Scarborough boys’ cross country coach Jim Harmon hopes his runners leave the Western Regional meet Saturday with more than hardware.

He’s hoping they leave something in the tank for the Oct. 29 state meet, also scheduled for Twin Brook in Cumberland.

“We’d just like to do well without having to dig deep and give it 100 percent,” said Harmon, whose team has won five of the past seven Class A state titles. “Maybe back it up a little bit so the kids feel fresh for the state meet.”

Easier said than done, of course, particularly because the SMAA treats regionals as its de facto conference meet. The first seven runners win all-conference honors and the next seven are named to the second team.

“So the kids don’t want to go too easy,” Harmon said.

In order to alleviate parking at Twin Brook, organizers tweaked the Western meet so that Class C will run between A (morning) and B (afternoon). The Eastern regionals and the state meet will both be run C-A-B.

Don’t expect the Scarborough express to slow anytime soon. The Red Storm captured five of the top 10 places in Monday’s SMAA junior varsity meet at South Portland. Windham won the girls’ meet.

First-year Cape Elizabeth girls’ coach Eliza Eshelman left the Western Maine Conference title meet with a dilemma, courtesy of senior Noelle Webster.

After finishing eighth on her team the previous week, and placing as low as ninth this fall, Webster ran the race of her season Saturday on the campus of St. Joseph’s College. She placed 12th overall and third on her team, making Eshelman’s selection of the seven runners who compete at Twin Brook a little more prickly.

“It is far from a dilemma to have eight worthy runners to compete at regionals,” Eshelman wrote in an email. “We will see how this week goes in terms of training and make decisions based on that.”

Webster’s performance helped the Capers defend their WMC title. Last year, coaches broke out the results into two divisions, one for the larger schools and one for the smaller schools. So the Falmouth and NYA boys and Yarmouth girls were also crowned conference champions.

 

TALK ABOUT a crazy weekend. First, during the city championship meet at Baxter Woods hosted by McAuley, Fiona Hendry of Cheverus took a wrong turn with a 70-meter lead, then teammates Emily Durgin and Shannon Conley held hands as they crossed the finish line.

Shades of the Massabesic girls losing their 2007 Class A title on the same technicality, Durgin and Conley were disqualified.

Even so, the Cheverus girls have such depth that sophomore Kiera Murray crossed the line third but wound up the individual winner, Hendry regained her bearings to take second and seniors Maddie Woods, Lizzie Gwilym and Greta Neidermeyer placed among the top 10 to give Cheverus a comfortable victory over South Portland, McAuley, Portland and Deering.

Then at the WMC finals, delayed a day and moved from Falmouth to Standish, there were two re-starts. The varsity boys were called back after two runners fell in the first 20 meters.

“That was the first one of those I’ve ever been in, so it was quite an experience,” said Fryeburg Academy junior Silas Eastman, who beat Falmouth’s Tim Follo by half a second to defend his title. “The first one I took out a lot faster, the second one, I didn’t have as much in me.”

A while later, leaders of the junior varsity boys’ race stopped after taking a wrong path and leading a pack of 112 into a parking lot behind some dormitories.

“No officials were around, so the lead runners took the initiative and commanded everyone to return to the line for a fresh start,” wrote York Coach Ted Hutch. “I’ve never seen anything like that.”

The Eastern Class A regional in Belfast will be Round Six in the season-long rivalry between the girls of Brunswick and Mt. Ararat. Last weekend, Brunswick won the KVAC title 42-43 over Mt. Ararat, which had won three of their previous four meetings. “It is always interesting between Brunswick and Mt. Ararat,” wrote Eagles Coach Diane Fournier, who is also aware that Mt. Blue will be in the mix.

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:
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