BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island High School swim teams split the first meet of the new year Jan. 2 with a 129-31 win on the boys’ side and a narrow 102-74 loss on the girls’ side.
Between illnesses, vacation time and other absences, MDI has been at a disadvantage from a numbers standpoint in December and early January. Yet as the Trojans showed against Brewer last Tuesday, Head Coach Tony DeMuro’s squad has the ability to be very competitive as the season progresses.
“For us, it’s always about putting ourselves in a position to win at the end of the year,” DeMuro said. “When you look at how we’ve done with what we’ve had, we have a lot to look forward to in the weeks to come.”
Any obstacles facing the MDI boys’ team were hardly evident in the unit’s dominant win over Brewer. Aside from the 500-yard freestyle, the Trojans won every team and individual race it contested on the boys’ side.
Liam Sullivan made his return for MDI after spending the first semester swimming for a competitive team in Fort Collins, Colo. He won the 100-yard butterfly and breaststroke events at the individual level and was part of four-person teams that won the 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays.
“[Having him back] is like a football team having its quarterback back,” DeMuro said. “He’s a top-tier swimmer and a hard worker, and when you have him in the pool swimming for you, it’s going to give you a big boost.”
Another of MDI’s top competitors on the boys’ side was Isaac Weaver, who won the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard freestyle. The Trojans added individual wins from Jacob Mitchell (200-yard individual medley), Amos Price (50-yard freestyle) and Tyler Willis (100-yard freestyle) and posted a time of 1 minute, 49.11 seconds as a team to win the 200 freestyle relay.
“There’s a lot of really good boys’ teams around the state this year, and I think we’re there with them,” DeMuro said. “We’ve had plenty of good boys’ teams in the past, but this group has a lot of talent, experience and depth to it.”
Eliza Schleif led the way for MDI’s girls’ team with wins in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly. Ruby Brown added a win for the Trojans in the 200-yard IM, and Maddie Woodworth won the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:06.65.
MDI also performed well in the girls’ relays. Woodworth, Schleif, Brown and Mei Mei White finished the 200 freestyle relay in 1:53.77 to edge Brewer by nearly six seconds, and a team of Woodworth, Brown, White and Olivia Johnson came just short of a win in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 2:08.84.
MDI now faces a stretch that includes three meets in the span of nine days after having just one over the past four weeks. The Trojans host Orono on Friday, Jan. 12, at 6 p.m. and George Stevens Academy at that time on Tuesday, Jan. 16, before facing Washington Academy on the road on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 5 p.m.
“Everyone gets geared up to face us, and as we get closer to February, the stakes get higher,” DeMuro said. “We have to get our swimmers qualified and keep improving as the state meet approaches.”