Friday, October 6, 2017

Windham Cross Country improves at Festival of Champions

On Saturday September 30, 2017, the Windham High School Cross Country teams raced in the 16th Annual Festival of Champions held in Belfast, ME. Being known for one of the fastest cross-country courses in the state, the Windham runners proved they were ready to take on the trails.  
Seventeen out of the nineteen lady Eagle runners toed the line and after crossing the finish, earned eight all time personal records (PR) and three season best (SB) times. Twenty nine out of thirty boy Eagle runners toed the line and after crossing the finish, earned fourteen all time personal records (PR) and eight season best (SB) times.   

For the girls, Windham’s top runner, (Sophomore) Hailey Applebee ran a season’s best time of 19:54 for the 5k course. Hailey finished 42rd overall out of 759 runners on the day. (Junior) Morgan Colangelo, returns for her second season with Windham XC. Morgan achieved an all time personal record with a time of 21:27, which is nearly a three-minute improvement since her first ever cross-country race in 2016.  

This performance earned Morgan a second-place finish for the team. (Junior) Abigail Clinch proved she came to fight for it, when she achieved a personal record with a time of 21:46, earning her a third-place finish with her team. Her time was nearly a seven-minute improvement over her very first cross-country race in 2016. 

Morgan and Abby were almost caught up in the pile up at this beginning of this race but emerged
with only a torn spike and a bruised toe for Morgan. (Sophomore) Hannah Langstaff, known for her state qualifying time in the 400-meter race in track, joined the cross-country team this year. Hannah has made a nice transition to the 5k distance and earned a fourth-place finish for her team on the day, with a time of 23:57. Rounding out the top 5 finishers for the day was (Freshman) Molly Cochran, who had a breakout moment, when she crossed the finish line with a time of 24:04. Molly improved her all time personal best time by almost a minute, proving she is ready to compete in the postseason for the Eagles.

Supporting the top 5 scorers were sixth-place finisher, (Junior) Mikayla Baiguy, who ran with a time of 24:12 and seventh-place finisher, (Junior) Carly Witherow, who had an all-time personal record in a time of 24:22.  Female Eagle finishers 8 through 15 were as follows: (Junior) Becca Turner 24:27, (Sophomore) Anna Foster 25:00 (SB), (Senior) Danielle Meader 27:04, (Senior) Gabby Smith 27:10, (Junior) Savannah McLellan 28:32 (PR), (Freshman) Jessica McLellan 29:21 (PR), (Junior) Anya Shmanenko 30:09, (Senior) Natalie Walker 30:58 (SB). Did not run: (Junior) Allison Drew and (Sophomore) Miranda Delano.

For the boys, Windham’s top returning runner, (Junior) Mason Rosborough, finished first for the Windham Eagle boys with a time of 17:39. Mason does double duty as a Windham athlete, as he also participates on the high school soccer team. Mason finished in 94th place overall, out of 940 runners. (Senior) Wyatt Yost earned a second-place finish for the boys, with a time of 18:19, which was also a season best for Wyatt. Keep watching Wyatt as looking to get back to his sub 18 PR! (Senior) Kevin Ingalls pushed through the crowd, after nearly avoiding the big pile up at the start of the race. Kevin picked runners off one at a time and still managed to cross the finish line with a time of 18:46, earning him a third-place finish for the team. (Senior) Hunter Dionne, not once - but three times, avoided downed runners along the 5k course. Hunter narrowly missed his personal best time but crossed the line with an impressive time of 18:51 earning him a fourth- place finish for his team. Rounding out the top five, was a first-year cross country runner, (Junior) Connor Abbotoni. Connor became an instant contributor to the boys’ team and finished the race with a time of 19:06. 

Supporting the top 5 scorers were sixth-place finisher (Sophomore) Jordan Piechowski, who ran an
all-time personal best of 19:19. The seventh-place finisher (Senior) Jaren Preston, also finished with an impressive time of 19:28. Male Eagle finishers numbers eight through twenty nine are as follows: (Freshman) Tristan Candelmo 19:43 (PR), (Senior) Zach Harris 19:43 (PR), (Senior) Mitch Budroe 19:56 (PR), (Senior) Logan Cropper 19:57 (PR), (Senior) Owen March 19:57 (PR), (Senior) Callean Frechette 20:21 (PR), (Senior) Trevor Crowley 20:40 (PR), (Senior) Noah Hall 20:45 (SB), (Senior) Ethan Leech 21:05 (PR), (Junior) Sam Cole 21:07 (PR), (Freshman) Octavian Anghel 21:15 (PR), (Junior) Owen Wert 21:51 (SB), (Junior) Mike Ryan 22.18, (Sophomore) Davis Kinney 22:57 (SB), (Junior) Rohullah Habibzai 22:58 (SB), (Sophomore) Kobe Pillsbury 23:09 (SB), (Freshman) Mark Gedicks 23:24 (PR), (Sophomore) Dean Preston 23:52, (Sophomore) Derek Klimko 23:55 (SB), (Freshman) Robbie Soucy 24:02 (PR), (Junior) Gabe Ransom 24:09, (Sophomore) Zavier Cummings 24:42 (SB) Did not run: Stephen Sepulveda.

The team’s score is calculated by adding up the finishing place for the first five runners to cross the finish line for their team. In the event of a tie, the score of the sixth and the seventh runners’ time may be utilized to break the tie. The goal is to have the lowest combined score. Girls finished in 33rd out of 62 teams and the boys finished 34th out of 68 teams. 

“The overall team race results/season standings don’t truly tell our cross-country story, our 2017 story is epic. Our story is found in the daily grind, in the endless pursuit that our athletes demonstrate daily, and in their proud smiles! Many will never fully know all that each of our athletes have accomplished, but they know and that’s good enough.” says coach Jeff Riddle.

The teams are coached by Coach Jeff Riddle and Coach Tom Noonan. The Southern Maine Regional race will be held on Saturday October 21, 2017 at Twin Brooks Park in Cumberland, Maine.  

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