Portland’s cross country teams produced their best finish in decades at Saturday’s state meet at Twin Brook Recreation Center in Cumberland.

Other city runners turned heads as well.

Portland pre-eminence

Portland’s Aran Johnson places 18th to help the Bulldogs finish second as a team at Saturday’s Class A state meet. John Jensenius / For The Forecaster

The Bulldogs’ boys’ squad tallied 103 points to place a distant second to champion Hampden Academy (52), the program’s best showing since finishing runner-up in 2005. Portland was led by Nathan Blades, who had the fifth-best time and placed fourth for scoring purposes, completing the five-kilometer course in 17 minutes, 6.54 seconds. Also scoring for the Bulldogs were Aran Johnson (18th, 17:50.27), Ben Prestes (25th, 18:10.04), Jason Hargesheimer (27th, 18:15.57) and Daniel Niles (29th, 18:19.15).

Portland qualified for the New England championship meet Nov. 12 in Rhode Island.

Deering (328 points) finished 14th out of 15 scoring teams. The Rams featured Sam Anderson, who was 47th in 18:45.74. Also scoring were Ellis Wood (57th, 19:01.13), Max Stratton (60th, 19:10.6), Asa Tussing (67th, 19:20.83) and Dan McLaughlin (97th, 20:59.88).

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Cheverus didn’t qualify for states as a team, but Danny McCartney had the 56th-best time (18:43.95).

In the Class A girls’ meet, won easily by Bonny Eagle with 32 points, Portland (110) came in fourth, for its best showing since 1984. The Bulldogs had the individual runner-up in sophomore Samantha Moore, who finished behind only Bonny Eagle’s Addy Thibodeau with a time of 19:47.38. Ava Chadbourne also had a top-10 showing, placing ninth in 21:00.87. Also scoring were Maia Endicott (14th, 21:20.79). Alice Anderson (41st, 22:35.43) and Greta Holmes (44th, 22:51.07).

Portland qualified as a team for New Englands for the first time.

Cheverus’ Annabelle Brooks had the sixth-best score in the Class A girls’ race. John Jensenius / For The Forecaster

Cheverus (287 points) was 12th out of 12 teams that took part, but the Stags did feature sixth-place scorer Annabelle Brooks (20:36.35), who qualified for New Englands as an individual. Also scoring were Grace Beeler (63rd, 24:05.11), Roxie Van Oosterum (64th, 24:06.02), Meg Kingsley (75th, 25:17.66) and Lainey Trieu (79th, 27:49.73).

Flyers impress too

In the Class C girls’ race, won by Orono with 29 points, Waynflete (98) was third behind Houlton, its best showing since 2015. The Flyers featured freshman Lucy Olson, who was 12th in 22:06.92. Also scoring were Vivi Jenkins (13th, 22:12.42), Anna Siegel (16th, 22:34.92), Grace Alexander (28th, 24:32.27) and Maeve Mechtenberg (29th, 24:40.66).

The Class C boys’ title was won by George Stevens Academy with 81 points. Waynflete (186 points) placed seventh. The Flyers were led by Will Barmby (14th, 19:05.12). Also scoring were Sawyer Linehan (20th, 19:23.23), Pi Crosby (24th, 19:28.92), Ben Duda (63rd, 22:23.78) and Nate Shore (65th, 22:32.27).

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports

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