CUMBERLAND — Augusta Stockman and Grace Iltis, teammates on Camden Hills cross country team, were the fastest girls from last weekend’s Northern Maine Regional championships, the only two to break 19 minutes at Belfast.

So when they saw Falmouth freshman Sofie Matson disappearing over the first rise in Saturday’s Class A state meet, they must have been tempted to give chase, right?

“No,” Stockman said with a laugh. “We were like, ‘She’s going to win. Let’s stick with the chase pack.’ ”

Wise choice. Matson blew away the field in seemingly effortless fashion, covering the hilly 5-kilometer course at Twin Brook Recreation Area in 18 minutes, 41.60 seconds to win the individual title. Stockman and Iltis moved up from fifth and sixth positions to take second and third more than half a minute behind Matson and lead the Windjammers to a decisive team victory with 73 points to runner-up Greely’s 107.

Stockman remembers seeing a glimpse of Matson on the course, at a turn in the woods.

“There she goes, floating away,” Stockman said. “She’s very graceful. And she’s only a freshman. She’s got a lot more state titles in her.”

Under sunny skies and temperatures cresting 60 degrees, a total of 291 girls in three classes traversed a challenging course that includes, roughly 600 meters before the finish, a sinister roller-coaster dip-and-climb heralded by a large white sign bearing blood red letters: Welcome To The Pain Cave.

Joining Camden Hills as a team champ was Yarmouth in Class B and Orono in Class C. All three qualified for the New England Meet on Nov. 12 in Belfast, as did Greely, Deering and Gorham, who finished second, fourth and sixth, respectively, in Class A but were the three lowest-scoring non-championship teams when officials merged results from all three meets.

The Class B race produced the only individual champ who didn’t win a regional last weekend. Freeport junior Lily Horne, second to Yarmouth senior Anneka Murrin in B South, went out hard and maintained her lead to win by more than half a minute in 19:10.85.

“Part of me was thinking, ‘I’m going to pay for this, it’s too fast,’ ” Horne said. “I was in pain, I will say that, but mentally, I think I knew I was going to make it when I got to the top of the Pain Cave – there’s a 90-degree turn there – and I could look back and didn’t see anyone.”

Murrin finished fourth, behind Cape Elizabeth’s Lila Gaudrault and runner-up Sophia Laukli, of Yarmouth. Classmate Greta Elder was 20th, a second behind sophomore Sadie Cowles, with junior Abi Thornton securing the Clippers victory in 25th for a total score of 67. York was second at 85 followed by Caribou (104), Cape Elizabeth (123) and Ellsworth (138).

The Class C race provided the day’s closest finish, with Orono edging Maranacook 71-72 and George Stevens Academy holding off Maine Coast Waldorf for third, 79-88. Orono’s Camille Kohtala surged past George Stevens’ Eliza Broughton at the line to eke out second by 0.16 seconds. Otherwise, Maranacook would have won the tiebreaker by virtue of a faster sixth runner.

Maine Coast Waldorf freshman Olivia Reynolds won the race by nine seconds in 20:13.10.

But the fleetest freshman of them all remained Matson, who became only the sixth girl since the odd-year state meets have been held at Twin Brook beginning in 2009 to break 19 minutes.

“I definitely wanted to break 19,” she said. “I feel like I worked a lot harder this week than last week.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

[email protected]

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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