CUMBERLAND – It didn’t go quite as expected Saturday at the Southwestern Classic cross country race at Twin Brook Recreation Area.

Silas Eastman of Fryeburg Academy expected competition from Jack Terwilliger of Cheverus, and Kennebunk standout Abbey Leonardi tried to reassure a nervous freshman that all her training had prepared her for Saturday.

But Eastman had no equal on the course when Terwilliger didn’t compete, and the race was anything but easy in the 80-degree heat and high humidity.

Leonardi’s freshman teammate will probably “not listen to me again,” Leonardi joked. “Normally I love the course, but the heat made it really tough.”

Eastman won the boys’ race in an unofficial time of 16:42, while Leonardi won the girls’ race (18:40), followed by her usual pursuers, Cheverus teammates Emily Durgin and Fiona Hendry.

Complete results and team scores were not available after the meet because of a power failure. Coaches and runners left Twin Brook without knowing what teams won.

Cheverus appeared the likely winner in the girls’ race, though Massabesic made a strong push. Scarborough and Gorham were in contention for the boys’ title.

In the boys’ race, Eastman cruised. Waynflete’s Abshir Horor, a junior, finished second despite this being only his second cross country race.

A surprise?

“Not to me,” Waynflete Coach Brian Gillespie said. He watched Horor run as a sprinter on the track team and talked him into longer distances. “His first mile time trial, he ran 4:45. I said, “Abshir, this is your future.’ “

With Eastman far ahead, Horor ran in the pack racing for second, breaking away with about 500 yards left.

Eastman, only a sophomore and the state Class B runner-up last year, said he feels strong this year, and healthier.

“It’s been a good season so far,” Eastman said. He broke free early Saturday and never looked back. “I was expecting Jack to be there so I would have someone to run with.”

Terwilliger is out with strained hamstring muscles, an unfortunately familiar injury for him. He expects to be back soon.

The meet brought together teams throughout southern Maine, regardless of class, for the first time.

“I knew coming in it would be good competitive practice for the regionals,” Gorham Coach Jason Tanguay. “That’s how we approached it. For all of our guys, we can look at (runners from) other schools and target them.”

Likewise, Scarborough Coach Jim Harmon got a good peek at the Rams.

“Gorham looked really strong,” said Harmon, whose team is fighting off various ailments and injuries. “We didn’t run as well as we would have liked. It was a good learning experience for us.”

The experience was not so pleasant for those runners battling the elements. According to Cumberland Fire Chief Don Small, the EMS staffs of Cumberland, Yarmouth, Falmouth and Portland handled 20 patients because of heat and humidity. Small said about half of those required medical care at Maine Medical Center or Mercy Hospital.

Staff writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]