Saturday, December 7, 2013
If the real drama of the high school cross country season comes at the state championship meet next weekend in Belfast, Saturday's regional meets qualify as the dress rehearsals.
CROSS COUNTRY REGIONALS
WHERE: Twin Brook, Cumberland
WHEN: 10 a.m. (A boys), 10:35 (A girls), 12:30 p.m. (B boys), 1:05 (B girls), 2:30 (C boys), 3:05 (C girls).
WHERE: Troy Howard Middle School, Belfast
WHEN: 11 a.m. (A boys), 11:35 (A girls), 12:10 p.m. (B boys), 12:45 (B girls), 1:20 (C boys), 1:55 (C girls)
The Western regionals are scheduled for Twin Brook Recreation Area in Cumberland. The Easterns will be at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast.
"This is where games end and the real show begins," said Greely Coach David Dowling. "If you're on the bubble, you try not to make it the last race of the season."
Greely's boys may be on the bubble in Western Class B, hoping to qualify for the state meet, but Greely's girls are in the middle of what promises to be among the most competitive of the six races.
The Rangers are coming off a victory in the large-school division of the Western Maine Conference meet, but must contend with WMC small-school champ Yarmouth as well as Falmouth, both of whom were missing their top runners last weekend.
"We might have the strongest 1-2 punch," said Dowling, referring to Kirstin Sandreuter and Eva Bates, the WMC champion and runner-up, "but Falmouth has the strongest pack."
The Eastern Regionals begin at 11 a.m., with races every 45 minutes. The Western Regionals begin at 10 a.m. but have gaps of more than an hour between classes to allow parking lots a chance to turn over.
Here's a look at each regional race, in the race order.
BOYS A: Scarborough is the defending Western champ as well as the two-time defending state champ. Bangor, which won last year in Eastern Maine, faces a stiff challenge from Lewiston.
The Red Storm's biggest concern is Massabesic, which beat Scarborough early last month.
GIRLS A: Three-time defending state champ Cheverus is the underdog; Bonny Eagle has risen atop the SMAA. Massabesic also will be in the mix.
In the East, Brunswick will attempt to knock off defending champ Mt. Ararat.
BOYS B: Falmouth looks to repeat its regional and state titles. Cape Elizabeth is close, with York, Fryeburg Academy and Greely not far behind.
In the East, Caribou will have a hard time repeating against an impressive Ellsworth team.
GIRLS B: Defending champ Greely is coming off the WMC title, but Falmouth and Yarmouth were without their top runners. Cape Elizabeth, if completely healthy, could be a factor.
In the East, Mt. Desert Island looks to avenge a one-point loss to Camden Hills a year ago. No other school is close.
BOYS C: Two-time defending state champ North Yarmouth Academy was hurt by graduation but will give Merriconeag and Waynflete a test. Telstar and Boothbay Region are in the mix.
In the East, Bangor Christian and Orono appear the best.
GIRLS C: Merriconeag has won the past two state titles, but Waynflete was four points better in the WMC championships last weekend. Expect another close meet Saturday.
In the East, Washburn is the defending champ, with Orono, Bucksport and George Stevens Academy the likely challengers.
Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: