October 28, 2013

High School Notebook: Sophia Canning on two Storm fronts

From Staff Reports

Waynflete would have won the Western Maine Class C girls’ cross country championship even without her, but the addition of senior Sophia Canning, a four-year soccer player with a background in road racing and a hankering to run in college, turned Saturday’s regional meet into a runaway.

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Kristen Levesque reaches to steal the ball from Marshwood’s Lindsey Poirier during undefeated Scarborough’s 1-0 win in a Western Class A field hockey semifinal Saturday.

Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer

Canning won the 5-kilometer race by 2 seconds over Hannah Austin, a North Yarmouth Academy junior, in 20 minutes, 37 seconds. That time was faster than all but 10 runners in the Class A and B races, and it came in Canning’s second lifetime race over the challenging course at Twin Brook Recreation Area, site of this Saturday’s state meet.

Two weeks earlier, Canning ran in a meet against Falmouth and Greely and won with a time of 20:27, 8 seconds faster than runner-up Madeline Roberts of Falmouth. Greely senior Kirstin Sandreuter, who won Saturday’s Class B race in a best-of-the-day time of 19:02, did not run in the Oct. 13 race because of tissue inflammation in her foot.

“I was not expecting that,” Canning said of her victory Saturday, less than 24 hours after she had two assists in Waynflete’s 5-0 playoff soccer victory over Mt. Abram. The fifth-seeded Flyers travel to No. 4 Wiscasset Tuesday afternoon for a Western Class C quarterfinal.

Should Waynflete advance to the regional semifinals, Canning would play that game on Friday and run in the state cross country meet Saturday.

“Whenever I get down or when I feel like, ‘Omigosh, I’m dying,’ I think of how the athletic director (Russ Burdick) really worked hard to make this possible,” Canning said. “I’ve been given this great opportunity, so I need to at least do well, and succeed.”

Canning’s other inspiration? Yarmouth senior Ben Decker, another soccer player who enjoys road racing and plans to run in college. Decker, who has been nursing a knee injury and hadn’t raced cross country since the Manchester (N.H.) Invitational in late September, returned Saturday and finished fourth in the Class B boys’ race.

“I don’t know him personally,” said Canning, “but my friend’s dad runs with his dad and that’s how I found out you could even do this.”

BRUNSWICK WON the Eastern Class A girls’ cross country title on a tiebreaker – a year after having lost the KVAC championship meet to Mt. Ararat in the same manner.

On Saturday in Belfast, Brunswick and Hampden Academy each finished with a 55-point total from the first five runners. But Brunswick’s sixth and seventh finishers, junior Brooke Escoe and freshman Allie Burns, were 26th and 29th, both in front of Hampden’s sixth runner.

“It can’t get any closer,” said Brunswick Coach Dave DeLois. “I think the kids really wanted it. They stepped it up.”

Burns, in particular, cut a minute and 21 seconds from the time she ran over the same course three weeks earlier at the Festival of Champions.


AFTER HER team went 17-1 in 2012 and didn’t allow a goal until losing the Class A state final 3-0 to Skowhegan, Scarborough Coach Kerry Mariello knew graduating 10 quality seniors would mean a dramatic change to her roster.

That doesn’t mean she expected less.

“Success feeds itself. I guess (it is like) the quote, ‘It becomes a habit,’ ” Mariello said. “The more you feel those feelings of success, the more you want it; the more you want it, the harder you work to achieve it. Those are the things these girls do. It just becomes the habit, something that’s part of the norm,” Mariello said.

(Continued on page 2)

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