BELFAST — York County had plenty to cheer about Saturday at the state cross country championships as the Massabesic Mustangs boys won the team title and Biddeford’s Cam Nadeau ran to an individual championship at Troy Howard Middle School.

The Massabesic girls team finished second.

“It just seemed to be our year. I guess it was Massabesic’s time. These guys came together and they had a purpose that they have had for a couple years. As they have matured, they have improved so much,” said Massabesic coach Mark Crepeau.

Nadeau shines brightest individually

To say Cam Nadeau is fast is an understatement. He is fast over vast distances as well. On Saturday only the rest of the field could watch as Nadeau finished first for the right to call himself the best runner in the state.

“The first mile I think I was around 5:05. It’s what I wanted to do, was get out faster because last week I think the pace was around 5:20 and I settled into that pace and it hurt me. In the second mile, one of the kids from Lewiston was ahead of me so I decided to go for it and I ended up passing him,” said Nadeau.

Nadeau finished with a time of 16:36.40, besting second-place finisher Robby Hall (16:39.88) from Scarborough. He raced with the pack the entire race and made a move around the two-mile mark that put him into position for the title. He never dropped out of the top four.

“With 600 left to go, I had a cramp in my stomach and I ended up pushing through it,” Nadeau said. “Everyone was yelling ”˜Robbie Hall is right behind you’ so that made me go faster down the stretch. I started running my sophomore year, but I never thought I would finish first at a state meet. I’m really pumped and excited.”

Massabesic Runs as a team

and wins as a team

Some would say Massabesic’s win at regionals this season was an upset over Scarborough. But the Mustangs proved at the state meet there is no such thing as an upset when you’re the best.

The Mustangs, galloping in a pack, placed all five qualifying runners ”“ George Morrison (9), Michael Aboud (11), Remington Gaejens (18), Cody Vachon (26) and Andrew Mongiat (28) ”“ in the top 30.

“Massabesic has never had a state champion and now we do,” said Crepeau. “This group of guys has been so tight this year. Every race they have run in has pretty much looked the same. Their times have improved, and every single meet they’re getting better and better. What you saw today is what they do, run in a giant clump and hang together as long as they can.”

Lewiston challenged Massabesic for the title with its top three runners placing 5-7, and its fourth running finishing 15th. But Mongiat, Massabesic’s fifth runner, finished 41 places ahead of Lewiston’s fifth runner with a time of 17:32.08.

“We had a large (challenge) on our plate. Lewiston has an unbelievable team. Those top three, four runners they have are just unbelievable. They’re really strong,” said Crepeau.

Boys who individually qualified for the New England Championships were Biddeford’s Cam Nadeau, and Massabesic’s George Morrison and Michael Aboud. The Mustang boys will compete as a team n the championship.

Mustang girls race to second by virtue of a tie Breaker

The Massabesic girls had a tough field to compete against at the states, and they accepted the challenge. They finished second, just beating out Cheverus in a tie breaker with regional final winner Bonny Eagle coming in first. The Mustangs qualified their top six runners in the top 40 with Marie Harrington being the all important sixth qualifier to win the tiebreaker.

“Jocelyn (Acheson) ran awesome today for the third spot. Gabby (Johnson), who has been struggling with an iron deficiency since the second week of the season, what a race she had today. She had been down for a couple weeks, sometimes not even finishing races, but she is back,” said Crepeau.

The top five were Jocelyn Acheson (3), Gabrielle Johnson (10) Emily Wasina (22), Angel Waters (23) and Maquila Dimasrantonio. To break the tie, teams used their sixth runner. Luckily for Massabesic, its sixth runner was Marie Harrington (40) who ran with Dimasrantonio the entire race. She finished 33 places higher than Cheverus’ sixth qualifier, Greta Niedermeyer (78).

Acheson said she was happy for her team and pleased with the way she ran.

“Around the one mile-mark I think I was behind the front pack,” said Acheson. “I decided not to go out too fast. I started slower and around the one-mile mark I decided to pick it up a little, picking off people one-by-one.”

Shoes or not, Charlotte Pierce was determined

Thornton had two strong finishers as it had two top 15 finishers in Charlotte Pierce (8) and Katie LeBlanc (12).

Pierce ran most of the race missing an important piece of equipment, her shoe.

“My shoe got swallowed up right in the beginning,” said Pierce. “It distracted me, but I knew I wanted to finish well for our team, so I made the best out of the situation.”

She never gave up and tried to follow the front as closely as possible.

“I started around 100 in my positioning. I just moved to the side and sprinted to the front because I knew I wanted to be somewhere as close to the front as possible. I took the lead around the half-mile mark, but I think I used up most of my energy trying to get to the front,” said Pierce.

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