Bangor’s Daniel McCarthy (274) had the early lead on his way to winning the Class A North regionals on Oct. 23 in Belfast. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal


It may have been a return to normalcy for high school cross country teams in Maine this fall, but the results on the courses were back to pre-pandemic levels for area teams and runners.

One of the standout teams this fall was Mt. Blue, which didn’t compete at all last season. After finishing in fourth place in Class A on Oct. 16 at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships at Cony High School in Augusta, the Mt. Blue girls traveled to Belfast on Oct. 23 and edged Bangor to win the Class A North championship.

The Cougars were led by top runner Emma Charles, who finished third overall behind winner Megan Randall of Bangor and second-place finisher Peyton Bell of Edward Little. Teammates Bridget Reusch (10th), Nora McCourt (11th) and Brynne Robbins (13th) aided Mt. Blue in the win. The Cougars and Rams were deadlocked in a 53-53 tie, which meant counting the time of the sixth runner on each squad for the tiebreaker, giving Mt. Blue a three-point edge for the title.

“I can’t even tell you how proud I am,” Mt. Blue head coach Kelley Cullenberg said after regionals. “Obviously, we just take it a day at a time. You never know what the day is going to be like for other schools, for you. We just keep things positive, now through states and New Englands. My biggest thing, the whole week, the whole season, is just keep a smile on your face.”

Fellow KVAC member Cony also had a strong run in Class B. The Rams won the KVAC B boys title and finished second in KVAC B girls at their home course. The Cony girls would then finish second the following week at the Class B North championships in Belfast.


The Rams were led by senior Grace Kirk, who finished second overall in the KVAC B race and then fifth in the regional final. Fellow senior Bri Harriman had a ninth-place finish at regionals. The Cony boys were led by senior Jacob Pelletier, who had consistent showings in the KVAC B race and regionals, finishing third overall in both races.

“I thought our girls competed really, really tough (at regionals),” Cony head coach Shawn Totman said. “It’s nice to be bringing home a regional plaque for the first time in a while. Even though it’s a runner-up — we’d like it to say champion — but I’m thrilled. And I know our boys by far had their best races of the year.”

Monmouth’s Brosnan Comeau wins the Class C boys individual state cross country title in 16:43.78 Saturday in Belfast. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

In Class C, Monmouth Academy fell just short of making back-to-back sweeps of the Mountain Valley Conference titles. The Mustangs finished second in the boys race, led by overall winner Brosnan Comeau. Monmouth did defend its MVC girls crown, as senior Alexa Allen, who made the transition to cross country from soccer just a year earlier, finished as the top female runner, aided by teammates Allyson Lewis (fifth place), Holly Hunt (sixth) and Mackenzie Grant (10th).

The MVCs would just be the start for Comeau, a junior, and Allen. Both would win their respective races at the Class C South championships. Comeau would go on to win the Class C individual title a week later in Belfast, while Allen finished fifth in the Class C girls race.

The Maranacook girls won the Class C South title, led by junior Lina Nocito-Martinez, who finished third overall, with help from Jenna Badeau (ninth place), Emma Roesner (12th) and Lilly Mushlit (13th).

Statewide, one of the storylines of the season was the rivalry in Class A North between Daniel McCarthy of Bangor and Abbott Valentine of Hampden Academy. The pair battled stride-for-stride throughout the season. Valentine (16:11) beat McCarthy (16:14) by three seconds for the KVAC A title. A week later, McCarthy topped Valentine by eight seconds for the Class A North title, thanks to a strong final kick in the final half-mile. Valentine one-upped McCarthy again at the Class A meet, finishing first overall (15:34.44) while McCarthy was second (15:35.79).

This fall also sealed the breakout of Orono sophomore Ruth White, who swept the major Class C races during the fall and solidified herself as the best female runner in the state. White did, in fact, post the best time of any female runner at the state championships. Her time of 17:31.92 beat the next best time — posted by Thea Crowley of George Stevens (18:21.35) — by nearly 50 seconds.

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