BELFAST — Abby Hamilton turned 18 on Saturday.

Instead of birthday cake, which the Yarmouth senior said she will postpone enjoying for another few weeks, Hamilton treated herself to the Class B girls’ cross country state championship over possibly the most top-heavy field in Maine history.

Hamilton won the 5-kilometer race at Troy Howard Middle School in 18 minutes, 5.31 seconds.

Tia Tardy of Mt. Desert Island edged Katherine Leggat-Barr of Greely for second place, 11 seconds behind Hamilton. Both Tardy and Leggat-Barr are former state champions.

Carolyn Todd of Greely, Anneka Murrin of Yarmouth and Kathryn Miller of York all finished under 19 minutes amid temperatures in the mid-40s under overcast skies.

“I don’t think we’ve seen a faster girls’ race in Maine cross country,” said longtime Greely coach David Dowling. “That may be the great story, how improved girls’ cross country has become over the years, to have that many people under 19 minutes in one race. That’s hellacious running.”

Greely won the Class B title for the second time in three years. Bonny Eagle made it two straight in Class A and four in five years. In Class C, George Stevens Academy ended Orono’s three-year reign.

The three state champions, plus York, Yarmouth and Falmouth, qualified for next Saturday’s New England meet in Rhode Island. Also qualifying were the 25 individuals with the fastest times regardless of class.

On this course a month ago, Tardy won the Festival of Champions in 18:36. Hamilton didn’t compete because an accident at home the previous night required seven stitches near her left eye.

“My (younger) brother threw a water bottle at me,” Hamilton said. “It’s OK. I forgive him.”

Hamilton covered the first mile in 5:37 and found herself in the lead. She didn’t want the race to come down to a sprint for the finish so she pushed the pace.

“I wasn’t really expecting to lead the whole way,” she said. “But I knew from the beginning that I wanted to make it a fast race because there’s a lot of middle-distance (track) girls and I know that at the end they have really great kicks.”

Greely lost by 13 points to Yarmouth a year ago but this time earned an 11-point victory (71-82) with York another two points back in third. Supporting Leggat-Barr and Todd for the Rangers were Kate Curran in 12th, Chloe Waldrep in 25th and Chloe Smith in 31st.

“As always, it’s about the four and the five (runners),” Dowling said. “Chloe Waldrep was really the surprise of the day. Chloe Smith passed at least 10 people in the last thousand meters.”

The winning margin in Class A was even closer, with Bonny Eagle edging Falmouth, the South regional champion, by six points, 77-83. Massabesic took third at 143 with Brunswick (147) fourth.

Although Falmouth sophomore Malaika Pasch won individual honors in 18:22 by holding off a fast-closing challenge from Louise Holway of Kennebunk by a half-second and Falmouth got its five runners across the line before Bonny Eagle’s fifth, the Scots prevailed because of their tighter pack.

Ami Beaumier led Bonny Eagle in ninth followed by Christine Toy (11th), Kayla Raymond (15th), Abby Nelson (27th) and freshman Emma Abbott (37th).

Abbott cut nearly two minutes from her time last Saturday in the South regional, where she placed 46th.

“I was trying to stay with our fourth runner (Nelson) and that helped me push through,” said Abbott, racing for only the third time after missing nearly a month because of a knee injury. “I just wanted to keep her in sight the whole time.”

Pasch, Holway and the North regional champion, Katherine Leckbee of Mt. Ararat, broke away from the field early in the race. Holway moved up gradually from third to second halfway through the winding course, flatter than the South regional site at Twin Brook in Cumberland but with more abrupt dips and tight corners.

“I knew she was right behind me so I was trying to push as much as I could,” said Pasch, who held off Holway by 13-hundredths of a second last week. “I know that she can really push at the end so I was just trying to hang on.”

In Class C, Orono senior Kassidy Dill won by 14 seconds in 19:29, but Eliza Broughton and Zeya Lorio finished second and third to lead George Stevens Academy to a nine-point victory (52-61) with St. Dominic third at 86.

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