The conditions weren’t perfect Saturday at Twin Brook Recreation Center for the cross country regional championships, but runners from Portland schools didn’t mind, as they stole the show.

In the Class A boys’ meet, Portland won its third straight regional title, tallying 44 points to outdistance runner-up Bonny Eagle (77).

Portland’s Nathan Blades sprints towards the finish line to win the boys’ race at the Class A South regional championship meet Saturday. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald

Nathan Blades was first individually, completing the 5-kilometer course in 16 minutes, 32.98 seconds, holding off Jordan Maddox of Noble (16:37.43).

“Since the winter of my sophomore year, we’ve been going back and forth, back and forth,” said Blades.

Also scoring for the Bulldogs were Ben Prestes (sixth, 17:03.27), Elias Coleman (ninth, 17:37.95), Aran Johnson (12th, 17:41.44) and Owen Blades (16th, 17:50.54).

“Our guys spent a lot of time out here in the summer,” said Portland Coach Frank Myatt. “They came out here on their own. They’re as solid a group as I’ve ever coached. We can’t just hit the trails for four or five miles anytime we want. So coming up here, it ingrains a culture of appreciating this course for what it is and learning to race on a difficult course.”


The Bulldogs will chase history this weekend when they look to win the state title for the first time since 1978.

“We’re excited for the challenge of the state meet,” Myatt said. “Hampden Academy and Camden Hills ran well on Saturday (in the Class A North race), in addition to Bonny Eagle and Scarborough’s performances in the South. We have to recharge the legs and work on a few things this week, but we’ll be ready to go on Saturday.”

Cheverus came in fifth with 198 points and qualified for states for the first time since 2014.

The Stags were led by Ambrose McCullough, who placed 10th (17:39.00). Also scoring were Danny McCartney (25th, 18:06.17), Arman Gurcan (38th, 18:46.01), Jackson Kayne (56th, 19:24.7) and Cash Kellen (69th, 19:50.31).

Deering came in sixth with 200 points and qualified for the fourth straight postseason. The Rams were led by Ellis Wood, who had the third-fastest time (16:53.78). Also scoring were Max Stratton (36th, 18:34.37), Asa Tussing (40th, 18:54.02), Noah Rusheed (60th, 19:35.42) and Sam Anderson (61st, 19:38.72).

Portland’s Samantha Moore is tailed by Bonny Eagle’s Addy Thibodeau during the Class A South girls’ race. Moore held off Thibodeau to come in first individually. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald

In the Class A state meet, won by Bonny Eagle with 43 points, Portland was second (78), qualified for states for the fourth straight postseason and produced the top individual in Samantha Moore, who was first with a time of 18:41, six seconds better than runner-up Abby Thibodeau of Bonny Eagle.


Light rain had begun falling by the time the race got underway, which led to Moore taking a spill in the grassy field at the start of the race.

“Right when the gun went off, my foot slipped and I completely face-planted, so I had to wiggle my way through a bunch of people to catch up to Addy, because she was already way ahead,” Moore said. “I love it (competing with Thibodeau). I get good times and we’re feeling the same pain, so I feel like I get to share half of it with her.”

Also scoring for the Bulldogs, who were without two of their top seven runners, were Ella Vinkemulder (seventh, 20:59.43), Ava Chadbourne (17th, 21:52.84), Kate Morrison (22nd, 22:00.57) and Alice Anderson (31st, 23:02.59).

Portland has never won a state title but will be in the hunt this time around.

Cheverus (161 points) came in fifth and punched its state meet ticket for the seventh postseason in a row. The Stags were paced by Allie Schmitt (14th, 21:30.11). Also scoring were Delaney Whitmarsh (27th, 22:11.57), Anica Hickey (38th, 23:27.94), Meg Kingsley (39th, 23:28.47) and Grace Beeler (43rd, 23:39.37).

Deering didn’t score as a team. Zabel Kasabian had the 69th-best time (25:24.47), Laura Callaghan had the 74th-fastest time (25:56.33), Delaney Goodwin was right behind in 75th (25:56.35) and Meribel Creek had the 91st-best time (29:13.58).


In Class C, Waynflete’s girls repeated as champions with 53 points, defeating runner-up Maine Coast Waldorf by 34. The Flyers’ top finisher was Grace Alexander, who was the individual runner-up in 20:40.29. Also scoring were Lucy Olson (sixth, 21:48.24), Paige Alexander (seventh, 22:08.42), Skylar Harris (20th, 23:43.42) and Maeve Mechtenberg (22nd, 24:10.73).

“It’s validation for all the hard work that we’ve put in, not only this year but over the last two years,” said Waynflete coach Steve Withers. “We battled through a whole lot of injuries and a whole lot of adversity this year, more so than we had in previous years. So coming out, running strong and the bonus being the team win overall was huge for us.”

Waynflete, which has qualified for the state meet every year since 2004, will seek its first state title since 2009.

In the boys’ Class C South meet, won by Winthrop with 59 points, Waynflete had 121 and came in second to qualify for states for the third straight season. The Flyers were led by Pi Crosby, the individual runner-up (18:19.59), and Will Barmby (seventh, 18:56.02). Che Rich (26th, 20:39.50), Colton Nelson (31st, 20:51.90) and Wyatt Adams (55th, 22:24.70) also scored.


The state championship meets will be held Saturday in Belfast.

Waynflete’s girls run in the Class C girls’ race at 12:20 p.m. and the Waynflete boys follow in the boys’ meet at 1 p.m. The Class A girls’ race starts at 1:40 p.m. The Class A boys’ meet begins at 2:20 p.m.

Press Herald staff writer Glenn Jordan contributed to this story.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at For game updates and links to game stories, follow him on Threads: @foresports2023

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