Sports

Shire runners set personal records at Cross Country Regional event

BELFAST, Maine — Saturday proved to be the perfect day for running as the Houlton-Greater Houlton Christian Academy cross country teams competed in the Class C Regional championships.

Held at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast, the Shire girls squad finished as the Class C runner-up, while the boys placed seventh. The state Cross Country Championships will be held Saturday, Oct. 29, at Twin Brook in Cumberland.

Saturday’s race also saw six Shire runners log career personal best times. 

“Saturday was a great day for our cross country runners as many hit new personal records as they tried to claim their spots at the state championships next weekend in Cumberland,” Houlton coach Chris Rines said. “The weather provided some of the best conditions I can remember at a regional in recent memory and the kids really took advantage of that and the championship atmosphere.”

The Shire girls came into the event as the No. 2 seed and managed to hold that ranking by virtue of their second-place finish. Orono finished as the overall champ with a score of 29, followed by Houlton/GHCA, with 51 points. Other teams qualifying for states were: George Stevens Academy, 90; Fort Kent, 123; and Maine Central Institute, 138. 

“Early projections at the state meet have Orono favored to win, with Houlton/GHCA (and southern squads) Waynflete, and Maranacook in a tight race for the state runner up spot,” coach Rines said.

Shire sophomore Teanne Ewings continued her impressive running career with a second-place finish in the girls competition. Ewings finished in 19 minutes, 1.9 seconds, just behind top-finisher Ruth White of Orono (17:51.42).

The remaining individual Shire girls results were 5, Natalie Johnson, 20:32.30; 15, Andrea Ross, 22:36.27; 16, Leanne Ross, 22:38.41; 19, McKenna Phillips, 22:46.48; 20, Joelle Hanscom, 22:50.95; and 23, Victoria Ervin, 23:47.56.

BELFAST, Maine — October 22, 2022 — James Brady leads the way for the boys Houlton-Greater Houlton Christian Academy cross country squad during Saturday’s Class C Regional championship at Troy Howard Middle School. Brady was the lone Shire boy to qualify for the state meet. (Photo courtesy of Teagan Ewings Photography)

The Shire boys entered the day ranked seventh out of a possible 10 squads. The rule for advancement onto states is the top half of competing teams move on. Houlton held its pre-meet rank and finished seventh with 150 points.

“The boys gave it their all, but in the end they were not able to overcome their incoming rank,” Rines said. “James Brady is our lone individual who will move on to states next weekend, he finished 12th overall.”

Individual Houlton/GHCA Results 12, Brady, 18:44.34; 35, Jack Philbrook, 20:02.10; 40, Colton Simoes, 20:27.62; 47, Phillip Espenscheid, 20:53.24; 66, Kristian Kellerhals, 23:06.15; and 90, Ethan Casale, 33:24.81.

“Colton, Ethan, Andrea, Mckenna, Joelle, and Tori all had amazing races as they were able to hit new career best times,” coach Rines added.

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