Gray-New Gloucester junior Carter Libby executed his strategy perfectly at the Class B championships and won the state title at Twin Brook in Cumberland. Submitted photo

Gray-New Gloucester runner Carter Libby proved the best laid plans don’t always go awry in any cross country race.

Libby ran off with the Class B state boys title at Twin Brook in Cumblerand with a winning time of 16:50.13. Libby’s feat has also earned him the 2022 Sun Journal All-Region Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.

Libby was methodical about planning his race at Twin Brook, knowing he was up against many other talented runners from across the state.

“I had a plan going into it, taking it slower for like the first mile,” he said. “I knew a lot of people would go out really fast because of the atmosphere … so I took it a little bit slower and slowly caught up to the leader and made my move and it worked out pretty well.

“I thought it would be a breakthrough season a little bit … I mean I wasn’t expecting to win the state championship, but I knew I had some good things coming from me, and I am glad I did.”

Gray-New Gloucester coach Adam Zukowski applauded Carter’s surprising victory.


“It was such a big upset at states,” Zukowski said. “If the race was run 25 times, I think Carter wins once. He executed his race plan perfectly. It was his day. Everything fell into place for him.

Spectators cheer on Gray-New Gloucester’s Carter Libby as he races past them on his way to winning the Class B state championship at Twin Brook in Cumberland. Betsy Libby photo

“That was the race of his life. He did it at the right time. When he came up over that hill right at the end there, I knew he had a great kick so I felt like I was going to blow up. I am so excited for him and for the school and for the program, so it is great.”

Zukowski said Carter possesses assets that make him a fine runner and person.

“Definitely, his strengths are mental toughness, for sure, No. 1, and No. 2 is just his coachability,” Zukowski said. “He came to practice everyday and did what he was supposed to do. 

“There are so many things nowadays where you can look up online and see what other kids are doing or professionals are doing (for training). We talked about trust — trusting the coaches that we are coming up with his best training plan — and he really bought into that.”

The junior runner also copped a personal-best time of time of 16:21.50 in the Southern Maine Classic in Gorham in September. He finished in sixth place. He also had a top-10 finish in the southern regional cross country championships, finishing third with at 17:21.43. He also won three regular-season meets.


The determined junior is always in motion at Gray-NG. He collected varsity letters his sophomore year in cross country, basketball, baseball and track. He is also a force in the classroom, maintaining a weighted GPA of over 100.

He is a civic-minded young man outside of sports, too. He remains a dedicated volunteer through Boy Scouts, National Honor Society and the Community Service Club. He also devotes time to community dinners, clearing local trails and mentoring younger scouts.

Libby plans on playing basketball this winter for the Patriots, but he gave up participating in baseball to run outdoor track.

“I switched to track this year because I knew running was my best sport,” he said.

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