Cony junior Anne Guadalupi dominated the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A and Eastern Class A cross country scene last year before taking third in the Class A championships with a time of 19 minutes, 18.9 seconds. The two runners ahead of her graduated, leaving the Class A state title within Guadalupi’s reach this fall.

“I did a lot more training this summer and been swimming to balance things out and stay in shape,” says Guadalupi.

Shawn Totman’s Cony team has been building needed depth in recent years and will look to senior Lindsay Watts (17th in KVAC Class A) to work with Guadalupi to continue to build the program.

Waterville junior Lauren Brown returns after a strong fall last year — she placed second in KVAC B and recorded top-five finishes in the Eastern B and Class B state championship meets last fall. Coupled with classmate Cecilia Morin (4th in KVAC Class B and 9th in Eastern Class B), the Panthers have excellent depth up front this season and will look for a few more runners to step up to compete with their historical rivals Maranacook.

“Our team has been getting small in recent years but we have a lot of promising new runners who are prepared to run hard,” said Brown.

Maranacook has turned out a number of quality runners over the last decade and this year should prove no exception. The Black Bears will miss Class B champion Hannah Despres, who graduated, but senior Jaycee Greeley and sophomore Maddie Taylor posted top-20 finishes at the KVAC B championship last October.

“It’s not out of reach to win KVACs for sure and certainly within the realm of possibility. Our goal is to do better at regionals and states,” said Maranacook coach Rosalea Kimball.

In the Mountain Valley Conference, Monmouth will look to re-load after its conference title upset of St. Dom’s last October thanks in large part to seniors Carey Knowles (5th at MVC), Ashleigh Hartford (6th at MVC) and Jordyn Mann (9th at MVC). However, the cupboard is not bare for the Mustangs this season as they will rely on senior Shayna Frost and sophomore Megan Knowles, both of whom had top-20 finishes in the MVC championship race.

“This is a big re-building year and hopefully we can do that quickly,” Monmouth coach Tom Menendez said.

Mt. Blue returns two sophomores — River Lisius (7th at KVAC Class A) and Megan Charles (17th in Eastern Class A) — who had solid freshmen seasons last fall. Along with junior Maggie Hickey, they give the Cougars considerable depth to be able to compete for a KVAC A title in October.

Kents Hill senior Anne McKee won the NEPSTA Division IV championship in Bath last November (19:53) by over two minutes over the next closest competitor, her sister Kate (22:09), despite battling a nagging hip injury last season.

“I feel a lot stronger this year. I got a lot of summer miles in and I’m looking forward to ramping it up this year,” said McKee.

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