BELFAST – 1,700 cross country runners from Maine and New England descended upon Belfast for the annual Festival of Champions.
The event marks the halfway point of the season for high school cross country, and featured 65 schools from Maine and nine from out of state.
The culmination of the day were the girls and boys seeded races, featuring the best competitors out of the field.
Bangor’s Gabe Coffey won the boys race with a time of 15:54.51, and the girls race was won by Falmouth sophomore Sofie Matson at a 18:21.52 pace.
Coffey says his strategy is start out at a slower pace and speed up as other racers run out of energy.
“In championship races or big races like this that’s definitely a strategy i would go with..but I run a lot of really small races so normally I don’t do that..so I definitely have to force myself to hold back at the start,” said Coffey.
The event, considered one of the largest inscholastic athletic competitions in Maine, was organized by Brewer’s Glendon Rand.