CUMBERLAND — Before traveling to the Class B cross country state meet Saturday, the Yarmouth coaching staff took the team into the school gymnasium, asked the girls to look around and then left them alone for a few minutes.

“We looked around at all the banners and the girls had no cross country banners,” said junior Abby Hamilton. “So that definitely inspired us.”

Next year will require a different motivational technique because Hamilton and her teammates earned a new decoration for the rafters. The Clippers knocked off defending state champion Greely despite the Rangers enjoying a 1-2 finish from Katherine Leggat-Barr and Carolyn Todd.

Joining Yarmouth as team champions were Bonny Eagle in Class A and Orono in Class C.

A year ago, Yarmouth won the regional meet but fell short a week later. This time the Clippers again won the regional and set their sights on making history.

“This whole week we did not talk about winning,” Hamilton said. “It was just about focusing on the effort, and coming out here and working together.”

Hamilton placed sixth, just under 20 minutes for the hilly 5-kilometer course that goes in and out of the woods. Sophomore teammate Anneka Murrin was fourth, senior Grace Cowles 14th, junior Georgia Giese 18th and senior Lucy Alexander 27th to give Yarmouth a 13-point margin over Greely.

York was third, three points behind Greely.

“It’s such an awesome feeling,” Hamilton said. “We’re all so happy. Today was perfect, everything about it.”

Yarmouth won boys’ state titles in 1986 and 1995. Coach Bob Morse said he also pointed out the lack of a banner to that ’86 team.

“Everybody ran well,” Morse said. “It’s not that any one person won. It was a total team effort.”

Leggat-Barr turned in the fastest time of the day regardless of class. Her time of 19 minutes, 11 seconds put her seven seconds ahead of Todd.

“We ran as well as we could have today so we’re happy,” Leggat-Barr said of Greely’s runner-up performance. “It’s great for Yarmouth to have pulled it out.”

In Class A, Bonny Eagle won for the third time in four years, holding off defending champ Scarborough by 18 points. Senior Kialeigh Marston was third and classmate Elisabeth Redwood seventh, but the rest of the Scots’ scorers were freshmen: Ami Beaumier (sixth), Abigail Nelson (21st) and Kayla Raymond (35th).

“They definitely were talking about being nervous,” said Coach Andrea Johnson, who coached the freshmen as sixth and seventh graders in middle school. “But those freshmen, they get excited. They’re full of energy. They’re a blast to work with. And to watch them go from little sixth graders to now in the big leagues is pretty amazing.”

Gorham sophomore Anna Slager won Class A individual honors with a time of 19:42, 10 seconds ahead of Mt. Ararat sophomore Katherine Leckbee, with Marston another second behind in third.

“Last year at the state meet I fell back too far and I couldn’t catch up,” said Slager, a two-time regional champion who slipped to a tie for seventh at the state meet a year ago. “So this year I wanted to make sure I was in a good position to kick at the finish.”

No kick was needed. Slager pulled away at the 2-mile mark and cruised to victory on a sunny morning with light winds and temperatures reaching 50 degrees.

In the Class C race under overcast skies in the afternoon, Orono ran away with its third straight title as juniors Tia Tardy (19:43), Hannah Steelman and Kassidy Dill swept the top three spots. George Stevens Academy was second and Waynflete a distant third.

Maine will send six teams to the New England championships Nov. 14 in Thetford, Vermont. Because Bonny Eagle decided not to attend the New England meet, the six schools will be Orono, Yarmouth, Scarborough, Greely, York and Massabesic, along with any other individuals who placed among the top 25 when the three meets are scored as one.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

[email protected]

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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