ELLSWORTH, Maine — Our cross country runners showcased their remarkable talent and determination at the Ellsworth Invitational Saturday, Sept. 2. Competing on a challenging two-lap course, which featured a substantial hill runners had to conquer twice each lap, Houlton/GHCA athletes demonstrated grit and determination in this highly competitive regular season opening meet.
In the varsity ranks, our girls team delivered an exceptional performance, securing an impressive 3rd place overall. We had only entered five girls in the race and MDI had a full squad of seven. Despite tieing MDI with a total score of 62 points, we would lose the tiebreaker by virtue of the sixth-runner rule. In the end, it was John Bapst who secured the victory with 59 points. Our girls team showcased their incredible talent and resilience, setting a high standard for the season ahead.
Taking the individual runner up position was our very own Teanne Ewings running an incredible 17:34.29 on the 2.9-mile course, an effort that was the 6th fastest time on the day among any athlete in attendance. Claiming top 10 positions in the girl’s race was Leanne Ross in 5th and Andrea Ross in 9th. Katie McQuarrie in 28th and Amelia Drake in 47th would round out the scoring for the girls. In the JV race, Dalylah Mincey and Danlen Espenschied made their season debuts at 15th and 20th places respectively.
The boys team also demonstrated their competitive spirit earning a commendable 6th place overall. Despite a very competitive field, our athletes managed to outshine Aroostook rivals Caribou — it was our first time topping the perennial powerhouse. MDI clinched the boys race victory with a score of 64 points, demonstrating the integrity of their program from a year ago.
Finishing in the top 10 was freshman Malachi Witmer who earned a 7th overall place, he was the fastest freshman on the day. Just outside the top 10 in finishing was sophomore standout James Brady in 17th and he was followed closely behind by Brayden Drake in 23rd. Shawn Coty and Landon Laferriere would complete the scoring five for the boys side by side with a sprint to the finish line as they would cross at 43rd and 44th respectively, Shawn just edging Landon by 0.03 hundredths of a second. Our two JV boys running this week showed great intent with their two performances, Shayne Grass ended his race in 29th position and Ethan Casale would cross the line 10 places later in 39th.
“The results today are a testament to their hard work and commitment to the sport. We are beyond excited about the potential we see in both teams and look forward to an exceptional season ahead” said head coach Chris Rines.
The Ellsworth Invitational, though a bit shorter than a typical 5K, serves as a valuable barometer for the upcoming season. The competition has provided our team with valuable experience and insights that will undoubtedly contribute to their success in the weeks to come. The team will return to Ellsworth on Oct. 14 for the PVC championships.
The Greater Houlton Cross Country Team is grateful for the support of the school, parents and the community, without which such achievements would not be possible.
Girls team results, 1. John Bapst 59, 2. MDI 62, 3. Houlton/GHCA 62, 4. Old Town 114, 5. GSA/Blue Hill 125, 6. Caribou 132, 7. Presque Isle 154, 8. Mattanawcook 157.
Houlton/GHCA girls individual results, 2. Teanne Ewings 17:34.29; 5. Leanne Ross 21:43.59; 9. Andrea Ross 22:58.17; 28 Katie McQuarrie 25:29.13; 47 Amelia Drake 28:11.62; JV15 Dalylah Mincey 30:52.85; JV20 Danlen Espenscheid 33:12:32.
Boys team results, 1. MDI 64, 2. Sumner 76, 3. Orono 101, 4. Ellsworth 107, 5. John Bapst 114, 6. Houlton/GHCA 122, 7. Caribou 156, 8. GSA/Blue Hill 166, 9. Bucksport 187.
Boys individual results, 7 Malachi Witmer 17:51.82; 17 James Brady 18:35.93; 23 Brayden Drake 18:58.55; 43 Shawn Coty 20:50.05; 44 Landon Laferriere 20:50.08; JV29 Shayne Grass 25:59.59; JV39 Ethan Casale 32:41.22.