City cross country teams certainly made their mark at the regional championships held Saturday at Twin Brook Recreation Center in Cumberland.

Portland’s Nathan Blades closes in on victory in the Class A South boys’ race. John Jensenius / For The Forecaster

Portland’s boys won the Class A South title for the second consecutive season, tallying 73 points, 23 better than runner-up Scarborough. The Bulldogs, who qualified for the second straight year, were led by individual champion Nathan Blades, who finished the five-kilometer course in 16 minutes, 37.41 seconds.

Blades made his move in the second mile and looked smooth throughout the race. He opted for running sneakers instead of spikes, a decision that saved wear and tear while on the rock-strewn paths in the woods but led him to take a spill on the grass during the course’s final sharp turn.

“I just stepped wrong and went sideways, but I was able to bounce back up,” Blades said. “I knew I had a decent lead, but it sort of jumpstarted my system: Omigosh, go-go-go!”

Also scoring for Portland were Ben Prestes (sixth, 17:36.08), Jason Hargesheimer (16th, 18:15.06), Daniel Niles (23rd, 18:30.41) and Aran Johnson (27th, 18:30.87).

“We had sickness (flu and colds) go through our entire team, so we were just happy to get through and race as hard as we could,” said Portland coach Kevin Woodhouse. “We’re lucky to have 10 really strong guys.”


The Bulldogs now look to win their first Class A state title since 1978.

Deering had 240 points, finished seventh and qualified for states for the third straight season. The Rams were led by Sam Anderson (19th, 18:24.24). Also scoring were Asa Tussing (38th, 18:55.45), Max Stratton (46th, 19:07.42), Ellis Wood (55th, 19:19.56) and Dany McLaughlin (82nd, 20:34.67).

Cheverus tallied 267 points and came in 10th, but only nine teams made the cut and qualified for states. The Stags, who last made it to states in 2014, were led by Danny McCarthy (29th, 18:35.7). Also scoring were Ambrose McCullough (41st, 19:03.56), Griffin Vivian (56th, 19:20.38), Cash Kellen (67th, 19:52.66) and Arman Gurcan (74th, 20:03.76).

In Class A girls’ action, Bonny Eagle took the top spot with 20 points. Portland (92) came in fourth and qualified for states for a third straight season. The Bulldogs featured two top-10 runners, Samantha Moore (the runner-up, 19:44.56) and Ava Chadbourne (eighth, 20:52.82). Also scoring were Maia Endicott (16th, 21:47.76), Ella Vinkemulder (32nd, 22:48.19) and Greta Holmes (34th, 23:00.05).

Cheverus (224 points) was the seventh and final team to make the cut from the region. The Stags, who have reached states in every season since 2016, were led by Annabelle Brooks, who came in sixth (20:39.91). Also scoring were Delaney Whitmarsh (44th, 23:42.58), Grace Beeler (51st, 23:58.05), Roxie Van Oosterum (53rd, 24:14.9) and Meg Kingsley (70th, 26:21.49).

Deering didn’t score as a team. Zabel Kasabian had the 57th-best time (24:36.77). Meribel Creek posted the 80th-best time (27:15.56).


Waynflete’s Lucy Olson helps the Flyers win the Class C South team title by placing sixth. John Jensenius / For The Forecaster

In Class C South, Waynflete’s 50 points allowed it to edge Maranacook by five points and qualify for states for the 17th straight season. Lucy Olson led the Flyers by placing sixth (22:44.25). Also scoring were Vivi Jenkins (seventh, 22:52.45), Anna Siegel (eighth, 23:07.21), Maeve Mechtenberg (14th, 24:36.99) and Grace Alexander (15th, 24:37.31).

“We’ve been fighting through some injuries, some illness and we had a rough middle of the season,” said Waynflete coach Steve Withers. “Our goal is always to peak at the end of the year and today was a great showing by the team all around.”

The Class C South boys’ championship was won by Winthrop with 63 points. Waynflete (134) placed fourth and qualified for the state meet for a second consecutive season. The Flyers were paced by Will Barmby (10th, 19:23.82). Also scoring were Sawyer Linehan (12th, 19:37.31), Pi Crosby (18th, 20:05.08), Colton Nelson (44th, 21:58.14) and Nate Shore (50th, 22:15.64).

The state championship meets are this coming Saturday in Cumberland.

Press Herald staff writer Glenn Jordan contributed to this story.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @foresports

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