Winslow’s Olivia Tiner wasted little time becoming one of the top runners as a freshman in central Maine after winning Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B and B North championships by a full minute over the second-place finisher. She then finished 10th overall in Class B.

“Last year, I was a little nervous but this year I have baseline times and am working to cut down those times,” she said. “It just feels right when I’m running and it is what I’m supposed to be doing.”

After a fourth-place finish in KVAC B last season, first-year Winslow coach Nick Shuckrow is optimistic about another strong fall. “The girls team is putting in the hard work looking to improve upon last year. We have some new freshmen joining the team that are looking to make a big difference.”

Maranacook junior Molly McGrail finished second in the KVAC B and C South meets last season and led the Black Bears to several titles. Maranacook won KVAC B and C South crowns, and fell to Orono by a point in the state meet.

“I have been very impressed with how close they have been finishing in the initial workouts,” said Maranacook first-year coach Jay Nutting.

Entering his 14th season, Cony coach Shawn Totman is optimistic heading into the season. Tessa Jorgensen finished 15th overall in Class A North as a freshman last season and returns as one of the team’s top runners.

Seniors Zina Gregor and Ally Waller will be counted on to turn in strong performances, as well.

“This could be another excellent season for our girls if we stay injury free. That is the unknown factor. We don’t have as much depth as we have had in the past few years so it will be vital to stay as healthy as possible for our girls to be successful,” said Totman.

At Messalonskee, third-year coach Vanessa Holman looks to develop the Eagles into an even stronger team. Sophomore Charlotte Wentworth turned in a solid 12th-place finish at the KVAC A meet and senior Peyton Arbour finished 26th in the A North race.

“We have a lot of young athletes joining our team this year. I think Peyton and (senior) Ariana Veillieux will be strong leaders for us and be a great example for the incoming freshmen,” said Holman.

After a surprise runner-up finish at the Mountain Valley Conference meet last year, Winthrop is looking to take the next step. The Ramblers will be led by junior Maya Deming, who finished second in the MVC meet last fall and then took 18th overall in the C South race.

Numbers are down this year at Monmouth and the graduation of four of the team’s top seven runners poked a large hole in the roster, coach Tom Menendez said. Still, the 18-year head coach said the team has great potential. Juniors Amber Currie and Kaitlyn Hunt will lead Monmouth this fall.

“Both the boys and girls teams have their work cut out for them this season. With the graduation losses and low numbers everyone needs to step it up,” Menendez said.

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