Page, Umphlett aim for top finishes at regional

BELFAST, Maine — A pair of Mount Anthony cross-country stars will represent the Patriots at today's New England regional meet.

Evan Page and Sarah Umphlett will put on the MAU red and blue one more time this season after Page's 13th place finish and Umphlett's 25th place finish at the state meet two weekends ago at Thetford Academy.

"Evan has really turned it on this year," said MAU coach Jim Dulin on Friday. "He's a better runner and more confident than last year. He's figured out how to run his race and he understands what works for him."

At states, Page ran the Thetford 5K in 17 minutes, 36.4 seconds — the second best Marble Valley League runner in the field.

"He's been very consistent and very strong at the end of the season," Dulin said. "He ran the [first] Thetford race [the Woods Trail Run] quicker than states and he tore it up at the Greenwich (N.Y.) meet."

Umphlett is making a return visit to the New England meet, where as a freshman last year in Rhode Island she finished 50th overall out of 261 runners in 19:17.

"It's a little hard to explain Sarah's year," Dulin said. "I think she had more pressure on herself, but we saw a lot of maturity. She spent this season around better competition, which is a very good thing for her. Coming here is a celebration for her."

As a freshman, Umphlett burst onto the scene, surprising some, but with another year under her belt, that won't happen again.

"She struggled a little bit in the beginning of this season, she had a little bit of nervousness, but the end of the year was great," Dulin said. "She's been training well over the past few weeks, I think she's at her best right now, she's super confident."

The pair have had a chance to check out the course, and Dulin said both seem to like it.

"It's a little bit flat, but they are optimistic," Dulin said. "It's a very fast field and both are very ready for the competition."

As for goals? Dulin said he believes both could finish in the top 50 — Umphlett for a second straight year and Page for the first time.

"It's a similar course to last year, and Evan has a chance to do it as well. Getting here was the goal," Dulin said.


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