The life of a long distance runner isn't filled with pomp and circumstances. However, it can be extremely rewarding for those individuals who accept the challenge and complete a course. Those attributes certainly relete to the current members of the Dirigo boys' and girls' cross country teams.
The program has continued to climb back up the ladder, since Gunnar Bradbury approached (former athletic director) Charlie Swan and inquired about reviving the program. It had to start as a club because the program had been dormant for more than two years. Last year, the girls' team qualified for and finished fifth in its first-ever state meet.
Bradbury did the leg work required and approached some students to inquired if they would be interested in joining. His intentions were to not recruit student-athletes who were already committed to another sport. still, there are currently several runners who are also competing in soccer.
There priority lies with the first sport, in case of conflict regarding scheduling.
The core of the girls' team returned this fall, including seniors Natalie Bolduc and Silvia Lutick, along with sophomores Megan Bradbury and Jessica Conant.
Last fall, Bolduc finished third in the MVC meet, second in the western regional and fifth in state meet. The first five runners earn points for their respective team, and the Cougars have added freshman Sabrina Daoud.
Bradbury is confident the Dirigo girls have the runners who are capable of scoring well in post season. In addition to Bolduc, Conant and Ludick also had top-40 times.
The boys' leader is junior Seth Tachney, but several newcomers could step up. Even though the best days are behind us, in terms of weather, there is still plenty of action on the links because the Dirigo and Mountain Valley golf teams remain in competition.
The Cougars hosted the Falcons last Thursday at Oakdale. It was actually a home away from home meet because both teams use the nine-hole course as its home base. Dirigo has been paced by returning seniors Robbie Babb, Justin Chartier, who have carried the load. But the sledding has been tough because they go head to-head against opposing schools top players. Sophomores Mitch Kubesh, Chantel Whitman have helped, while freshmen Gus Brown and Meaghan Kazregis are learning.
"They are inexperienced, but they will make up with some natural talent," said Coach Seth Fournier. MV and coach: Bob Fulton (eighth year) didn't lose anyone from last year's 3-7 team, who include seniors Sean Murphy, Steve Cureton, Adam Volkernick, Jon Petrie; juniors Trent Virgin and Milo Jodrey have climbed the ladder. Freshman Jeremy Petegrill will gain experience.
The 2012 Dirigo baseball state championship team and the Cougars first-ever Western Regional champion softball team, were each honored during halftime at homecoming football game. They received proclamations from the Maine Senate and House of Representitives in Augusta. Rep. Sheryl Briggs read the documents to the respective team members. The baseball team beat Calais in the state game; their second title in three years. The softball team beat Sacopee Valley in the regional final, but lost the state game.