CUMBERLAND — The Bonny Eagle girls proved that they’re even stronger than last year, York won its first girls’ state title, and Ruth White of Orono continued to impress at the cross country state championships Saturday at Twin Brook Recreation Area.

White, a 4-foot-8 junior and the reigning New England champion, rolled over the hilly 3.1-mile course in 18 minutes, 2.52 seconds – 49 seconds faster than Class B winner Cary Drake of York and more than a minute faster than any of the Class A runners. She also led Orono to its third straight Class C team championship.

“I set time goals sometimes, but today I was trying to get the team championship, and I think we got that, so that was the goal,” White said.

Despite her small stature, White has a relatively long stride. At the mile mark, she led eventual runner-up Teanne Ewings of Houlton/Greater Houlton Christian by about 16 seconds. At roughly 2 miles, the gap was up to 48 seconds, and White finished 1:27 ahead of Ewings, who ended up with the fourth fastest time among all classes.

“I don’t really know compared to other kids … my dad analyzed (my stride) and he says my stride is long,” White said.

Last year, White became just the fourth female from Maine to win a New England title, joining Abby Leonardi of Kennebunk, Emily Durgin of Standish and Falmouth’s Sofie Matson, who set the Twin Brook course record of 17:51.74 in 2019. She’ll try to defend her crown on Nov. 12 at Ponaganset High School in Rhode Island.


“I’m hoping to do well. It figures to be a little bit denser competition, so I’m looking forward to that,” White said.

Addy Thibodeau of Bonny Eagle won the Class A race in 19:04.08, comfortably ahead of Portland sophomore Samantha Moore (19:47.38), to lead the Scots to their fourth consecutive championship.

“I tried to stay in the front for the first mile and let that first mile be a little bit of a floater, and then I tried to crank the last two miles so if I had a lead at all, I would extend it,” Thibodeau said.

Much like the Class A South meet, when the Scots had five runners in the top seven, Bonny Eagle showcased its impressive depth. Allie Hesler was third, and was soon followed by Kallie Warner (sixth), Marina Violette (ninth), and Gwen Catalano (16th).

Thibodeau was the Scots’ second or third runner on the 2021 championship team. Bonny Eagle graduated three of its top four runners, including now-Division I runners Delaney Hesler (University of New Hampshire) and Emmaline Pendleton (Army).

“We’ve been working our tails off to get back up here, and the fact that we did it is just so amazing,” Thibodeau said.


Bonny Eagle Coach Mike Burleson said the process began during last spring’s outdoor track season. “We had girls who bought in to what it took to be a distance athlete,” Burleson said. “We’ve had 19 girls putting in the work since July. And our 2 through 5 runners’ improvement has been unreal.”

Marshwood, Falmouth and Portland finished second through fourth in the Class A team competition, with each team qualifying for the New England championships. The three championship teams plus the next three best teams when all races are combined qualify, as do the three individual champions plus the next 22 fastest overall runners.

A week earlier at the South regional, York finished third, but just one point behind winner Cape Elizabeth and second-place Lincoln Academy. But with Cape Elizabeth depleted by sickness (top runner Hadley Mahoney did not race), it was York’s day to shine under sunny skies, with temperatures in the mid-50s.

Led by Drake’s winning time of 18:51.82, the Wildcats won their first Class B championship.

Drake grabbed the lead early and slowly increased her margin despite a strong effort from Amelie Vandongen of Mt. Desert Island (19:11.61). Abby Williams of Waterville was third in 19:46.62.

“I tried to go out as fast as I could, well not as fast I could, but I knew Amelia would want to stick with me for as long as she could,” Drake said.

Molly Kenealy (fourth), Madelyn Hutchins (12th), Lucy Kocev (19th) and Karianna Hultstrom (37th) also scored for York.

Lincoln Academy, paced by Audrey Hufnagel (eighth), finished second.

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