Houlton/GHCA looking forward to Festival of Champions.

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 11:41 AM EDT
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HOULTON, Maine (WAGM) - The Festival of Champions is the largest High School cross country race in the State of Maine. Over 1500 runners will compete in the event in Belfast on Saturday. This event is also a great test to see how teams stack up against teams they normally don’t run against. The Houlton/GHCA girls cross country team is ranked as one of the top Class C teams in the State. This year they have won every meet, but one when they were beaten by Class B squad MDI in the Old Town Sectionals. Shires Coach Chris Rines says the Festival of Champions is a chance to see where his team ranks and what they need to improve on.

(Chris Rines):” This is a great stepping stone for us as a program. It really helps us to see where we stack up against other schools in the State of Maine. Both in our class and also larger schools in the state.”

The Shiretowners will also see several schools in this meet from the Southern Part of the State and this will be a good guage on how they compare with those teams.

Rines:” Getting a chance to see some of the southern schools and see where their runners will place in comparison to ours. We go against a lot of C schools, we are fortunate that we are a member of Aroostook League and the PVC. We have a good mix of different opponents, but we never get to see the rest of the state south of Bangor. It is really nice to compete against them and see how we stack up.”

Sophomore Teanne Ewings is one of the top runners in the state. She is seeded 19th heading into the race on Saturday

(Teanne Ewings):” I am looking forward to running against some faster athletes and to see how our teams will compare for states.”

Ewings will toe the line with hundreds of other runners. She did not compete in the event last year and is still formulating a game plan on what she needs to do to have a good finish

Ewings:” I have been thinking about it quite a bit and i will have to find a game plan.”

Over 1500 runners will be racing in various divisions on the Belfast course. This is the same course that will be used for the Regional meet in October. Rines says that he has seen runners in the past excel because of the adrenaline rush competing with that many other people

Rines:” Just the energy and the feel of this meet can really elevate a kids time and get them beyond something they could do before.”