Winthrop’s Ben Allen pulled away in the final 200 meters of a tight race to win the Western Maine Class C boys’ cross country title at Twin Brook in Cumberland on Saturday.

Allen, a senior, outkicked North Yarmouth Academy’s Matt Malcolm down the stretch to win in 17:19.64, almost 10 seconds ahead of Malcolm. Tucker Pierce of Merriconeag Waldorf was third. Monmouth’s Luke Thombs was fourth. “It was a good race,” Allen said. “Matt Malcolm and Tucker Pierce and me kind of ran as a pack for the first two-and-a-half miles. I was running off Matt for awhile and he was running off me, too. Once we got to the last half-mile, I was feeling pretty good and I just pulled away at the end.”

“They came out of an area at Twin Brook known as the ‘Pain Cave’ and Matt put a little bit of a surge on going up the hill that follows,” Winthrop coach Ed Van Tassel said. “With Ben, we always talk about making sure you run the uphills so you can attack on the downhills. As soon as they crested that hill, Ben started rolling. At that point, I started breathing a little bit easier.”

Allen led the Ramblers to a trip to the state meet with a third-place finish in the team competition, behind champion Boothbay and runner-up Merriconeag of New Gloucester. Four Ramblers besides Allen — Jacob Hickey, Caleb Fortin, Isaac Johnson and Nick Charest — finished in the top 30, which qualifies them for the state championship meet next Saturday in Belfast.

“Our guys ran great,” Van Tassel said. “Boothbay had a phenomenal day … but I was really happy with how our team raced. To put five in the top 30, it was a good day.”

Other local individual qualifiers were Madison’s Raymond Miller, Tristan Rich and Samuel Harper, Monmouth’s Nick Menice and Chris Pomerleau of Hall-Dale. Madison qualified for the state championship meet as a team.


Hall-Dale’s Emma Wilson was the top local finisher in the girls’ race, placing eighth. Madison’s Olivia Demchak, Emilee Fortier of Carrabec, Jada Choate of Winthrop and Monmouth Academy’s Jordyn Mann, Carey Knowles and Ashleigh Hartford also advanced to states. Waynflete won the team title easily, while Monmouth earned a spot in the state race.

Hannah Despres of Maranacook led all local racers in the Class B girls’ race with an 11th-place finish and was the only local qualifier for states. Maranacook did earn a state berth as a team, finishing fifth overall behind champion Yarmouth.

Maranacook’s Ethan Harriman finished 13th in the boys’ meet. He and Colby Watts will represent the Black Bears at states as individuals, while the Maranacook team narrowly made the cut-off for states with its seventh-place finish. York won the team title.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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