A dozen teams from central Maine are entered in today’s state cross country meet at Twin Brook Recreation Center in Cumberland. But the focus will be on individuals, two of whom won championships at last week’s Eastern regionals.
“It would definitely be fantastic if I won,” Mt. Blue senior Josh Horne said. “It would be really cool to get the trifecta for Mt. Blue.”
The Farmington school has produced dozens of good runners but none have done what Horne has a chance to do — win the conference, regional and state meets in the same season.
Horne won last week’s Class A regional in Belfast despite an Achilles problem and feels ready for the Twin Brooks course, which generally produces slower times than Belfast.
“It’s much hillier than Belfast,” Horne said. “It’s a very nice course.”
Cony freshman Anne Guadalupi has never run Twin Brook and doesn’t know what to expect. Last week in Belfast she won the Class A Eastern regional, avenging a loss to runner-up Teresa Murphy of Brunswick in the conference meet.
“I know nothing of it,” said Guadalupi who missed a practice run at Twin Brook on Friday because of poor weather. “I hope it doesn’t take away from my running. I’m sure I’ll do fine. I’m just trying to get good times in and do my best. It’s my freshman year.”
“Winthrop junior Ben Allen finished second in the Class C race at last week’s Western regional in Cumberland and a second today would be just fine with him. Barring a mishap, the race for first looks all but wrapped up by Telstar’s Josef Holt-Andrews, who is considered the state’s top runner.
Allen figures the race for second place will come down to a battle among himself, Fort Kent’s Matthew Toussaint and North Yarmouth’s Matt Malcolm. Allen finished 11th in last year’s state meet but has since knocked about a minute off his 5K time. He’s set a goal of breaking 17 minutes today as well as qualifying for the New England meet on Nov. 9 in Manchester, N.H.
“I’m pretty pumped for (today),” he said.
The boys and girls state champions in Class A, B and C qualify for the New England meet along with the next three highest scoring teams regardless of class. In addition to the state champions in each class, the next fastest 22 runners overall qualify for the New England championships.
In Class A, the Mt. Blue boys and girls each qualified while Class B qualifiers include the Maranacook boys and girls, the Winslow girls, and boys teams from Waterville and Erskine. In Class C, the Monmouth boys and girls qualified along with the Hall-Dale, Madison and Winthrop boys.