Saturday, March 8, 2014
By Greg Reid
Special To The Telegram
CUMBERLAND — Bonny Eagle’s Kialeigh Marston came away a double winner. Shannon Conley of South Portland didn’t make it easy for her. And for Conley, the race was even harder than it looked.
In the closest 1-2 finish of the day, Marston edged Conley by six seconds to win the Class A girls’ cross country championship Saturday at Twin Brook Recreation Area.
Marston ran the course in 19 minutes, 34 seconds to lift Bonny Eagle to a second straight team championship. The Scots edged Massabesic, 82-100. Falmouth (107) was third, followed by Brunswick (127) and Hampden Academy (129).
Conley finished in 19:40, followed by Cheverus’ Kiera Murray (19:49), Bonny Eagle’s Mary Szatkowski (19:54) and Gabrielle Johnson of Massabesic (20:03).
“We try to have the second mile be our fastest mile,” Marston said. “It was really rough today. (Szatkowski and Conley) were running amazing.”
For Conley, it’s amazing she was running at all. At the regionals last week on the same course, she had to drop out after the second mile because of dizziness and tunnel vision. Conley suffered similar symptoms at Twin Brook as a sophomore and finished the race but was very sick afterward. Last week she figured it just wasn’t worth it.
“My main goal (Saturday) was to finish the race,” she said. “This week I had to base my training on how I felt. I had to relax because I never do well when I’m really nervous. My team helped with that because they’re a great group of girls.”
To Conley’s delight, she was not only running but was “neck and neck” with Marston.
“I pulled ahead a little in the pain cave,” Marston said, “but she was there the whole time.”
“(Marston) had that little kick to pass in front of me at the finish,” Conley said. “I’m still happy, though. I had to build up the confidence just to compete and I’m real happy with the results.”
Bonny Eagle had three runners among the top 11 and six in the top 50 to cap a second straight championship.
“Zoe Goodwin was probably our most clutch runner,” Coach Chris Strout said. She was 30th in 21:48. “She was our sixth runner two weeks ago and our fourth today.”
Depth carried Lewiston to a win in the boys’ team competition; the Blue Devils had five runners in the top 17 for 51 points.
Isaiah Harris (17:01) was second behind Mt. Blue’s Josh Horne (16:43). Mohamed Awil placed fourth, Osman Mohamed 13th, Mohamed Mohamed 15th and Farhan Abdillahi 17th.
“We talk about it all the time,” Harris said. “’If we stay together we’ll help each other go faster.”
Colin Tardiff (17:14) placed seventh and Jacob Terry (17:20) was 11th to help Scarborough finish second with 94 points, ahead of Bangor (113), Falmouth (160) and Gorham (165).