“It’s not the usual thing for us,” Coach Erich Reed said of both the boys and girls cross country teams making it to the state championships.
But the Class C teams’ solid performance at the rain-soaked Eastern regional meet held in Belfast on October 20 guaranteed them a slot on Saturday, October 27.
“The course was incredibly muddy but they all seemed to have fun,” said Reed.
The steady downpour at the regional meet slowed everyone down, Reed said. By the time the Class A and B fields ran, “it was pretty much soup.”
The state meet takes place at the same course in Belfast. “I’m hoping it will dry up this week,” said Reed.
On the boys side, GSA’s top runner Sam Stankhe came in second, finishing the 5K race in 17:58.03, about 30 seconds behind the first-place winner, Tyler White of Orono.
“I think he felt pretty good about it,” said Reed. “It wasn’t his perfect day.”
Sophomore Baxter Forrest’s performance was notable, said Reed, in that despite the difficult conditions, he improved his time over his last race on the same course during a regular season meet. At 22:36.56, he placed 41 out of 83 runners.
The boys team finished with 107 points, behind Orono and Bangor Christian. Fort Kent and Bucksport round out the top five teams that qualified for the state championship.
The girls team finished with 109 points, behind Washburn and Orono, and followed by Lee Academy—the top four teams headed for the states.
The number of teams that qualify for the state meet depends on how many enter, Reed said. “I knew our girls were likely to get third if they did well, but it’s out of your control how many teams show up.”
The top runner for the girls’ team was freshman Rachel DesFosses, coming in 18th at 25:26:50, followed by sophomore Madison Cole at 26th, with a time of 26:09.63. Cedar Slagle rounded out the top three girls with a 29th place finish at 26:17.19.