Washburn and Caribou Cross Country Teams compete in State meet.

Published: Nov. 6, 2023 at 12:38 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -The Washburn Beavers and both the Caribou Vikings boys and girls cross country teams competed at the State Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Belfsat. The race was originally scheduled for last week, but was moved to this coming Saturday. The Caribou Vikings coaches both agree that having extra days to prepare could benefit their teams.

Roy Alden):” I think the extra week has helped us. We were tapering down and doing the things you normally do before a championship race, but a lot of the kids were happy to have an extra week of practice. I am not saying they are happy with it being this cold, but it gives us time to work on a few more things, to plan and maybe get a little bit stronger.”

(Thomas Beckum):” I believe it is good for us, because last week was supposed to be 75 degrees. This week it is going to be 54. The weather for us plays a big factor. The girls run better in colder weather then they do in warmer weather. I think that will play a big factor in us running well.”

It’s not uncommon for the Caribou boys to qualify for the States. They have competed as a team at the states for over three decades in a row.

Alden:” This is the 31st straight year we have qualified as a team, which is quite a stretch of time isn’t it.

Alden says it’s a tribute to the student athletes who run cross country.

Alden:” A lot of it has to do with the dedication of the athletes and people buying in to training throughout the summer. Just the quality of kids we have had go through the program.”

The Caribou Girls are ready to compete again. They lost their number one runner Kayley Bell to graduation last year and that left a hole, but he said ironically because of the pack of runners this year their total time between the two years was almost identical.

Beckum:” This year we only have one runner who is a front runner and a bunch of freshmen who are closing the gap. That allowed us to run as fast as we did last year. It has helped us to qualify for the States this year and the girls have done a great job in focusing and improving week by week.”

The Washburn boys are heading to the States as a team for the first time since the pandemic.

(Kolbie Churchill):” Very excited. That was our goal from the start of the season. We thought it was going to be tough losing three strong seniors last year, they managed to pull it out.”

Churchill says there were some anxious moments, but the runners show their grit and were the final team to qualify.

Churchill:” Very nervous I knew it was going to be very close looking at the virtual meet, We knew it was going to be tough, but everyone pulled their weight, and we made it.”