CUMBERLAND —Leavitt sophomore Jonathan Schomaker became the first to compete and the first state champion in a wheelchair division in Maine at the cross country state championships at Twin Brook Recreation Area on Saturday.

Schomaker finished in 34 minutes, 41.64 seconds, cutting nearly three minutes from his time at regionals.

Schomaker was allowed to race after a month-long battle with the Maine Principals’ Association, which ruled in late September that he could not participate in the postseason due to safety concerns before changing its mind in late October.

Jonathan Schomaker makes his way down the course during the high school cross country state championship meet Saturday at Twin Brook in Cumberland. Schomaker finished in 34:41.64, the first participatnt in the wheelchair division at the state championship meet. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald Buy this Photo

“If your school or administrative system won’t let you race,” said Schomaker, “just remember someone’s watching out for you.”

Standing just outside the finishing corral of the Class A race Saturday afternoon, Mt. Ararat senior Lisandro Berry-Gaviria was inconsolable.

That he had become the fifth Maine schoolboy to break 16 minutes in a state championship race over the tough Twin Brook cross country course did not penetrate his consciousness.

“We lost,” he said, referring to the Class A team competition.

Turns out Berry-Gaviria wrong. The Eagles soared above the field Saturday, winning the Topsham school’s first state title since 1994 by ending a five-year reign of Southern Maine schools Scarborough and Falmouth.

Mt. Ararat led a 1-2-3 Northern Maine finish with 84 points to Bangor’s 91 and Brunswick’s 116. Falmouth and Scarborough each had 123 points, and 1.2 seconds separated their tiebreaking sixth runners, with Falmouth sophomore Luke Ford proving decisive.

“It means the world to me,” said Berry-Gaviria, one of two Mt. Ararat seniors, along with Lucas Bergeron (20th). “This has been our goal for our high school career, ever since our freshman year. At times over the last couple years, I didn’t think it was going to be a dream that would come to fruition. When I heard the results and heard we had won, I broke down and started crying. It’s a lot to take in.”

In the Class C boys race, Lisbon sophomore Aidan Laviolette raced to a second-place finish. He completed the race in 17:16.34, less than six seconds behind champion Will Perkins of Boothbay (17:10.72).

Laviolette’s time was the 26th best among all classes at Saturday’s state championships, making him the first alternate for the New England championships this Saturday in Manchester, Connecticut.

Winthrop freshman James Cognata placed sixth in the Class C boys race with a time of 17:58.75. Mt. Abram’s Jacob Butterfield (18:09.36) took ninth, St. Dom’s William Levasseur (18:12.68) was 13th, while Dirigo’s Blaine Wilkins (18:21.16) and Monmouth’s Joe Crocker (18:23.25) were 15th and 16th, respectively.

Boothbay’s Will Perkins celebrates as he wins the Class C boys’ race. Perkins finished in 17:10.72, about six seconds in front of Lisbon’s Aidan Laviolette. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald Buy this Photo

Perkins is Boothbay’s first individual state champion. Laviolette and Maine Coast junior Seamus Woodruff finished within 10 seconds of Perkins after pulling even with him in the last third of the race.

“It was a great race,” Perkins said. “I felt a little more tired in the third mile of this race, but it was a lot more fun.”

Along with Mt. Ararat in Class A, Greely of Cumberland in Class B and Maine Coast Waldorf in Class C took home state championships. Those teams, along with Bangor, Brunswick and Scarborough, qualified for the New England championships next Saturday in Manchester, Connecticut, as did the 25 individual runners who managed to beat 17 minutes, 15 seconds over the 5K course.

The nine fastest times were posted in a highly competitive Class A race, led by Berry-Gaviria’s time of 15 minutes, 51.76 seconds. Class B produced the closest finish, with Cape Elizabeth senior Jack Bassett again emerging late in the race from a trio that included runner-up Jarrett Gulden of Lincoln Academy of Newcastle and Griffin Allaire of Wells.

Bassett won in 16:40.53, with Gulden two seconds back and Allaire another 10 behind.

“Jarrett stuck with me longer and gave me a little bit of a scare,” said Bassett, who used a similar strategy at the Southern Maine regional. “In the last 100 meters, I was pretty scared that he was going to catch up.”

Woodruff led a 3-7-11-12-22 finish for Maine Coast, which won its second straight Class C team title. Senior Aiden Kusche, freshman Bryan Stark-Chessa and sophomores John Miles Muentener and Louis Walker completed the scoring.

Only two from that quintet ran on the 2018 championship squad. Woodruff was off riding mountain bikes, Walker played golf for Freeport High, and Stark-Chessa was not yet in high school.

Maine Coast held off Orono, 50-57, with George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill third at 99.

“About a third of the school is on the cross country team,” coach Morgan Lake Adams said. “So it works out pretty well.”

Greely unseated defending Class B champion York by winning all five individual matchups. Senior Riley Franklin and junior Sam Wilson placed fourth and fifth, and juniors Leif Harvey and Elias Leggat-Barr were 12th and 15th. Most impressive, however, was senior Atticus Smith grabbing 29th, two places ahead of York’s fifth runner.

Throughout the regular season, Smith had been Greely’s sixth finisher. On Saturday, he moved up 10 places over the final few hundred meters.

“It feels really good,” Smith said. “I’m a whole lot more excited than I thought I’d be.”

Greely finished with 65 points to York’s 83 and Mt. Desert Island’s 99.

In Class A, sophomore Grady Satterfield (eighth), Bergeron (20th) and juniors Jace Hollenbach (23rd) and Nate Cohen (38th) filled in behind Berry-Gaviria for Mt. Ararat.

“They started emulating what he does, doing all the right things,” coach Diane Fournier said. “He warms up well, makes sure he does his stretching at the end of every practice, lifts weights. He does all those things, and it’s catching on.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.