Wednesday, December 11, 2013
CUMBERLAND - Massabesic High's No. 5 runner, Remington Gaetjens, gave his all, crossed the finish line and collapsed in the mud.
Ben Allen of Portland leads the pack early in the Western Class A boys’ race. Allen finished seventh in a race won by George Morrison of Massabesic.
Photos by John Ewing/Staff Photographer
Cam Nadeau of Biddeford finishes third among Class A boys, behind Massabesic’s George Morrison and Michael Aboud.
CLASS A: Massabesic
CLASS B: Cape Elizabeth
CLASS C: Hall-Dale
Soon, Mustangs Coach Mark Crepeau was holding Gaetjens, who looked utterly exhausted.
The coach, meanwhile, looked utterly exhilarated.
"You ran your socks off," Crepeau said.
All the Mustangs did. Massabesic pulled off the biggest upset of the Western Maine regionals, toppling two-time defending state champion Scarborough at Twin Brook Recreation Area on Saturday.
Massabesic won the Class A title with 31 points. Scarborough was second with 64.
Cape Elizabeth captured the Class B title with 64 points, to runner-up York's 100.
Hall-Dale won in Class C with 92 points, to Waynflete's 106.
Individual winners were Massabesic's George Morrison (17:29.66), Fryeburg Academy's Silas Eastman (16:47.39) in Class B, and Jack Pierce (16:38.38) of Merriconeag in Class C.
The top 50 percent of the teams in each race, as well as the top 30 individuals, qualified for next week's state championships in Belfast.
The races were run in humid, foggy conditions, with the course becoming muddier and muddier after each runner trampled through.
"So sloppy," Eastman said. "You can't get traction anywhere. I spent the whole second mile zig-zagging across the course, trying to find a dry spot.
"It's fun to run in, but not for times."
Massabesic's fun began with a search early in the race.
"We were told to run with Scarborough for the first mile," Morrison said. "I felt we were getting blocked up. I told Mike (Aboud) we were going to move out and see what we could do.
"I thought we would get passed, but we ran strong the rest of the way."
Aboud finished second, and Cody Vachon (eighth), Andrew Mongiat (ninth) and Gaetjens (11th) soon followed.
While getting ready for the Class B race, Cape Elizabeth Coach Derek Veilleux watched Massabesic's tactics.
"That's the strategy we tried to employ," Veilleux said, "to go out a little harder than we planned to, to stay up in the front because of the course conditions."
Peter Doane and Liam Simpson finished 3-4 for Cape Elizabeth, followed by Will Britton (14th), Kyle Kennedy (19th), and Justin Guerette (27th).
York, paced by Nick Eaton's sixth-place finish, snuck into second, four points ahead of defending state champion Falmouth. The Yachtsmen held out two regular runners so they can heal for the state meet.
"Regionals is all about qualifying for states," Falmouth Coach Jorma Kurry said. "The kids who ran put in a great effort. We'll be back at full strength (next week)."
Eastman, the two-time state champion, finished 23 seconds ahead of Nathan Madeira of Greely.
But the best time of the day belonged to Pierce, who broke away from Josef Holt-Andrews of Telstar with less than a mile to go and won the Class C race by 12 seconds.
"I was very prepared for this race," said Pierce, who is looking to better his fourth-place finish at last year's state meet. "I am 100 percent ready."
Staff writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:
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An exhausted Remington Gaetjens is supported by Coach Mark Crepeau after helping Massabesic win in Class A.