BELFAST – Brosnan Comeau knew that the wet and muddy conditions at the Class C Cross Country Championships on Saturday afternoon were going to be less than ideal.
“You had to be careful,” said the Monmouth Academy junior. “Often you could feel your feet sliding through the mud. Going down that last little hollow just before the last 400, I was so scared of falling. It was chaos.
Out of chaos, however, came victory.
Comeau retired late to take the individual honors in 16:43 against William Hileman of Bucksport (16:49). Senior Kyle McClellan finished third to lead Orono to an 11-point victory over George Stevens. Maine Coast Waldorf of Freeport was third and Boothbay / Wiscasset fourth.
“(Hileman) won a bit in the last mile,” said Comeau. “I just went and didn’t look back. That was my goal, to get in and beat my PR.
Comeau added that the weather presented some challenges.
“Training in the rain helps,” he said. “You can’t just say ‘Oh it’s raining’. I am prepared for it because I have prepared myself for it. You had to be careful. Often you could feel your feet sliding through the mud. Going down that last little hollow just before the last 400, I was so scared of falling. It was chaos.
Elsewhere on the boys’ side, Freeport coach Brian Berkemeyer got his hands on his bag of motivation and dusted off the history of the 2014 State Championship squad.
“Nobody thought we could win,” Berkemeyer told his boys at a team meeting on Tuesday. “But every kid did public relations that day.”
By public relations, Berkemeyer meant that each runner broke their personal best in the biggest competition of the year. Then he threw the kicker. This year’s team, he said, is faster than those 2014 state champions. He even pulled out the schedules to show them off.
On Saturday, his Falcons delivered. In the sixth and final championship race on a course made muddy by hundreds of spikes and hours of persistent rain, Freeport won the Class B title by placing six riders on the finish line ahead of the fourth rider in all. other team.
“I thought we gave it our all last week because we had been training hard all season and we really wanted to win the regionals because we weren’t sure we had a chance in the United States,” said the Freeport junior Henry Horne, who led the way in eighth place. “But (Saturday), I guess everyone just realized that’s what really mattered.”
Sophomore William Spaulding (13th), junior Jack DiRusso (26th), senior Sam Robinson (27th) and junior Alexander Dawson (32nd) all averaged less than six minutes per mile.
Freeport finished with 86 points compared to York’s 114. Cape Elizabeth was third (131) and Cumberland’s Greely fourth (144) among 13 schools.
“We weren’t really expecting it, but there was a little thought in the back of our minds,” Robinson said. “It’s amazing to win this.”
Freeport wasn’t the only regional finalist to win big on Saturday. Hampden Academy clinched a decisive Class A victory over Bangor, 69-115, with North Maine Champion Brunswick third at 117 and South Maine Champion Portland fourth at 143.
The four Class A schools joined Freeport and Class C champion Orono to qualify for the New England Championships, scheduled for Nov. 13 in Thetford, Vermont. The individuals with the 25 best times also qualified, with a cut-off time of 17 minutes, 15.94 seconds.
The rain fell throughout the Class C and A races, but stopped shortly before the start of the B boys. At that point, the class was a mess. Connor Daigle, a Medomak Valley senior who won the Class B race in 16:35, said he fell six times during his 5-kilometer trip on the relatively flat terrain at Troy Howard Middle School.
“It was horrible,” Daigle said. “I can’t even describe how horrible the class was. It was a bit like a battlefield. World War II stuff. It was a nightmare. “
Daigle said he made the mistake of wearing only eighth-inch spikes instead of the longer spikes such as the half-inch version worn by Horne.
“Even with those I was losing a lot of grip,” said Horne. “It was really slippery.”
Such unfavorable conditions made the Class A winning time of Abbott Valentine, senior of Hampden (15:34) even more impressive. Valentine edged Bangor senior Daniel McCarthy by one second to reverse last week’s regional result. Another 25 seconds passed before Grady Satterfield, senior from Mount Ararat, crossed the finish line at 4:00 p.m.
Satterfield pushed up the pace at the start and led much of the second mile before Valentine took over.
“It really looked like his run,” Valentine said of Satterfield. “I know he trained to break 15 minutes and he really insisted, but it just wasn’t the day. It was too much of a mess there and no one could really do anything. “
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