The first Southwestern Classic has instantly become one of the most interesting races this season, with the prospect of Class A and B teams from southern Maine in the same race.

“It’s a great opportunity to see where we are with the other teams,” Scarborough Coach Jim Harmon said.

But not everyone will be at the Twin Brook course in Cumberland for the race at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Falmouth, which is looking like the best Class B boys’ team in the area, is holding back its top runners because of a crowded race schedule.

The best Class B girls’ team, Cape Elizabeth, won’t be there because it will be at the New Balance Ocean State Invitational in Warwick, R.I.

“This is our fifth year (going to Warwick),” Cape Elizabeth Coach Mary Ann Doss said. “The girls like a change of pace and the chance to run against different competition.”

In the boys’ race, Falmouth will enter a team but without its best four runners.

“We have Belfast (Festival of Champions) next Saturday and then the conference meet (Oct. 7),” Coach Jorma Kurry said. “We felt we had to pick and choose, and not run too hard too many times.”

Falmouth’s No. 1 runner, Tim Follo, said he understands the decision, but still anticipates Saturday.

“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a good race to watch,” he said.

Kurry said the individual boys’ race, highlighted by Jack Terwilliger of Cheverus and Silas Eastman of Fryeburg Academy, “will probably be the most exciting race to watch.”

Nick Morris of Scarborough and Logan Marshall of Gorham are expected to contend.

Scarborough will be the boys’ team favorite. Cheverus will be the girls’ favorite, led by Emily Durgin and Fiona Hendry. Massabesic and York will be competitive.

Individually, Abbey Leonardi of Kennebunk is favored.

NOTICE THE times at the four-team meet on the Narragansett 5K course in Gorham last week? The Cheverus duo of Terwilliger and Durgin won in times of 16:19 and 18:10. Pretty fast for that course but it wasn’t the same Narragansett course. Because of severe damage to the woods in the area, caused by a tornado in July, the course stayed mainly on the clear flatlands.

“It is our hope that next year’s course will get back into the woods,” Gorham boys’ coach Jason Tanguay said.

 

MT. ARARAT features one of the top girls’ teams in the state, but has been contending with flu-like systems. “It seems that a couple go down every day,” Coach Diane Fournier said. “High fevers and sore throats. It’s hit all the teams on campus.”

In the Eagles’ five-team home meet last week, top runners Kate Spies and Emma Wood were in sick bay, not at the starting line. Mt. Ararat finished second to Brunswick.

Those two teams will run again Thursday, with Morse, Lawrence and Mt. Blue, at Crystal Spring Farm in Brunswick.

 

MADDIE WOODS of Cheverus didn’t run prior to the start of cross country practice but arrived in shape.

Woods hiked the final 200 miles of the Appalachian Trail as a member of an eight-girl group from Wyonegonic Camp For Girls in the Western Maine town of Denmark.

“Challenging,” Woods said, “but it was worth it.”

The group covered 5 miles the first day, but worked up to 15- and 16-mile days. Taking on the trail and challenges like Avery Peak and West Peak – with a full pack – Wood knew she was getting stronger.

“It definitely gets your legs in shape,” said Woods, who felt like she could fly once she resumed running without the pack.

 

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: [email protected]