CUMBERLAND — It seemed appropriate for Halloween weekend, with more than a few spectators in costume at the cross country state championship meet, that Luke Laverdiere would be chasing ghosts.

By leaning and tumbling at the finish line, the Yarmouth senior nearly caught both of them.

Eight years ago, Brunswick’s Will Geoghegan and Scarborough’s Nate Hathaway staged a memorable battle for the Class A title, producing the two fastest times for a state championship at Twin Brook Recreation Area. Geoghegan won in 15 minutes, 43.37 seconds. Hathaway finished in 15:46.09. Only one other runner in three succeeding state meets at Twin Brook broke 16 minutes, Madison’s Matt McClintock (15:52) in 2011.

On a cool Saturday afternoon, with a lead of more than a minute, Laverdiere sprinted down a final grassy slope with an eye on the record.

“I saw the clock and I was like, ‘Oh, man, it’s really close,’ ” Laverdiere said. “So I went for it.”

His time was 15:43.89. He got Hathaway but missed Geoghegan by half a second.

“He’s in a class all by himself,” Yarmouth Coach John Rogers said of Laverdiere. “It’ll be interesting to see what he does at New Englands.”

Runners with the top 25 times, regardless of class, qualified for the New England Meet next month in Belfast. Also qualifying were the three team champions – Falmouth in A, Lincoln Academy in B and Orono in C – as well as three at-large teams, all from Class A: Scarborough, Greely and Deering.

Only in Class A was the team competition particularly close. Scarborough, a distant fourth at the South meet last weekend, surprised many with a second-place showing, 95 points to Falmouth’s 73. Greely was third at 105.

Junior John Auer (seventh) and senior Conner Piers (ninth) led the way for Falmouth with seniors Alex Kinley (14th) and Charlie Henning (18th) and junior Douglas Cooke (29th) completing the scoring.

“You can’t point to one guy,” Falmouth Coach Jorma Kurry said. “It was a total team effort.”

Lisandro Berry-Gaviria of Mt. Ararat was the only Northern runner to win a state title. He finished in 16:31.71 to beat runner-up Wyatt Lord of Hampden by four seconds and Deering senior Yahya Nure by six.

“There’s a lot more hills,” said Berry-Gaviria, a sophomore who had never raced at Twin Brook and only ran it a few times over the summer. “The terrain is very varied, too. At points you’re running on hard-packed gravel and at other times you’re running on grass.”

Lincoln ran away with Class B by packing five runners among the top 21 for a score of 56. Junior Sam Russ, sophomore Jarrett Gulden and senior David Barnum went 4-6-11.

Runner-up Freeport more than doubled Lincoln’s score, edging Yarmouth 114-115.

Orono won comfortably in Class C, 48-77, over Maine Coast Waldorf. Waynflete was third at 130 followed by Maranacook (141), Boothbay Region (150) and George Stevens (175).

Henry Spritz, a Waynflete junior, surged from third to first over the final mile. He passed Brendan Penfold, a senior at Deer Isle-Stonington, in the homestretch to win by seven seconds in 17:01.67.

“I gave up mentally in the second mile,” Spritz said. “I told myself, ‘Just try and beat Sacopee. It’s gone for first.’ And then I got to the end and I heard someone yell, ‘You can get him!’ ”

Troy Hendricks, a Sacopee Valley junior, was third in 17:20.25. Penfold said he realized he went out too fast when he found himself alone in the first mile.

“The third mile was just trying to hold on,” Penfold said. “We sprinted neck and neck for a few seconds then he started to pull ahead and I just broke. Couldn’t keep it up.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

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