Houlton girls cross country captures PVC Class C crown

2 years ago

BUCKSPORT, Maine — For the first time in the program’s history, the Houlton/Greater Houlton Christian Academy girls cross country squad has won the Penobscot Valley Conference Class C championship. 

The Shire girls bested a field of six high schools and narrowly edged out Orono by one point to win the overall crown.

“It was a pretty wet and soggy day for us on Saturday at the Penobscot Valley Conference Championships in Bucksport, but our team bested both the field of competitors and the elements with some of our top performances of the season,” Houlton Coach Chris Rines said. “Despite the rain, the course remained true to its reputation for fast times.”

The Houlton/GHCA girls finished with 41 points, followed closely by Orono with 42 points. Rounding out the girls team scores were: 3, George Stevens, 74; 4, Bangor Christian, 109; 5, Bucksport, 119; and 6, Mattanawcook, 120.

The Shires placed three runners in the top 10, and five runners in the top 15. 

Teanne Ewings finished third overall with a time of 19 minutes, 17 seconds. Other Shire girls results were: 7, Leanne Ross, 21:19; 8, Natalie Johnson, 21:22; 12, Elena Ardell, 22:17; 14, Isabella Ardell, 22:26; 17, Calli Sylvia, 23:00; and 18, McKenna Phillips 23:01.

BUCKSPORT, Maine — October 16, 2021 — Teanne Ewings of Houlton/Greater Houlton Christian Academy was the top Shire runner, placing third overall in the Penobscot Valley Conference championship Saturday in Bucksport. (Photo courtesy of Teagan Ewings)

The PVC race splits the meet into four different races — a junior varsity and varsity for both girls and boys. In the varsity race, Class B and C runners race together, however, they are separated for the results into their respective class. The JV races keep the runners together and do not separate them based on class.

In the girls JV race, senior Hope Royal had the race of her career, setting a new personal best time by nearly three minutes over her previous best.  Her time of 24:36 earned her 10th place. Teammates Amelia Drake and Dani Espenscheid also ran strong.  Drake came in 19th and was followed by Espenscheid in 20th with her new personal best time of 29:03.

In the boys races, senior Daniel Ross led the way for the Shires, settling in behind a big pack of some of the top Class B and C runners through the first mile. Ross cruised through the finish in a new personal best of 17:05, good for 3rd place overall.

Teammates Phillip Espenschied and Kristian Kellerhals also had season-best times in the varsity race. Espenscheid finished 29th at 20:02, while Kellerhals was 52nd at 25:06.

The lone Shire runner in the boys JV race was Jack Hodgkins, who set a personal-best time of  34:04.