SOUTH BERWICK — When on the water, she prefers to canoe slowly. But in her spikes on a cross country course, Maddy Doyle goes fast.

Doyle, a Marshwood High senior, finished sixth in the Class A state girls’ cross country meet last year and is one of the favorites this season.

At the Festival of Champions two weeks ago – on the same Belfast course that the state meet is held – Doyle finished third overall on the 5K course (19:04.70), and was the first Class A runner.

Next week she’ll run in the West regional at the Twin Brooks Recreation Area in Cumberland to qualify for the Nov. 1 state meet in Belfast.

Q: You’re visiting colleges right now. Are you hoping to continue running and if so, are you being recruited?

A: I’ll probably run Division III. It’s been a mixture of them contacting me and me contacting them.

Q: What schools are you interested in?

A: Brandeis, Bowdoin, Colby, Bates and Muhlenberg (in Allentown, Pennsylvania), among others.

Q: What do you want to study?

A: Probably something to do with neuropsychology … I know people who struggled with mental illness and I want to make a difference.

Q: How did you get started running?

A: My (older) brother (Seamus) made me do it when I was in sixth grade.

Q: So he ran cross country and talked you into it?

A: It was more like forcing me (laugh).

Q: How did it go?

A: I wasn’t very good but I liked it a lot … I like how when you start running, it’s your decisions and your mental state that helps you in the race. You don’t have to rely on anyone. You go out there and do what you need to do.

Q: Were you happy with your race in the Festival of Champions?

A: Yeah. I think it was a pretty good statement race … I liked how I used the pack to stay up there. I was in a good mindset for that race.

Q: Are you now the favorite for the Class A state championship?

A: Probably not. There are a lot of talented girls. I just don’t think they were having the best day (at Belfast).

Q: Who is your top competition?

A: Tessa Cassidy (of Brunswick) and Kialeigh Marston (of Bonny Eagle) if she’s healthy.

Q: What do you like to do with your family (Seamus, and parents Bob and Eve)?

A: We like to go hiking. We have a lot of land around our house … We have a pond nearby that we like to (canoe and kayak) on. We go up to (East Grand Lake) for a week in the summer. And we fish.

Q: What do you like better, kayaking or canoeing?

A: Definitely canoeing. Kayaking is faster. Canoeing you can slow down, just float around.

Q: And you fly fish?

A: Yes but I’m not very good.

Q: Do you tie your own flies?

A: Sometimes when we run out of them. … They look good but then they unravel.

Q: What was your best day fishing?

A: When I was little, we were just fishing off the dock (at East Grand Lake) and catching hundreds of white perch. Then I caught a two-foot long bass. No one expected that, including me.

Q: Are you big into fishing?

A: My brother and my dad go out a lot. I’m not quite at that level. I’m usually busy running. I’ll fish when we’re on vacation.

Q: Back to cross country. What is the biggest challenge at the Twin Brooks course?

A: Definitely the pain cave (a steep hill before the final stretch). I’d like to say it’s not that bad but when you hit it in the race, it’s bad.

Q: What about the Belfast course?

A: The part before the end, there are tiny hills. You go up and down, up and down. It definitely hits you.