Houlton/GHCA Cross Country teams ready for State Championships

Published: Nov. 1, 2023 at 6:07 PM EDT
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HOULTON, Maine (WAGM) - Cross Country teams have a few more days to practice after the state meet was postponed this past Saturday because of the Mass Shooting and manhunt in the Lewiston area. This has given teams a few more days to practice. The Houlton/GHCA Girls team is expected to battle with Orono for the State Class C title. Coach Chris Rines says the runners are now getting re-focused.

Chris Rines:” The notification came in so late in our week. We had already planned our days to maximize what we could do on Saturday. To have to turn around all of sudden and change plans. It was difficult, but we have the flexibility to do that, and I think ultimately that extra week will help us out.”

Rines said the team was at a great point last week and he said that this week is just another training week as they prepare for the State Championship

Rines:” I think we are right where we need to be. We have times that we can improve on. I know the girls are up for that challenge.”

The Shiretetowners and Orono Red Riots girls teams have battled for the past couple of years and Rines says that his team will continue to knock on the door and hope to knock off the Riots at some point

Rines:” We always love going down and getting in the mix with Orono. They are a great program and have set the standards over the last few years and hopefully we can keep knocking on the door and eventually get through.”

The veteran coach says the girls have not shown any signs of nervousness.

Rines:” Our girls have been through it enough that they wouldn’t let anything on if they did feel it. Some of those feelings don’t manifest until about five minutes before the race. The week leading up to it is business as usual.”

The Houlton/GHCA Boys qualified as a team for the state championship for the first time since Rines has coached the squad.

Rines:” This is my first year in bringing a full boys team down. I have always had one or two kids that were usually top ten runners in the State. To be able to bring a full team of boys with their goals and aspirations have been top notch. I am very excited for them to go down and compete.”