ELLSWORTH — The 33 runners on the Mount Desert Island High School cross-country team laced up their sneakers for the first meet of the season on Saturday, Sept. 3, at Ellsworth High School.
The girls placed fourth while the boys came in sixth.
New to the team is senior Tia Tardy, who transferred this year from Orono High School.
She came in first overall in the girls’ division with a time of 19 minutes, 23.48 seconds, more than 10 seconds ahead of the next female finisher.
Emma Strong came in second for the MDI girls and 20th overall with a time of 22:51.56.
Sean Murray came in first for the MDI boys and 21st overall with a time of 19:12.59, followed by Josh Bloom, who came in second for the MDI boys and 29th overall in 19:37.25.
Head Coach Desiree Sirois said she is proud of how the team works together.
“This is a huge team – one of my biggest in many years,” she said. “The energy is really positive and a great vibe, and it has really helped reach their potential so far.”
Upperclassmen have taken on leadership roles while younger runners have been receptive to learning.
“We have a really strong group of seniors who are stepping up to lead the younger team members,” she said.
First-year runners also are pulling their weight for the team.
“There’s been a really great group of freshmen,” Sirois said. “They are really determined and really motivated to work with the team and learn.
“They are really taking the advice of the upperclassmen and the people who have been there before.”
Sirois said the team is more important than any individual runner.
“We are developing strategy and learning the basics of training and racing, and learned to work with teammates to have the most team success while also working to push themselves individually,” she said.
The Trojans are looking ahead to their home “meet,” which is this Saturday, Sept. 10, at MDI High.
For the second year in a row, the team is hosting a community 5K race along the school’s trails.
“Since we don’t have a home meet, I wanted to bring in a community aspect, to show people what we love to do,” said Sirois
Last year, some 60 runners participated in the event. Cross-country team members will race against other members of the community in the fun event.
“They will race against teachers they’ve had in the past, parents, former MDIHS runners,” said Sirois. “It’s a fun, community event.”
Runners in each age group will receive awards, and proceeds from the race will go towards the cross-country team and the team’s local trails.