BELFAST — The sloppy trail at the Eastern Maine Regional cross country championships Saturday had an effect on every runner, some more than others.

The several inches of rain that fell overnight on the 5 kilometer course at Troy Howard Middle School barely phased Waterville senior Bethanie Brown who coasted to the Class B title in 18 minutes, 46.11 seconds. The next closest female runner was Lawrence’s Erzsebet Nagy who won the Class A title in 20:10.33.

By the time Class C girls took to the course for the sixth and final race of the day, mud was ankle deep in many areas on the trail and there were large puddles of standing water.

“I’ve never seen a course in worse condition,” Brown said. “It was crazy sloppy. I ran through some water spots.”

Brown led a strong effort by the Waterville girls team which placed second behind Camden Hills. The top half of teams in each class qualified for next week’s state meet in Belfast as well as the top 30 individual finishers. The Waterville boys also qualified in Class B as did the Winslow boys and girls. In Class A, both Mt. Blue teams finished fourth to qualify for the state meet.

Brown ran 50 seconds faster three weeks ago on the same course at the Festival of Champions to set a meet record. She had her sights set on course record of 17:48.

“If it had been really nice conditions I think I could have that,” Brown said. “Maybe (next week). We’ll see how the weather holds out.”

Like Brown, Nagy led from start to finish. The Lawrence senior went faster than she need to, though.

“I think I underestimated the course conditions,” Nagy said. “I went out in a 5:40. I wasn’t planning on going that fast at all. I told myself I would go out conservatively, but I don’t know, it didn’t happen.”

Nagy is recovering from a hip injury that has cut down significantly on her training this fall.

“I’m still coming back,” she said. “I’m not running six days a week like I was last year. I had to run five days this week, because the week before with the KVACs was my seventh consecutive day running week and my legs weren’t as fresh as they could have been.”

Lewiston won the boys title in Class A while Mt. Ararat’s Sam Wood was the overall winner in 17:00.81. Hampden won the girls title. Ellsworth’s Dan Curts ran the fastest time of the day, 16:49.68, to lead his team to the Class B title. Washburn won the Class C girls title behind winner Carsyn Koch while Tyler White finished first to lead his Orono team to the Class C boys title.

The Waterville girls placed five runners in the top 25. In addition to Brown, Tiana Thomas finished 11th, Erica Jenson was 15th, Lara Bluhm 20th and Lauren Brown 25th. Sophomore Chris Cote finished fifth to help the Waterville boys finish in the eighth and final qualifying spot. Teammate Nick Derosby and Joseph Bellavia placed 14th and 16th, respectively.

The Winslow boys finished fourth, led by Nickolas Shuckrow (7th), Thomas Cassidy (21st) and Griffin Davis (25th).

“I think fourth might be as well as we’ve ever finished here,” Winslow coach Christina Bertolaccini said.

The girls placed sixth led by Molly Schassberger (13th) and Alyssa Wright (21st).

“Alyssa Wright had a phenomenal day,” Bertolaccini said.

The Mt. Blue boys finished fourth after taking second against the same field in last week’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships at Cony High School.

“If our No. 1 and 2 guys did what they did last week we would have finished second,” Mt. Blue coach Kelley Cullenberg said. “I think they might have taken it out just a little bit fast.”

Justin Tracy and Josh Horne finished eighth and ninth to lead the Cougars while Sully Jackson took 14th and Dan Lesko 17th. Katherine Gunther led the Mt. Blue girls in 16th place followed by Deanna Richards (20th) and Sarah Wade (22nd).

Class A boys who qualified individually included Messalonskee’s Logan Moses (16th) and Erskine’s Erik Dodge (22nd). Among the girls, Lawrence’s Nagy took first and teammate Katelyn Poulin was eighth. Also qualifying were Messalonskee’s Olivia Poulin (9th) and Lindi Forsley (21st) and Cony’s Courtney King (10th).

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

 

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