Cony’s Loralie Grady makes her way up an incline during the Class B cross country championship race Nov. 4 at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

While no central Maine teams won state cross country championships this fall, several individual runners punctuated the season with standout performances.

Winthrop carried not one, but two of the top runners in Class C this fall. On the boys side, senior Christopher Pottle cruised to Mountain Valley Conference (17:40.50) and Class C South (17:36.34) titles. Despite a strong performance at the Class C championships (16:35.17), Pottle finished second to Kaleb Colson of Sumner (15:48.28).

“Chris has been awesome to coach,” Winthrop head coach Ed Van Tassel said. “He was an okay freshman, a good sophomore. But jeez, the last two years, and then this year, he’s just blossomed. He just goes about his business, runs tons of miles. He does whatever I ask of him in workouts and is usually coming in a little quicker, but makes it look easy. He’s just a blast to coach… He’s just a great leader and a hard worker.”

Pottle’s efforts led Winthrop to an MVC and Class C South boys title.

“It was a fantastic fall season,” Van Tassel said. “The team, first and foremost, was just a ton of fun to be around. We had tons of seniors, but they did a great job of pulling underclassmen (onto the roster) and it was just a blast.”

On the girls side, senior Haley Williams won the MVC title (21:14.40), finished third at the C South meet (20:59.11) and sixth at the Class C championships (19:33.75).


“She (set personal records) a couple times this year and really took the (school) 5K record to a place its never been. She’s a super-hard worker, and only runs one season out of the year… I think she’s running track in the spring, which should set her up well for (college) in the fall.”

Winthrop wasn’t the only Class C team to have standout runners, as Maine Central Institute had a pair of its own in senior Addison Verrill (fourth in Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B, seventh in Northern C) and senior Isaac Keresey (seventh in KVAC B, 12th in Class C).

Winthrop senior Christopher Pottle took second in the Class C cross country championship race Nov. 4 at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Despite low numbers, the Mt. Blue girls team finished fourth at the KVAC A meet. The Cougars were led by junior Nora McCourt, who was fourth (20:41.40). McCourt also finished ninth at the Northern Class A championships (21:07.37).

“We’re really excited, having a small girls team, we’re really excited to have a winning season and having the opportunity to go to the state meet,” Mt. Blue head coach Kelley Cullenberg said. “At times, it seemed questionable with only seven runners, keeping everybody healthy. We came out on top of all of that adversity and the girls ran well… We couldn’t really ask for more on that aspect of things.”

Nora’s brother, Henri McCourt, was one of the top male runners of the fall. A junior, Henri McCourt finished fifth at the KVAC A meet (17:20.60), fourth at Northern A (16:56.69) and 11th at the Class A championships (16:48.73).

“Henri had the opportunity to represent Mt. Blue at New Englands and just continued to gain experience (during the fall) on a level that is so important,” Cullenberg said.


Henri McCourt should have a strong rival moving forward in fellow junior Pierce Coughlin, who was the top male runner throughout the season for Messalonskee. On his home course, Coughlin finished second (17:05.80), fifth at Northern A (17:12.46) and 15th in Class A (16:51.90).

In Class B, Cony had a pair of runners who enjoyed success. Senior Sam Goldey finished fifth in the KVAC B meet (17:52.20) and had a career performance soon after at the Northern Class B meet in Belfast, winning the boys race with a time of 17:31.85.

“When I crossed the finish line, I was so happy, I was crying,” Goldey said after the race. “I came into this seeded fifth, and (I thought) finishing top three would be amazing. I’m just so happy, I can’t even comprehend it. Right off the bat, I was in fourth or fifth (place), coming around by the second mile, I don’t know, I just had this sense of energy… That’s the hardest I ever raced in my life. I was just thinking, going up the hill, I’ve got to (sprint to the finish).”

Cony junior Loralie Grady also had a strong postseason, finishing eighth (21:56.10) at the conference meet and fourth (21:42.51) at the Northern B regional.

In Class B boys, Winslow’s Braden Rioux finished fourth in KVAC B (17:46.10) and fourth in Northern B (17:51.73). On the girls side, Lawrence’s Paige Goodwin finished ninth (22:23.20) in KVAC B and fifth (21:43.15) in Northern B.

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