Members of the Mount Desert Island High School boys’ swim team celebrate with the state championship trophy after winning the Class B title Feb. 16 at the University of Maine. It was the second Class B championship in a row for the MDI boys, who now have eight overall. PHOTO COURTESY OF TABATHA SULLIVAN

Boys first, girls third at swim state championships



By Glenn Jordan, Portland Press Herald

and Mike Mandell, [email protected]

ORONO — The Mount Desert Island High School boys swim and dive team won the Class B state championships at the University of Maine Saturday, earning the team title for the second year in a row. Two days later, the Trojan girls finished third of 21 teams in the girls’ meet.

The two squads met the day in between, Sunday, as part of a team bonding exercise. The Trojans also celebrated a remarkable season by shaving their coach’s head.

“It’s just a little end-of-the-season look for me,” coach Tony DeMuro said. “It’s been a great year. We had big goals, and we achieved them.”

One week after falling to Ellsworth in the conference meet in the same pool, MDI turned the tables Saturday with a convincing victory in the Class B championships.

Led by two individual victories and a meet record from Liam Sullivan, the Trojans clinched the victory before the final relay.

“We were disappointed with that performance [last week],” Sullivan said. “You can’t ask for a better opportunity the next week to turn it around.”

Sullivan, who this year is not part of the MDI YMCA swim program in order to focus solely on his high school team, won the 100-yard breaststroke by more than 5 seconds in a time of 56.82. Not only was it a Class B record, it also marked the third straight heat of the breast stroke in which an MDI swimmer touched first.

Ponce Saltysiak moved up to seventh from the 11th seed by winning one of the four heats, and Luiz Estacio cut 3 seconds from his seed time to win another heat and improve from 20th seed to 15th place.

“It was all over the place,” MDI head coach Tony DeMuro said. “You can’t just say it was the top line. We had kids everywhere. It’s contagious.”

The Trojans claimed their second straight state title by finishing with 381 points to 312 for Ellsworth, which lost its dual meet with MDI by a point before winning the Penobscot Valley Conference title.

Cape Elizabeth was third at 239, followed by Greely (179), Morse (175), Yarmouth (152.5) and 14 other schools.

Cape Elizabeth and Ellsworth each claimed three individual events and also accounted for the three relay victories, but neither could match MDI’s depth.”

The Trojans grabbed four of the 16 scoring positions in half of the eight individual swimming events: breaststroke, butterfly, 200 free and 500 free. Isaac Mains, seeded 19th, zoomed to ninth in the fly, behind three teammates who placed second (Tyler Willis), sixth (Amos Price) and seventh (Zeke Valleau).

“This is our big focus from Day 1,” Sullivan said. “We sink all our eggs into this one basket.”

Sullivan, who also won the 200 individual medley in 1:54.18, helped MDI to runner-up relay finishes to Ellsworth in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle.

He was named Performer of the Meet.

Sam Mitchell was one of two divers to compete in the meet, along with Gary Moline of Belfast. Mitchell also placed ninth in the 100 free. He took up diving this winter because the Trojans had nobody else.

On Saturday, they had both depth and motivation.

“We certainly weren’t real happy with how we swam last week,” DeMuro said of the loss to their rivals. “It probably was the best thing for us.

“I think if we win [the league meet], we don’t swim as well [Saturday]. But who knows?”

On Monday, the MDI girls’ 245 points were good enough for third of 21 teams, trailing only Cape Elizabeth and Greely.

Individually, Ruby Brown placed sixth in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2 minutes, 6.73 seconds and fifth in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 57.05 seconds. The Trojans also had great performances in the 100-yard breaststroke, in which Sadie Sullivan (fifth place) and Addy Smith (sixth place) finished within one-tenth of a second of one another. Maria Saltysiak finished fourth in the 100 butterfly and sixth in the 100-yard backstroke.

Adria Horton earned the top individual finish of the day for the MDI girls when she touched the wall in 5:33.55 to place third in the 500-yard freestyle. Horton also placed eighth in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:04.58.

As a team, MDI opened the event with a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly. In the final event in the day, the Trojans placed fourth again when Saltysiak, Horton, Brown and Anna Naggert finished with a time of 3:56.58 in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

“We did as well as we could possibly do,” DeMuro said. “I can’t even tell you how many of our swimmers outperformed their seedings.”

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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