CUMBERLAND — After successfully defending her Class B South cross country title, York senior Cary Drake stuck around Twin Brook Recreation Area Saturday afternoon to watch what promised to be the day’s best race.

Sure enough, Portland junior Samantha Moore and Bonny Eagle senior Addy Thibodeau delivered.

“Umm, you guys were flying,” Drake said in slightly astonished tones as Moore and Thibodeau gasped for air after both breaking 19 minutes on a slick and occasionally muddy course whose hills are challenging enough in dry conditions. “How did you do that?”

More than a minute would pass before another Class A runner crossed the finish line. Moore’s time of 18 minutes, 41 seconds was the fastest of the day in any of the three classes. Thibodeau clocked in at 18:47, faster than when she won the state title a year ago over this same course.

Light rain had begun falling by the time the Class A race got underway, which led to Moore taking a spill in the grassy field at the start of the race.

“Right when the gun went off, my foot slipped and I completely face-planted,” Moore said. “So I had to wiggle my way through a bunch of people to catch up to Addy, because she was already way ahead.”


Moore managed to take a slight lead at the mile mark, but Thibodeau surge in the woods and opened a five-second advantage through two miles of the 3.1-mile course. By the Pain Cave, the short but steep hill that leads out of the woods for the final time, Thibodeau was hurting.

“She has really good leg speed, so I tried to get a big gap (in the middle), but it wasn’t big enough,” Thibodeau said. “It’s not easy to run sub-19 on this course, so I’m very proud of both of us for that. I’m glad I had somebody with me to push me the whole race.”

Moore agreed.

“I love it,” she said of competing with Thibodeau. “I get good times, and we’re feeling the same pain, so I feel like I get to share half of it with her.”

Under better conditions, Drake won the morning’s first race, in Class B, by nearly a minute in 19:06 over Morse junior Shealyn Brochu (20:09). In Class C, Maine Coast Waldorf sophomore Soren Stark-Chessa cruised to victory in 19:17 over fellow sophomore Grace Alexander of Waynflete (20:40).

In team competition, four-time defending state champion Bonny Eagle (43) rolled to a 35-point victory over Portland (78) by placing four runners among the top 10. In addition to Thibodeau in second, sophomore Marina Violette was fourth, seniors Allie Hesler and Kallie Warner were eighth and ninth, and sophomore Bailey Shaw came in 20th in a field of 101.


“Our focus all year has been this meet and the state meet,” said Scots Coach Ryan Dyer. “We kind of train through the regular season to get to this point. We’re finally healthy and feeling pretty good about things.”

Other Class A teams who qualified for next Saturday’s state meet in Belfast were Falmouth (80), Marshwood (146), Cheverus (161), Kennebunk (167) and Windham (178).

In Class B, York (73) beat Lincoln Academy (83) by 10 points, with Freeport third (97). Cape Elizabeth (108), Greely (112), Yarmouth (126) and Morse (130) also qualified for states.

“Today’s meet is frankly not very important to us,” said York Coach Fergus Cullen. “All we had to do was qualify.”

Joining Drake in York’s scoring column were classmate Molly Kenealy (eighth) and sophomores Madelyn Hutchins (14th), Karianna Hultstrom (18th) and Madelyn Herman (32nd).

“You didn’t feel the need to run all-out,” Drake said. “We’ll show what we’ve got at states.”


Waynflete (53) handily defended its Class C South title, by 34 points over Maine Coast Waldorf (87). Following Alexander (who also plays soccer for the Flyers) were sophomore Lucy Olson (sixth), freshman Paige Alexander (seventh), junior Skylar Harris (20th) and senior Maeve Mechtenberg (22nd).

“It’s validation for all the hard work that we’ve put in, not only this year but over the last two years,” said Waynflete Coach Steve Withers. “We battled through a whole lot of injuries and a whole lot of adversity this year, more so than we had in previous years. So coming out, running strong (Saturday) and the bonus being the team win overall was huge for us.”

Boothbay/Wiscasset (99). Maranacook (125) and North Yarmouth Academy (132) also qualified for the state meet.

Stark-Chessa, who edged Drake in the recent Western Maine Conference meet, took an early lead and was never challenged for the individual Class C title.

“I think I came out a little strong, but kept on pushing through,” she said. “I’m happy with it.”

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