CUMBERLAND — The Maranacook girls cross country team came painstakingly close to winning the Class C state title Saturday, losing by a mere point to Orono.

In the day’s closest finish at the hilly 5-kilometer course at Twin Brook Recreation Area, Orono edged Maranacook 71-72 and George Stevens Academy held off Maine Coast Waldorf for third, 79-88.

Orono junior Camille Kohtala surged past George Stevens senior Eliza Broughton at the line to eke out second place by 0.16 seconds. Otherwise, Maranacook would have won the tiebreaker by virtue of a faster sixth runner.

“I barely got across in front of her,” Kohtala said. “I was about to give it up … but I’m very glad I went for it.”

Maine Coast Waldorf freshman Olivia Reynolds won the race by nine seconds in 20:13.10. After winning only once in the regular season, Reynolds swept regional and state titles.

Molly McGrail was Maranacook’s fastest runner, finishing 16th (20:42.89). Teammates Sophie O’Clair in 11th (21:03.46) , Laura Parent (12th, 21:07.96) and Maddie Taylor (19th, 21:49.92) were also in the top 20.


Augusta Stockman and Grace Iltis, cross-country teammates at Camden Hills, were the fastest girls from last weekend’s Northern Maine Regional championships, the only two to break 19 minutes at Belfast.

So when they saw Falmouth freshman Sofie Matson disappearing over the first rise in the Class A state meet, they must have been tempted to give chase, right?

“No,” Stockman said with a laugh. “We were like, ‘She’s going to win. Let’s stick with the chase pack.’ ”

Wise choice. Matson blew away the field in seemingly effortless fashion, covering the hilly course in 18:41.60 to win the individual title. Stockman and Iltis moved up from fifth and sixth positions to take second and third more than half a minute behind Matson and lead the Windjammers to a decisive team victory with 73 points to runner-up Greely’s 107.

Stockman remembers seeing a glimpse of Matson on the course, at a turn in the woods.

“There she goes, floating away,” Stockman said. “She’s very graceful. And she’s only a freshman. She’s got a lot more state titles in her.”

Under sunny skies and temperatures cresting 60 degrees, a total of 291 girls in three classes traversed a challenging course that includes, roughly 600 meters before the finish, a sinister roller-coaster dip-and-climb heralded by a large white sign bearing blood red letters: Welcome To The Pain Cave.


Joining Camden Hills as a team champion was Yarmouth in Class B.

This race produced the only individual champ who didn’t win a regional last weekend. Freeport junior Lily Horne, second to Yarmouth senior Anneka Murrin in B South, went out hard and maintained her lead to win by more than half a minute in 19:10.85.

“Part of me was thinking, ‘I’m going to pay for this, it’s too fast,’ ” Horne said. “I was in pain, I will say that, but mentally, I think I knew I was going to make it when I got to the top of the Pain Cave — there’s a 90-degree turn there — and I could look back and didn’t see anyone.”

Murrin wound up fourth, behind Cape Elizabeth freshman Lila Gaudrault and runner-up Sophia Laukli, another Yarmouth senior. Classmate Greta Elder, who ran despite a migraine headache, was 20th, a second behind sophomore Sadie Cowles, with junior Abi Thornton securing the Clippers victory in 25th for a total score of 67. York was second at 85 followed by Caribou (104), Cape Elizabeth (123) and Ellsworth (138).

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