Local teams, runners earn 1st-place finishes at cross-country meets

BLUE HILL — Hancock County cross-country boasted strong days Friday and Saturday as teams and individual runners posted victories at meets in Blue Hill and Corinth.

On Friday, the George Stevens Academy Invitational was held in Blue Hill. GSA hosted runners from Ellsworth, Bucksport, Sumner and Deer Isle-Stonington as well as Searsport and Washington Academy.

On the boys’ side, GSA junior Caden Mattson placed second behind Washington Academy senior Matyas Nachtigall with a time of 16 minutes, 55.45 seconds. Sumner sophomore Luke Barnes placed third, and Ellsworth’s Nick Cormier and Beckett Markosian rounded out the top five.

In the team competition, Ellsworth placed first overall with 25 points as GSA took second with 41. Washington Academy and Bucksport placed third and fourth with 79 and 101 points, respectively.

Ellsworth earned a sweep of the top four in the girls’ race. Caitlin MacPherson finished first with a time of 20:08.59 as Abby Mazgaj finished second, Sara Shea placed third and Emma McKechnie claimed fourth.

As Ellsworth brought just four runners, it wasn’t eligible for the girls’ team title. That honor went to GSA, which recorded 23 points to beat out Washington Academy’s 35.

Mount Desert Island competed Saturday at the Central Invitational in Corinth. The Trojans competed against runners from Central Lee Academy, Narraguagus, Old Town and Orono.

“Our objective was to split the race into three parts,” MDI head coach Desiree Sirois said. “Our runners worked together in similar pace groups before splitting up to focus on individual speed increased. In the last stretch, they worked on activating fast-twitch muscle fibers to the sprint at the end of races.”

Senior Alex Eason won the boys’ race for MDI with a time of 16:12.21. The Trojans also claimed first place as a team to edge Orono, Old Town and Central with 21 points.

MDI also had a strong day on the girls’ side. Junior Katelyn Osborne finished third with a time of 19:03.12 as the Trojans finished just seven points behind defending Class C champion Orono.

“Both boys and girls were accountable with team race strategy and posted fast times,” Sirois said. “The converted 5K times were also impressive with many personal records.”

Runners from all six Hancock County schools will be back in action this week. Sumner will host Bucksport, GSA and Deer Isle-Stonington as well as other eastern Maine schools in the Seacoast Invitational at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, and Ellsworth and MDI will be in Old Town for the 2018 sectional meet at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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