The state cross country championships take place Saturday at the Twin Brooks Recreation Course in Cumberland, and while area teams may not be among the favorites for titles, several individual runners will be looking for big outings.

Both the Class B boys and girls races will keep central Maine race fans intrigued. Lawrence’s Josiah Webber took home the Class B North title last week in Belfast, finishing with a time of 17:06.36, about eight seconds faster than second-place finisher Dylan Fowler of Hermon.

“I didn’t really know what the field was going to look like,” Webber said after the race. “After (the first mile) I knew I had to pick it up if I wanted to get a good time. So I took the lead about 1,000 meters in, I held it from there and it was a really fun race.”

To win the state title, Webber will have to best Cape Elizabeth’s Jack Bassett, who captured the Class B South title last weekend in Cumberland with a time of 16:39.77.

Winslow’s Olivia Tiner walked away from the Class B North girls championship last week in Belfast with a second place finish with a time of 20:19.18. Tiner has had a strong postseason for the Black Raiders. She captured the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B title on Oct. 19 at Cony High School in Augusta.

“I just thought ‘KVACs were a surprise, let’s see what regionals is now,’” Tiner said after regionals. “(I thought) ‘I know that I can do it, I can do it, let’s go for it.’ I just pushed myself.”

Her time was 12 seconds behind Presque Isle freshman Anna Jandreau, who came close to breaking the 20-minute mark, finishing at 20:07.93. The pair will have to beat a trio from the south — Cape Elizabeth’s Lila Gaudrault and Charlotte Degeorge, along with Greely’s Marin Provencher — all of whom finished under 20 minutes in the B South regional last week in Cumberland.

There will be two runners to watch in the Class A girls race — both from Mt. Blue — in Kahryn Cullenberg and Emma Charles. The pair finished fifth and sixth, respectively, during the Class A North race in Belfast, Cullenberg finishing at 19:54.83 and Charles at 19:57.37. But they will have a hard hill to climb, as they will share the course with the state’s top female runner, Falmouth’s Sofie Matson. A junior, Matson easily won the Class A South title last weekend in Cumberland with a time of 17:51.74., which broke the Twin Brooks course record of 18:05.59. The eight-year old record was previously held by Kennebunk’s Abbey Leonardi, who went on to run for the University of Oregon.

An injury to top runner Molly McGrail, which will keep her out for the rest of the postseason, may have hurt Maranacook’s chances for a team title in the Class C girls race, but the Black Bears still have some runners who will compete for top times. Junior Sophie O’Clair finished third in the Class C South race with a time of 21:23.10 last week in Cumberland. Winthrop’s Jillian Schmelzer will also be in the mix. Schmelzer finished sixth (22:12.90) at regionals last weekend. Olivia Reynolds of Maine Coast Waldorf, who won the C South title with a time of 20:05.80, is the favorite for the title.

Winthrop freshman James Cognata will be the runner to watch in the Class C boys race. He finished fifth at regionals (17:53.33) and will have to top the Class C North champion in Orono’s Kyle McClellan, who finished at 17:13.85, for the state title last weekend in Belfast.


Staff writer Drew Bonifant contributed to this story.


Dave Dyer — 621-5640

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Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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