BELFAST — For the second straight week, the Mt. Blue girls Cross Country team exceeded expectations as they finished 2nd in the Northern Maine Class A Regional in Belfast. This came a week after the girls’ surprise third place finish at the KVAC.

The Bangor girls were comfortably in first place, but the next 3 spots were very close as Mt. Blue finished just 3 points ahead of Camden Hills, with surprising Hampden just two points behind Camden Hills. All four of these teams, along with Brunswick, qualified for next week’s state meet at Twin Brooks in Cumberland.

Mt. Blue was led by Nora McCourt in 10th place. Lucinda Carroll returned, after being away last week, and finished 15th with senior teammate Moriah Reusch running a lifetime best and placing right behind her. Natalie McCarthy battled some late race difficulty to hang on to an important 22nd place finish, while Brielle Tinker lopped a full minute off her best time to place 29th. Cassidy Hardy (43) and Elizabeth Strickland (46) rounded out the Cougar squad.

The boys race saw the Cougars on the opposite end of a close finish with Camden Hills as Mt. Blue was just two points behind the Windjammers, placing 4th overall. Hampden won by a comfortable margin, with Brunswick a solid 2nd. These four teams, along with Bangor and Messalonskee will advance to the state meet.

Cyrus Evans ran a gutsy race, staying with Hamden standout Charlie Collins for just over a mile before holding off a large pack of runners to place 2nd. Henri McCourt was 11th, while Ben Hatch broke under the 18-minute barrier for the first time placing 24th. Normal #3 runner Luke Doscinski battled some illness to finish 40th, with teammates Daniel Dalton and Kodi Quimby right behind him, both finishing under the 19 minute mark for the first time ever. Teammate Eli Hoeft was with them until the last 1/4 mile before suffering a hip injury and gamely completing the race in 60th place.

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