December 4, 2011

Boys' Cross Country: McClintock fueled by his drive for perfection

By Glenn Jordan
Staff Writer

Madison High senior Matt McClintock reached the finish line at the New England cross country championships last month in third place, the first Maine runner, and caught sight of his coach, Brandon Hagopian.

click image to enlarge

Matt McClintock, the Maine Sunday Telegram boys’ runner of the year, was unbeaten this fall against Maine competition and qualified for the Foot Locker nationals.

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Telegram All-State Boys' Cross Country

Chase Brown, Boothbay senior

Runner-up at the Class C regional and state meets, Brown earned all-New England status by placing 13th in 16:16 at the New England championships.

Dan Curts, Ellsworth sophomore

Eastern Maine champion in Class B who placed third in the state. Earned all-New England status by finishing 19th in 16:18.

Chris Dunn, Kennebunk senior

Runner-up in Western Class A who finished third in the state meet with a 16:58 at Twin Brook. Placed 161st in New England meet.

Silas Eastman, Fryeburg Academy junior

Two-time Class B regional and state champion who also won second Western Maine Conference title. Unbeaten in Maine. Tenth in New England meet.

Tim Follo, Falmouth senior

Runner-up in regional and state meet who led Falmouth to an unbeaten season and first Class B state title since 2002. Eleventh in New England meet.

Josef Holt-Andrews, Telstar sophomore

Fourth in Western Class C and third in state. Placed 28th in New England and 39th (and first sophomore) at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional.

Harlow Ladd, Messalonskee senior

Eastern Maine champ and runner-up in Class A by two-hundredths of a second. Earned a measure of revenge at New England meet by outkicking Silas Eastman to finish ninth.

Matt McClintock, Madison senior

Two-time Class C champ who capped an unbeaten season in Maine with the fastest time of all three state meets, 15:52.97. Third in New England. Foot Locker national finalist after sixth-place finish at regional meet.

Nick Morris, Scarborough senior

Tremendous finishing kick and lean resulted in second straight Class A state title, by .02 seconds. Led Scarborough to successful defense of Class A team title.

Benson Worthington, Brunswick senior

Fourth in Class A and one of only 10 schoolboy runners to break 17 minutes at Twin Brook. Runner-up in Eastern Maine who placed 111th in New England.


Coach of the Year

Jorma Kurry and Danny Paul, Falmouth

Kurry and Paul made their eighth year as co-coaches one to remember, guiding the Yachtsmen to their first Class B state title since 2002, when both were assistants to Bob Gilman.

After falling at the New England races in Vermont and Connecticut the two previous Novembers, McClintock came through with a speedy time of 15 minutes, 39 seconds for the 5-kilometer course in Poganset, R.I. Hagopian figured the three-time Class C state champion would be thrilled.

"Coach," McClintock said, "I'm so mad right now."

"You're mad?" Hagopian replied. "You got third!"

"I know," McClintock said. "But I wanted to win."

Hagopian laughed as he recounted the story, shortly before McClintock went on to qualify for the Foot Locker national finals by placing sixth in the Northeast Regional last weekend on New York's Long Island.

"You can't coach that," he said of McClintock's determination. "He's one of those kids who comes along every 20-25 years."

Unbeaten in Maine this fall and the fastest runner from any class at the state championships for the second year in a row, McClintock is our choice as Maine Sunday Telegram runner of the year for boys' cross country.

Academically, McClintock stands atop his class. Philosophically, he adheres to the Steve Prefontaine perspective.

"He didn't want to win unless he knew that he did his best," McClintock said of the fabled runner who died in a car accident at 24. "I tend to not be happy even if I win, if I don't get the time I want."

McClintock won the muddy Festival of Champions by 20 seconds against a field of more than 200. At the state meet, he was the only runner to break 16 minutes. His sister, Allie, a junior at Madison, placed 13th in Class C.

"My dad always liked baseball and my mom never really did any sports," he said, "so they joke and say they have no idea where me and my sister got it from."

After making a verbal commitment to Pennsylvania's Lock Haven University earlier this fall, McClintock reconsidered attending a Division II college after qualifying for the Foot Locker nationals. The challenge of running at the Division I level appeals to him.

"I'm going to keep my options open," he said. "I'm starting to feel like maybe I can go to a bigger level and I'd really rather not have $40,000 in student loans coming out of college." 

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH


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