CUMBERLAND — Boothbay Region sophomore Faith Blethen stood behind the finish line of the Class C South cross country championship girls’ meet Saturday, her race long over, cold rain falling on her bare shoulders.

As each runner finished the race, Blethen offered a welcoming hand and an encouraging word.

“It’s awful conditions for everybody,” she said. “I’m not the only one who went through it. Every runner, start to finish, had to fight through this stuff and they deserve a pat on the back for it.”

After fading back to third in the final half-mile of the 3.1-mile course at Twin Brook Recreation Area, Blethen surged to a three-second victory in 21 minutes, 11 seconds. Alexandra Hammerton of St. Dominic edged Olivia Skillings of Maine Coast Waldorf for runner-up by one-hundredth of a second, in 21:14.41.

“Those two kept me on my toes the whole race,” said Blethen, the defending regional champion. At 2.5 miles, Skillings led with Hammerton second and Blethen thinking about saving herself for next weekend’s state meet.

“But I got that little feeling in my gut,” Blethen said. “Don’t give up now.”

St. Dominic, of Auburn, won the girls’ team competition with 31 points to Waynflete’s 60. Maine Coast Waldorf was third at 73 followed by Traip Academy (108) and Monmouth Academy (127). By two points, North Yarmouth Academy (129) failed to qualify for the state meet because it finished in the bottom half of the nine-school field.

Winthrop senior Jacob Hickey won the boys’ race by more than 42 seconds in 16:40 with Tucker Pierce of Maine Coast Waldorf taking second. Willson Moore of Waynflete nipped Nick Neveu of Maine Coast by a hundredth of a second for third despite a Superman-style dive across the finish line by Neveu.

“He leaves it all out there,” Maine Coast Coach Morgan Adams said of Neveu. “He did one of those foaming-at-the-mouth things (two) years ago so we keep our eye on him. When I can’t find him at the end of a race, I can usually find him in the med tent.”

Dylan Wu was fifth, Calvin Soule 32nd and Davis Ritger 36th to give Maine Coast the regional team title over Waynflete, 70-72. Defending champ Boothbay Region finished third at 80.

“This is their first regional title,” Adams said of the Maine Coast boys. “Two years ago when we won the state meet, we lost to Boothbay by one point at the regionals, so this is really important to them.”


Comments are not available on this story.