Houlton/GHCA runners to host Houlton Invitational Saturday

Cross-country team finishes Festival of Champions strong

“We had an incredible time in the lovely fall foliage of Belfast on Saturday at the 21st running of the Maine Festival of Champions,” said Houlton/GHCA coach Chris Rines. “There really is nothing quite like the FOC in Belfast at the beginning of October. Crossing the bay bridge into town and seeing the trees’ reflections off the water as boats lay anchored sets the scene for a wonderful day.  

“The temperature was cool, the wind was low, and the skies were sunny. The course was the driest we have seen in years and all together it made for some of the best conditions we’ve been able to race in this year,” added Rines. “Our kids took it all in and excelled, for many this was their first time racing at FOC. On the day we had 13 career personal bests and one more runner who ran a season-best time.”

This festival featured 80 schools, 10 of which traveled from out of state (and out of country) to compete against the best in Maine. Over 1200 athletes ran the course Saturday. Houlton/GHCA’s best results came out of the Seeded Girls, Unseeded Girls, and the Freshmen Boys races.  

“A big congrats to Teanne (Ewings) for running a hard earned top 10 finish in the seeded girl’s race,” said Rines. “She was able to break the 19:00 minute mark for the first time in her cross country career.”

Mckenna Phillips had a top 15 finish in the girl’s unseeded race and James Brady had a top 20 finish in the boy’s freshman race.

Full Results

Girls by Section –

Boys by Section –

Girls Overall –

Boys Overall –

Photos by Sub5, Glendon Rand –

Houlton Individual Results

Place by Section – Overall Combined Place

fb – freshman boys, fg – freshman girls

ub – unseeded boys, ug – unseeded girls

sb – seeded boys, sg – seeded girls

ob – overall boys, og – overall girls

*Career Personal Best Time

`Season Best Time


17fb – 145ob. James Brady 18:34.87*

46fb – 322ob. Jack Philbrook 20:04.11*

62fb – 385ob. Colton Simoes 20:39.71*

134ub – 461ob. Phillip Espenschied 21:38.51

166ub – 508ob. Kristian Kellerhals 22:31.64*

272ub – 677ob. Ethan Casale 34:52.14* (this was about 4 minutes off his previous best time)

dnf. Trey Belyea

9sg – 9og. Teanne Ewings 18:53.51*

30sg – 35og. Natalie Johnson 20:19.74*

69sg – 87og. Leanne Ross 21:42.16`

35fg – 174og. Andrea Ross 22:50.55*

14ug -195og. McKenna Phillips 23:10.24*

64fg – 293og. Victoria Ervin 24:52.46*

84ug – 346og. Amelia Drake 25:52.96*

85fg – 354og. Charlotte Hanscom 26:05.78*

98fg – 392og. Stephanie Tuttle 26:58.51*

172ug – 494og. Danlen Espenschied 31:29.68

Team Scores

Girls 449 points – 14th overall out of 55 scoring teams, they were second among Class C teams.  This was the best score and place the girls team has ever achieved at this meet in program history. The previous best for the girl’s team was the 2017 GHCA girls (35th/919 points).

Boys 1364 points – 50th overall out of 59 scoring teams, they were seventh among Class C teams. This was the second best score and place the boys team has ever achieved at this meet in program history  Only the 2009 GHCA boys have placed higher (44th/1220 points), in that race only 47 full scoring teams competed.


The Aroostook County League championships are this week!  The Houlton junior high program will host the AL middle school championships on Wednesday at 4 pm right behind the Millar Civic Center.  

On Saturday, it will be the high school teams’ turn, as they prepare for the Houlton Invitational. This year’s Houlton Invite will also serve as the Aroostook League High School championships. Houlton/GHCA will be hosting three teams from down state (MDI, Hermon and Old Town) as well as PI, Caribou, and the rest of the AL Class C teams.

The race will start in Community Park and can be best seen by arriving at the Millar Civic Center parking lot and being next to the Fair exhibit halls.

The Houlton Invite kicks off at 12 p.m. with the varsity boys race, followed by the varsity girls at 12:40, and combined JV race at 1:20 p.m. Awards will be presented at 2:15.


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