ELLSWORTH — 2018 was a historic year for the Ellsworth girls’ cross-country team, which claimed Hancock County and Class B North championship crowns Oct. 5 and Oct. 20, respectively, before winning the state title Oct. 27.
It was the first girls’ cross-country title in 40 years for Ellsworth, which improved with each passing meet throughout the season as it got healthier and gained more experience. Members of the Eagles’ seven-runner team were Abby Mazgaj, Caitlin MacPherson, Emma McKechnie, Trinity Montigny, Kristen Moseley, Miriam Nelson and Sara Shea.
MacPherson was the top runner for Ellsworth all year, earning a third-place finish at the state championships. Mazgaj, a sophomore, joined MacPherson in the top 10 by finishing ninth, and Montigny, who ran the second half of the season after recovering from a foot injury, placed 17th to give the Eagles a total of three runners inside the top 20.
The state championship win was Ellsworth’s first overall in the sport since Louie Luchini, now the Eagles’ head coach led the boys’ team to the title in 1998. By edging York by three points to win the state crown, the Eagles returned to Derryfield Park in Manchester, N.H., where Luchini became New England champion as a senior 20 years ago.
Ellsworth will be in strong shape to compete for titles once again next season. With MacPherson, Mazgaj, Montigny and Shea returning, the Eagles will have another talented squad when they compete on courses around the state next fall.