The most accomplished cross country runner in central Maine, Waterville senior Nick Dall, is back for more this season.

A two-time Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B champion, Dall finished fifth last fall in the Class B championship with a time of 17:14. Two of the four runners ahead of him have graduated, putting Dall in a prime spot for the Class B crown.

“I’ve had a really good summer of training and I’m excited to mix it up with the top guys in the state,” said Dall. “I’m just working on consistent mileage and not going too hard too early. I definitely think that consistency will pay off for me.”

The challenge for Waterville will be finding enough runners to run along with Dall in order for the Purple Panthers to be able to compete.

“The boys that we have are hard working this season—with some key veterans leading the way for the younger rookies,” said coach Hannah Bard.

Cony also has a formidable runner of its own in senior Caleb Richardson, who was seventh at the KVAC A meet last season and then backed that performance up with a solid eighth-place finish (17:12) at regional meet.

“Our boys, led by Richardson and (junior Myles) Quirion, have already started pushing each other to be the best they can be both on the trails and off. I love the team dynamic that is taking shape,” said Cony coach Shawn Totman.

After 14 seasons, Rosalea Kimball has moved into an assistant coaching role with the Maranacook boys and girls team and Jay Nutting has taken over the program. The boys team is a small group, but hopes to run in a close pack to make an impact, Nutting said. Senior Luke Bartol will be the leading runner this season for Maranacook, coming off a sixth-place finish at the KVAC B championship race.

“I have been very impressed with how close they have been finishing in the initial workouts. Last year, the boys team had some strong finishes and they are all excited to build upon that in 2018,” said Nutting.

Another solid area program, Mt. Blue, is led by Kelley Cullenberg, who enters her 26th season leading the Cougars.

While this is a relatively young team, the Cougars have some talented runners, including senior Jesse Dalton and a host of returning runners. Mt. Blue finished fifth in A North last fall.

“This relatively young team is showing signs of working well together. With some strong teams returning, they will have their work cut out for them,” said Cullenberg.

In his first season as Erskine coach, David Currier further developed two solid runners in seniors William Bourque and Osiris Marable. He expects both of them to swap the two top spots on the team during the season, giving the Eagles some needed depth. Marable finished ninth at the KVAC B meet last year. Along with Bourque, he also placed in the top 25 at regionals.

“This team will be relying on our senior leadership this year. Their early workouts have looked good,” said Currier.

Turnout is not a problem for Hall-Dale. According to coach Jeff Orth, the Bulldogs top runners have been putting in the miles this summer and are hungry to improve upon their fourth-place finish in the Mountain Valley Conference last season. Juniors Adam Bean and Owen Scovil and senior Anthony Romano will lead the pack for the Bulldogs.

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