THE YEAR IN PICTURES: GSA girls win state cross-country title

BLUE HILL — The George Stevens Academy girls’ cross-country team had the finest season in program history in 2016, winning the Class C state title in Belfast.

The Eagles, who were led by the trio of Eliza Broughton, Zeya Lorio and Mary Richardson, edged Orono by nine points in the state championship meet. It was the first state title for any girls’ team in school history.

“We battled a lot of injuries all year, and [the state meet] was one of the first times we had the entire team together healthy for a meet,” coach Erich Reed said. “It was no coincidence that we put together our best meet that weekend.”

John Hassett won the Class C state title at the individual level with a time of 15 minutes, 56 seconds. Elsewhere in Hancock County, MDI’s Tia Tardy finished second in Class B. She committed to Bucknell University in November.

“There were a lot of strong runners all across the county this year,” Reed said. “We had a great year, but so did a lot of other schools in the area. Ellsworth is a strong, young team, and MDI was really experienced.”

GSA could very well be in the running to add another title next season. The Eagles will return Broughton, Lorio, Richardson, Tess Williamson and Mary Brenna Catus. Those runners regularly rounded out the team’s top five this season.

“I’m ready for another exciting year,” Reed said. “We have so many of our talented runners coming back, and it’s going to be another special group. It’s an exciting time for cross-country in Hancock County.”

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