trafton (19th), Sam Stinson (21s) and Isaiah Reid (22nd); Lewiston’s Abbas Muktar (14th) and Isse Tawane (18th); and Oxford Hills’ Dominic Scalfani (20th) and Zane Dustin (30th).

In the girls’ Class A North race, Mount Ararat’s Katherine Leckbee recorded the fastest time of the afternoon (18:46.77), but Brunswick overwhelmed the rest of the field in the team competition.

The Dragons compiled 71 points, well ahead of runner-up Cony’s 114. Mount Ararat (119), Mt. Blue of Farmington (119), Brewer (120) and Messalonskee of Oakland (134) also qualified for the state meet.

Leading Mt. Blue was Maggie Hickey (20:53.65), who placed 11th. Edward Little’s Jillian Richardson had the tri-county area’s best finishing, taking sixth with a time of 20:15.61.

Other individual qualifiers (top 30) from the tri-county area are Zaid Teklu and Kayla Allen of Lewiston, and Mt. Blue’s Kahryn Cullenberg (16th), Meghan Charles (26th) and Maeve Hickey (28th).

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