Monmouth Academy’s Alexa Allen pushes herself up the steep incline as she competes in the Mountain Valley Conference cross country championships Saturday at the University of Maine at Augusta. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

AUGUSTA — In imperfect conditions, Saturday was nearly perfect for the Monmouth Academy cross country team.

The Mustangs had individual winners for both boys and girls races, and repeated as girls champion at the Mountain Valley Conference cross country championships at the Elvin Fields at the University of Maine at Augusta.

Boothbay/Wiscasset walked away as the MVC boys champion with 48 points.

Senior Alexa Allen dominated in the girls race, finishing with a time of 20:30.1, nearly 1:40 faster than second-place finisher Haley Williams of Winthrop (22:09.9), and thanks to a fifth-place finish by Allyson Lewis (23:24.1) and sixth-place finish by Holly Hunt (23:40.9), the Mustangs took home the MVC team trophy, finishing with 29 points. Wiscasset/Boothbay was second with 32 points, while Spruce Mountain was third with 64 points.

“The conference championship trophy means the world to our team,” Allen said. “That was my main focus, even after the race, just (going back to the course) and making sure all of my teammates finish. I care about that more than anything.”

It was a repeat win for Allen, who won the individual title last year, her first year in the sport after switching over from soccer.

“We had a lot of team stuff going on, so (the challenge) was trying to keep the head space good and clear,” said Allen, who was named the MVC girls runner of the year after the meet. “Once you get into (the race) you forget about everything else going on, which is good. It’s just taking it one step at a time.”

Peyton Estes of Madison (23:05.1) finished third.

Monmouth junior Brosnan Comeau won the boys race, finishing with a time of 17:37.9. Mt. Abram’s Jeff Warnock (18:22.3) finished second and Spruce Mountain’s Abraham Geissinger (18:38.4) was third.

“I’m feeling great,” said Comeau, who was named the MVC boys runner of the year. “Our coach made sure that we were prepared for this meet, and regionals and states after this. We trained hard. I’ve really peaked this year from last year, (setting personal records) a lot. Had a sub-17:00 (time) at (Festival of Champions). I’m just training hard, putting in 100 percent effort in all my training.”

“I’m real proud of the kids,” said Monmouth head coach Tom Menendez, who was named the MVC girls coach of the year at the meet. “We’ve had a lot of disruptions this past week, but they focused on what they had to do, they came in and ran their hearts out. First (in girls) and second (in boys) is nothing to sneeze at.”

Boothbay/Wiscasset was led by Lucas Hardwick (19:25.1), who finished seventh. Dominick Dow (10th), Ryan Clark (11th) and Gryffin Kristan (12th) all had top-15 placement for the Seahawks.

“I’m super pumped,” said Boothbay/Wiscasset head coach Nick Scott, who was named the MVC boys coach of the year. “Last year was a tough year with everything that was going on (with COVID). To be able to kind of regroup and come back and be so competitive was really rewarding. And the kids worked so hard. We kind of had a plan at the beginning of the season, and sometimes it takes a lot to get to the point where you see your hard work come to fruition. And I feel like the timing right now is really good. We still have two weeks left of the season, but at this moment, I’m feeling pretty good about where we’re at.”

With strong rain hitting the area in the morning, it led to muddy conditions on the course for the races. Many runners combated the conditions by wearing spikes on their shoes.

“This is my second-favorite course, because I love running hills,” Warnock said. “I grew up running on hills right next to my house, so I’m pretty good at them and well prepared for them. I was kind of nervous about it being slippery, but I wore spikes for the first time. (It worked), except one fell off the last half-mile.”

“We honestly love the mud,” Allen said. “We love running in the rain, because everyone else hates it. It’s always fun watching everyone else not enjoy it. We really enjoy courses that are muddy. Our coach was saying, ‘The one who comes out muddiest usually has the best looking medal or ribbon.'”

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