ORONO — The Mount Desert Island boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams earned top-half finishes at the Penobscot Valley Conference championships Saturday at Orono High School.
The boys’ team was without top runner Thorin Smith but still finished fourth with the help of Finian Burns. The freshman’s time of 19 minutes, 15.48 seconds earned him 10th place in Class B.
MDI also got top-20 finishes from Stephen Grierson (15th) and Liam Higgins (17th). The Trojans had 85 points as a team to finish ahead of Presque Isle, John Bapst, Old Town, Washington Academy and Foxcroft. They were 29 points behind first-place Hermon.
On the girls’ side, MDI recorded 78 points for a third-place finish. The team’s No. 1 runner, Katelyn Osborne, followed up on her second-place finish at the Hancock County championships in Bucksport by crossing the finish line in 22:18.64 to claim ninth place.
Other MDI girls’ runners to finish in the top 20 were Louise Chaplin (12th), Emily Banks (16th) and Sofie Dowling (20th). The Trojans finished eight points behind second-place Ellsworth and 53 behind the first-place team, Caribou.
The course at Orono was a challenge for all runners. The hills and uneven ground provided a different setting from some of MDI’s past races, but the Trojans came prepared.
“Both the boys’ and girls’ varsity teams approached the race with focus and were ready to challenge the terrain,” MDI Coach Desiree Sirois said. “It was a great, challenging course that worked well with our goal of placement running.”
In other cross-country news, Sirois was named the PVC Boys’ Coach of the Year on Saturday. The MDI boys have regularly posted top finishes over the course of the season and have a chance to continue their success as championship season winds down in the weeks to come.
MDI’s next meet will be the Northern Maine championships, which will be held in Belfast on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 11 a.m.