Camden Hills Cross Country Teams ROCK!


My favorite picture of the day…the boys warm up for the Class B (Maine) Eastern Regional Cross Country Championship… notice the muddy handprint? This was BEFORE the race…. competitors were, by the end, covered head to toe in mud!

Or make that RACE!  Today was an incredibly sodden day for the Maine High School Eastern Regional Cross Country Championships, held at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast, Maine.  It might just as well have been called Mudfest 2012!  When driving home from dropping Eli off at the bus this morning, it was raining so hard that even though I had my wiper on “whip”, I could barely see.  The road surface was not visible…the rain was coming down so hard it was bouncing up and the top of the road was a gray haze.  That meant MUD!  But the kids were AMAZING!  The Girls Team WON Class B Eastern Regionals and for the first time in memory the Boys Team qualified for States!  The top 8 of 15 teams get in, and the boys placed 6th!  Awesome job!

After the meet, a VERY happy Camden Hills Regional High School (Maine) Cross Country team!

From the boys team, Junior Ben Trapani put in an amazing run coming in second in Class B!  Eli Smith and best friend since first grade Ben Winchenbach both turned in amazing times–if the boys team had not qualified as a team, they each would have qualified for States by placing in the top 30:  Eli was 19th and Ben 26th!!!! As FRESHMEN?!!!!!!   The rest of the boys also exceeded their previous bests for a combined performance that earned the entire team a trip to the State Championships for the first time in memory…. at least 7 or more years since a Camden Boys team has qualified.  WELL DONE, gentlemen!

The Girls Team has been a local powerhouse for quite some time, and thrillingly, they won with Brittany Bowman coming in third in the Class B girls, and with three of the girls in the top ten, six in the top thirty.  That’s why they won!

Looking across the field to the starting line for the boys’ race

And they’re off…. Ben Trapani is just to the left of Eli (who has a red arrow pointing at him…yes, Mama is proud!)

A little blurry photo, but that is Eli running in the red, about halfway through the race at 20th! We knew he needed to make 30th or better if the team didn’t make the cut–which it hadn’t in years! Paul and I were dumbfounded that he was so far up in the pack! THEN, Ben W. comes along seven runners later!!!! He could make it too!

Eli is nothing if not determined. Here you see the boys coming down the hill into the straightaway into the chute (and BIG HUGE puddles)…Maybe 200 yards to go?

Then Eli gets this look of determination on his face and you know you are about to witness his “final kick”…. here the legs and arms start churning, puddle or no! Notice how he has closed the gap from the previous photo.

And into overdrive…this is what makes Eli a winner! Not just physical ability, but mental fitness and determination and drive! (Yeah… I’m totally, deliriously biased!) We did not know it at the time, but just before the last uphill, he twisted an ankle a little bit and fell behind the kid to his left in this photo.  Without the slip, he might even have overtaken the boy in dark blue.  As it was, he finished 19th!  as a FRESHMAN!

After the race…can you say MUDDY? This is before Eli went for his chest-slide. The mud was so slick in places you could have put a sled on it and gone downhill!

L to R: Forest P., Ben W., Ben T. and Eli…well done!

And now, the GIRLS are off! I didn’t get many photos of the girls…somehow I wasn’t “on” with the camera today and many of my photos were blurry.

In the stands…notice the change in color in Eli’s shirt? This one is AFTER sliding on his chest in the mud!

The Girls Class B Eastern Regional Champions! WOOT!!!! Well done to one and all!

And lest you think I forgot about quilting, nope. Wondering: would this photo of the mud turn into a good Thermofax screen?

And last and best, teenagers being teenagers!

Having fun at the end of the day…great job to everyone!

And I am happy to report, as soon as Eli got home he went out to the hose, in the rain, to hose down his running spikes, then came in and peeled off all the grimy muddy muck into the washing machine and himself into the shower.  What a wonderful day!   And yes, I am REALLY GLAD I wore my Bogs boots…rubber up past the ankles!


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