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Greater Houlton Cross Country Team Shines at Caribou Invitational

Caribou, ME – Greater Houlton Cross Country’s exceptional talent and sportsmanship was on full display this weekend at the Caribou Invitational on Saturday, September 9, 2023.  Competing on the rolling hills and woods trails of Caribou’s 5k course, our athletes delivered outstanding performances with the girls’ team securing victory.  The boys’ team would place a strong third overall, despite unique scoring rules that would have placed them as team runners up in a conventional scoring system.

The Caribou Invite is a unique meet in the Cross Country world in that instead of running one big race for each category (varsity boys, varsity girls, combined jv), the meet instead pits each school’s runners against each other in smaller races.  Every school’s number one runner will race, then every school’s number two will have their own race, and so on until the number sevens.  It does make for a slightly longer day, but does allow for runners who do not normally have the opportunity to win a race the chance to do so.  For the teams, a school’s five best finishes are tallied and scored with a perfect score in this format being five instead of the usual 15 in a regular meet.

Teanne leading the way, she would finish with the overall fastest time for the girls.

The girls’ team demonstrated why they are one of the top teams in Class C by clinching the first-place victory over the field which included last week’s Ellsworth Invitational winners John Bapst, who would finish second.  The girls won four races and had a runner up finisher in Varsity Girls #5 race for an overall team score of six.  Individually, it was Teanne Ewings leading the charge with the fastest overall time on the day and taking the win in V. Girls #1.  Teammates Natalie Johnson and Leanne Ross would record wins in the V. Girls #2 and V. Girls #3 races by recording the second and third fastest times on the day respectively.  Our next win came in V. Girls #4 with Andrea Ross.  Katie McQuarrie evened out our scoring with her runner up effort in V. Girls #5 and Amelia Drake would record a third place finish in the V. Girls #6.

The boys’ team, while finishing third in the unique scoring format, would have secured a well-deserved second place had the meet been run enmasse and scored conventionally which is certainly an amazing accomplishment for these young men.  Ellsworth would take the win with a perfect five under Caribou’s scoring system with John Bapst second and our boys in third.  We had two second place finishes and three third place finishes to contribute to our team scoring.  Malachi Witmer V. Boys #1, James Brady V. Boys #2, and Brayden Drake V. Boys #3 would all add the third places to our score and Landon Laferriere V. Boys #5 and Shawn Coty V. Boys #6 would add the two second place scoring efforts.
Colton Simoes made his debut in this meet and ran in a tough field of competitors in the V Boys #4
The JV races were contested in traditional fashion.  In the Girls JV freshman Dalylah Mincey narrowly missed a podium (top five) place but was able to come in for 6th place and teammate Dani Espenscheid finished 15th.  In the boys side Ethan Casale ran his career personal best in the 5k and finished 12th.

Race Results by Races (Caribou Scoring)
Race Results Combined (Traditional Scoring)
V Girls #1 – 1st Teanne Ewings 18:23.24
V Girls #2 – 1st Natalie Johnson 20:39.51
V Girls #3 – 1st Leanne Ross 22:30.53
V Girls #4 – 1st Andrea Ross 23:43.50
V Girls #5 – 2nd Katie McQuarrie 25:47.61
V Girls #6 – 3rd Amelia Drake 29:06.56
JVGirls – 6th Dalylyah Mincey 31:14.56, 15th Danlen Espenschied 34:10.05
V Boys #1 – 3rd Malachi Withmer 18:22.87
V Boys #2 – 3rd James Brady 19:20.63
V Boys #3 – 3rd Brayden Drake 19:19.21
V Boys #4 – 4th Colton Simoes 22:26.68
V Boys #5 – 2nd Landon Laferriere 20:37.22
V Boys #6 – 2nd Shawn Coty 20:44.51
JVBoys – 12th Ethan Casale 31:39.52
This week the middle school team is in action for their third meet of the season on Tuesday, September 12 and our boys and girls will travel to Presque Isle on Friday for the PI invite which will be a meeting of all Aroostook County teams.

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