AUGUSTA — Different venue, same competition.

The Mt. Blue cross country teams will know exactly what to expect at the Northern Maine Class A championships Saturday, when the same runners who competed at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A meet will reunite in Belfast.

So, is this good or bad?

“It’s good,” said Mt. Blue senior Maggie Hickey, who helped the Cougars finish second to Brunswick at the KVAC A meet. “Knowing who you will run against and knowing what to expect is a good thing.”

Added sister Maeve, a sophomore: “It allows us to know what’s coming.”

The cross country regional championship meets are scheduled Saturday, with Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast hosting the North and Twin Brook Recreation Center in Cumberland hosting the South. The meets were originally scheduled last weekend but wet weather pushed them back a week.

The top half in each region will qualify for the state championship meets on Nov. 5.

The Mt. Blue boys will look to follow up its KVAC A title at Cony High School on Oct. 15 with a regional crown. Tucker Barber won the KVAC A in 16:43.20 while Zeke Robinson was 12th (17:58.10).

“The competition is the same as it was at the (KVAC) meet,” Mt. Blue coach Kelley Cullenberg said. “We know exactly what we are facing, and I don’t want them to take anything for granted. They know it wont be easy on, boys or girls side, so we’re doing everything we can to get them ready.”

Added Barber: “We’re going into this after a great KVAC meet that gives us some sort of perspective. In that sense, we are feeling pretty good, but we also know it’s a different course and a different day. We’re looking at regionals to go for something similar at regionals.”

The Mt. Blue boys won the KVAC A meet with 74 points while runner-up Hampden checked in with 88. Brunswick won the girls race with 74 points to beat out Mt. Blue (89) and Cony (96).

“Even though it’s the same competition, you have to adapt your workouts, because Belfast is a faster course,” Cullenberg said. “We’ve been doing a lot of training on flat ground. We have to simulate what we’re going to see.”

The Hickey sisters crossed the finish line at KVACs in 21:49.0, and both seek faster times Saturday.

“Personally, I want to break 20 (minutes),” Maggie said, “and get closer to top five.”

Cony senior Anne Guadalupi finished second at the KVAC A meet in 20:09.70 and was eager for regionals last weekend before the postponement.

“The week off was a little tough,” said Guadalupi, who missed a week early in the season with a lower back injury before a sprained ankle sidelined her for a few days later in the fall. “I was feeling pretty good but I’ll be ready for regionals.”

In the South regionals, the Monmouth girls look to continue their strong end-of-season performances. The Mustangs won the Mountain Valley Conference meet with a strong 39 points, placing seven runners in the top 20.

Freshman Kaitlyn Hunt was third in 23:17.10 while Abbie Hunt finished in 23:41.70 to finish sixth.

“Every year our goal is just to qualify for states,” Monmouth coach Tom Menendez said. “We’re looking solid. We came together at the MVC meet. The regionals will be a dog fight because there will be some private schools there, too. Hopefully, we can qualify.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5618

[email protected]

Twitter: @billstewartMTM


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