BUCKSPORT — Coach Aaron Long has consistently preached the season’s final three meets as the primary focus for the Mount Desert Island High School track and field team’s season. In the first of those three meets, months of dedication and hard work paid off with a pair of championship wins.
MDI continued its successful season Friday with boys’ and girls’ team wins at the Hancock County track and field championships at Bucksport High School. Both teams surpassed 200 points on the day as the Trojans began the 2018 championship season on a positive note.
“It’s a very real transition from the regular season into championship mode, but now each of us has had an opportunity to go through that,” Long said. “It takes that in-the-moment mentality and trust in our training that has got us to this position to be successful.”
Owen Mild led the MDI boys on the track with individual wins in the 200- and 400-meter dashes. Mild’s finish in the 400-meter event was particularly exemplary as the senior’s 52.94-second time was 4.13 seconds faster than the nearest runner in a crowded pack.
Elsewhere on the track, Elijah Joyce beat out five competitors to win the 110-meter hurdles. The Trojans earned a team win when Joyce and Mild joined up with Griffin Maristany and Colby Lee to lead the team past George Stevens Academy in the 4×100 relay.
In the field, Croix Albee won both the discus throw and the shot put and finished third in the javelin throw. Sophomore Elijah Denning won the day’s final event by clearing 11 feet in the pole vault, and MDI edged second-place GSA 209-168 to claim the overall team win.
On the girls’ side, Ashley Anderson (100- and 200-meter dashes) and Zoe Olson (800-meter run) accounted for MDI’s individual track wins. The Trojans also swept the team events with wins in the 4×100, 4×400 and 4×800 relays.
The 4×800 team of Katelyn Osborne, Olivia Watson, Olivia Johnson and Olson won with their time of 10:30.77. Alahna Mild, Marilyn Sawyer, Adriana Novella and Anderson won the 4×100, finishing in 52:61 seconds. The 4×400 team of Osborne, Mei Cook, Olson and Anderson won with their time of 4:31.38.
MDI also had a solid day in the girls’ field events with individual victories in four of the seven. Dori LeMoine won the javelin throw and shot put for the Trojans, and Loren Genrich (long jump) and Mackenzie Hanna (discus throw) provided the other two to help the Trojans claim first place by an 83-point margin over GSA.
Starting with last week’s meet in Bangor, MDI began to focus on placements rather than individual times. Long continued to emphasize that this week. That was the message for the Trojans again Friday, and it yielded excellent results.
“I was really hoping to see individuals be competitive within their events and not worry too much about a ‘bad’ or ‘slow’ mark,” Long said. “Some were able to do that very easily, and others maybe a little bit less so.”
MDI’s next meet will be the Penobscot Valley Conference Large-School championships in Brewer on Thursday, May 24, at 3:30 p.m. That meet will pit the Trojans against Bangor, Brewer, Ellsworth, Foxcroft, Hampden Academy, Hermon, John Bapst, Old Town and Presque Isle.
Although the MDI boys have won each overall team competition this year and the girls have won two of five, Long said earning team wins in Brewer will be much more of a challenge. To prepare for that challenge, he wants the Trojans to take a different approach.
“We need to come to grips that neither our boys’ team nor our girls’ team will be the favorites to win,” Long said. “[We should] embrace the role of the underdog and come ready to go with something to prove.”