CUMBERLAND – The Falmouth girls’ cross country team had to run through the soupy air and deal with the mud and drenched grounds at Twin Brook Recreation Area like everyone else.
And that was the point.
“They didn’t get rattled by the conditions,” Yachtsmen Coach Jorma Kurry said. “It’s something we’ve been talking about a lot. You can’t control it. You just got to deal with. They did a good job with that.”
Falmouth won the Western Class B championship Saturday with 66 points, ahead of runner-up Yarmouth (93).
In the other girls’ races, Bonny Eagle won Class A and two-time state champion Merriconeag took first in Class C.
Individual victories were recorded by South Portland’s Nyajock Pan (19:52.15) in Class A, Greely’s Kirstin Sandreuter (19:57.60) in Class B, and Boothbay’s Sophia Thayer (21:12.77) in Class C.
The top 50 percent of the teams in each race, as well as the top 30 individuals, qualified for next week’s state championships.
Kurry knows Falmouth has an uphill battle at the state meet against Waterville and Camden Hills, but “we’ll give it our best shot.”
Falmouth’s best on Saturday featured freshman Vishva Nalamalapu (21:41.14) finishing sixth, followed by senior Geneva Waite in seventh.
Alta Farrell finished 14th, and Madeline Roberts, coming back from a foot injury, was 16th. Abby Payson completed the Falmouth scoring, finishing 23rd.
Yarmouth was paced by the 8-9 finish of Caitlin Teare and Sarah Becker. Greely, the Western Maine Conference champ, fell to fifth.
Sandreuter showed her mettle, mastering the elements – “I tried to go in the tracks where it was packed down” — and the field. She won by 34 seconds, ahead of Maranacook’s Caroline Colan.
Bonny Eagle Coach Chris Strout said his team has areas to work on after the Scots won Class A with 58 points, ahead of Massabesic (69) and three-time defending state champion Cheverus (72).
“A mixed bag today,” Strout said. “We had some good performances and some kids looked a little flat. But this isn’t the big meet. We’re really looking forward to states.”
Strout applauded the efforts of Mary Szatkowski (20:09.98), who finished fourth, and No. 3 runner Kristen Glennie’s 10th-place finish.
The Scots were also led by Samantha Cox (sixth), Alexandra Vayda (14th) and Audrey Weyand (24th).
Pan won by nine seconds, ahead of Thornton Academy freshman Katie LeBlanc. Cheverus junior Shannon Conley placed third (20:07.14).
In Class C, Merriconeag showed it has rebounded from an injury that shelved its No. 3 runner at midseason.
“I think a lot of people were thinking this is not going to happen for us. but it made the girls work that much harder,” Merriconeag Coach Morgan Lake-Adams said.
“They knew exactly what they needed to do and they went out there and ran their hearts out. All my girls had great races.”
Samantha Pierce paced Merriconeag with a fourth-place finish, followed by teammates Teagan Wu (seventh), Zoe Chace-Donahue (14th), Emelie Chace-Donahue (31st) and Carlin Tindall (33rd).
Staff writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or: