BELFAST — Christopher Pottle had a cramp in his foot and pain in his side. But he wasn’t going to let the ailments stop him.

“(The thought) is to just push through it,” the Winthrop High School senior said. “Stay strong mentally, let my legs do the running and my heart do the pushing.”

With a maximum effort, Pottle finished second in the Class C boys state championship cross country race on Saturday at Troy Howard Middle school. Pottle finished in 16:35.17. Sumner’s Kaleb Colson (15:48.28) won the race, leading Sumner (59 points) to the Class C team title over Orono (90 points).

All classes raced in Belfast on Saturday. Ruth White nearly broke her own course record (16:57.95) — the mark is 16:56.92 — on the way to an easy victory for the Class C girls title. White was followed by Houlton’s Teanne Ewings (17:22.95) and Maine Coast Waldorf’s Soren Stark-Chessa (18:23.56). White’s mark helped lead the Red Riots (45 points) to the girls championship over Waynflete (75 points).

York’s Cary Drake (18:08.47) won the Class B girls title, while Lake Region’s Sam Laverdiere (15:52.36) won the Class B boys crown. Freeport (55 points) won the Class B boys title, while York (57 points) was the champion for Class B girls. In Class A, Portland’s Samantha Moore (18:30.73) held off Bonny Eagle’s Addy Thibodeau (18:40.73) for the girls title, while Noble’s Maddox Jordan (15:42.61) won the boys championship, followed by Portland’s Nathan Blades (15:51.59). Bonny Eagle (62 points) edged Camden Hills (67) for the Class A girls title, while Portland (68 points) held off Scarborough (78) for the A boys crown.

Pottle began to have issues with his foot before the race and had a different strategy than usual on the course.


“I’m a little tired, I went out too fast,” Pottle said. “It was rough, but fun. I was hoping to have more people to pace off of, to not have to dial it back too much.”

Winthrop senior Christopher Pottle took second in the Class C cross country championship race Saturday at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Pottle’s effort was just one of several standouts from central Maine runners on Saturday. Teammate Haley Williams (19:33.75) had a top-10 finish, placing sixth in the Class C girls race.

“I really ran as hard as I could today and I left it all out there, it’s my last race with my team,” said Williams, a senior. “My goal was 19:30… That was kind of my goal for today. It’s very hard for me (to be done), because I love cross country so much.”

Morse junior Shealyn Brochu, who had never run cross country until this season, finished third (19:25.16) in the Class B girls race.

“I’m doing (cross country) as a combined sport with soccer, so it’s definitely hard to get into cross country (shape) this year,” Brochu said. “I was definitely pushing myself for top three. I kind of knew Carey Drake would be up (at the top) a lot, and I just wanted to stay ahead of the chase pack a little bit and then push myself in the last mile.”

Freeport sophomore Alex Gilbert (16:17.19) edged teammate Will Spaulding (16:19.60) for third place in the Class B boys race, though both proved instrumental in the Falcons winning the team championship.


“It’s so cool being one of the best one-two punches in the state,” Gilbert said. “Me and Will worked hard this season, and (the finish) is pretty nice.”

In Class A, Brunswick senior Maeve Woodruff (19:30.06) finished just ahead of Kennebunk’s Hannah Keene (19:30.85) to finish third in the girls race.

“It was really cool to run with a really good pack of runners,” Woodruff said. “I feel really good about my race. My goal was to stick with the lead pack, that was kind of where I was. I usually run with Jenna VanRyn from Camden, so I was with her for a lot of the race and that pack really just pulled me along. Then, in the final 800 (meters), I just tried to kick it.”

Mt. Blue junior Henri McCourt (16:48.73) finished 11th in the Class A boys race, qualifying for the New England championships next weekend.

“It was a strong race, but not my best,” McCourt said. “I was just not super on top of my game. A race this deep, if you’re a little off your game, it really hurts you, makes a big difference. But it was still a fun race.”

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