AUGUSTA — The four individual champions probably all took the same route to get to Cony High School.

That’s because they all came from a very small circle on the map. At Saturday’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference cross country championships, the Class A winners were Lawrence’s Erzsie Nagy and Messalonskee’s Harlow Ladd. The Class B winners were Waterville’s Bethanie Brown and Winslow’s Nick Shuckrow.

The Maranacook boys and the Camden Hills girls won the Class B team championships, while the Class A winners were the Mt. Ararat boys and Brunswick girls.

The course had been hit hard by rain Thursday and Friday, but most agreed it more or less recovered in time for the races.

“I think this course holds water very well,” Ladd said. “I didn’t think it was that bad, except on the first loop. Right before the first mile marker, it was pretty slippery.”

“It wasn’t too bad, except for a stretch in the woods where it was all mud,” Shuckrow said. “But other than that, it was good. I wasn’t too concerned about it, because the last couple of weeks, we’ve been running at muddy courses like Belfast and Mt. Blue.”


Ladd was the only repeat winner of the group from last year. He won the boys Class A race in 17 minutes, 28.3 seconds to finish comfortably ahead of Brunswick’s Benson Worthington, who came in with a time of 17:52.5.

“My plan was easy first mile, save it, and don’t get injured where it’s slippery. Second mile, kill it up that hill,” Ladd said. “I think I did that pretty well.

“I think I mentally prepared better than I have throughout the rest of the season,” Ladd added. “I came into this race with a very positive attitude, knowing that I did have fresh legs this time, and that I actually was going to kill myself to win this.”

Nagy, like Ladd, won the Scot Laliberte Invitational in August on the same course. That was Nagy’s first cross country race, but the course was not indelibly etched on her mind.

“When I was walking the course, I realized I didn’t remember it at all,” she said.

Nagy still won the Class A girls race easily, with a time of 19:55.8 compared to the 21:30.1 turned in by second-place finisher Teresa Murphy of Brunswick. Nagy’s only real concern was the famous hill on the course.


“When we walked (the course) again, my coach was telling us just not to overthink it, and once you’re up it, it will be like you never even ran it,” Nagy said. “But my legs — they still felt like I had run it.”
Brown, who finished in 20:02.0 to edge Brittany Bowman of Camden Hills (20:20.2) for the girls Class B title, had never run on the course before Saturday.

“Um, it’s pretty hilly,” Brown said. “I wanted to stay up at the front with the other (leading) runners. I figured I’d probably finish in the top five.”

The Class B boys race was the closest of the day, as Shuckrow won with a time of 18:02.3 and Maranacook’s Kelby Mace was second in 18:13.9.

“I was going to try to find one of the top Class B runners and just run with him,” Shuckrow said. “I ended up finding Kelby and running with him for a little bit, and then passed him. It was probably around the first mile.”

Mace, a sophomore was a big reason the Black Bears won the team title. Maranacook scored 67 points, and Medomak Valley was second in Class B with 104. All five Maranacook scorers — Mace (2nd), Jason Stevenson (11th), Austin Landry (16th), Kilton Webb (18th) and Colby Watts (20th) — placed in the top 20.

“There’s a kid (Mt. Blue’s Justin Tracy) that I did pretty good with by staying next to last race,” Mace said. “My strategy was to stay with him, and then surge toward the end.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

Comments are no longer available on this story