December 6, 2013

Class B cross country: Cape Elizabeth, MDI remain champs

Dan Curts and Kirstin Sandreuter triumph.

By Greg Reid
Special To The Telegram

CUMBERLAND — Cape Elizabeth’s Liam Simpson heard the footsteps. But give up his position? He was hearing none of that.

Simpson came in 10 seconds behind the individual winner, Dan Curts of Ellsworth (16:09), to help the Capers top Ellsworth 49-61 and take a second straight Class B boys’ title Saturday at Twin Brook Recreation Area.

Cape Elizabeth placed two runners among the top five and five among the top 22 to secure the win. Peter Doane (16:37) finished fifth, Mitch Morris (17:00) eighth, Kyle Kennedy (17:30) 12th and Julian Pelzer (18:04) 22nd. Trevor Ewald (19:15) and Sam Earnshaw crossed two seconds apart to place 54th and 55th in a crowd that saw 10 runners finish in a span of 12 seconds.

Simpson, meanwhile, was in a pack that had Curts, Ellsworth’s Brayden Beardsley (third at 16:26) and Gray-New Gloucester’s Will Shafer (fourth, 16:32).

“On this course, that first mile is one of the worst ones,” Simpson said. “It’s really hilly and we went through in 5:08; that’s really quick for this course. I was just trying to maintain pace. I heard steps behind me the whole way so I didn’t want to slow down at all. I’m glad I was able to do that and finish second.”

Third-place York (128) was followed by Freeport (152) and Gray-New Gloucester (166).

Kirstin Sandreuter of Greely (18:37) finished more than a minute ahead of Aleta Looker of Ellsworth (19:49) to win the girls’ meet.

Sandreuter won the regional title a week ago despite a three-week layoff because of a foot injury. “It felt good all week,” she said, “and it’s even better as I’m getting back in shape.”

Pushing her along was Looker. The two ran together through the first mile, then Sandreuter kicked to a 15-second lead.

“The whole time I wasn’t sure where she was so I wanted to keep going strong,” she said. “I wanted to kind of go through the first mile at about a 6-minute pace. I wanted to run a good first two miles because that last mile with the hills is challenging.”

Looker chased Sandreuter with a positive outlook.

“The whole time I was thinking, ‘Stay with her,’ but once she started to gap me I felt like, ‘OK, this is your race, really just try to do your best,’ ” Looker said, “I didn’t run as well as I wanted but it was such a huge day for Ellsworth cross country. It was a great experience to see what I could do with all this pressure on me.”

Defending team champion Mt. Desert Island placed seven runners in the top 42, including three in the top six, to roll past second-place Freeport 49-90. The Trojans’ Isabel Erickson (20:13) and Waylon Henggeler (20:17) came in third and fourth, enjoying a 29-second lead on fifth-place finisher Brittany Bowman of Camden Hills.

Greely placed third (93 points), followed by Yarmouth (155) and Cape Elizabeth (165).

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