Members of the MDI boys’ cross country team look to emerge from the pack at the beginning of Saturday’s Class B boys’ race. The MDI boys finished with 99 points to place third behind Greely and York. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

Girls 2nd, boys 3rd at cross country states

CUMBERLAND — A strong season for the Mount Desert Island High School cross-country team concluded Saturday with the Class B championships at Twin Brook Recreation Area in Cumberland.

MDI took second on the girls’ side and third on the boys’ side in the meet. The Trojans finished with what was by far the best performance of any Class B North school and held their own against some of the best from Class B South.

The day began with the Class B girls’ race, which pitted MDI against fellow title contenders Greely and Cape Elizabeth. The Trojans finished the meet with 79 points, eight behind state champion Greely and six ahead of third-place Cape. The next-closest Class B North competitor, Ellsworth, finished with 205 points.

MDI’s Callan Eason finished as the top Hancock County girl in Class B in 11th place with a time of 21 minutes, 4.00 seconds. Katelyn Osborne (15th place), Olivia Johnson (20th place), Rachelle Swanson (25th) and Piper Soares also earned strong finishes for the Trojans, who were the only team to place five runners in the top-25 team-scored positions.

On the boys’ side, MDI used its pack-running strategy to become one of three teams to break the 100-point mark, finishing with 99 points. Only Greely (65 points) and York (83 points) finished above the Trojans in the 15-team field.

MDI’s Ponce Saltysiak nears the finish line of the Class B boys’ race. Saltysiak finished the race in 17 minutes, 38.66 seconds to place 13th, the best of any MDI boys’ runner. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

The top runner for the MDI boys was Ponce Saltysiak, who finished with a time of 17:38.66 and a place of 13th. Jon Genrich, Sam York and Calvin Partin came in 17th, 18th and 19th, respectively, and Stephen Grierson placed 32nd to round out the Trojans’ team scores.

MDI’s second- and third-place team finishes capped off a stellar championship season. The Trojans swept the boys’ and girls’ Hancock County, Penobscot Valley Conference and Northern Maine meets before the strong showing Saturday in Cumberland.

With only four runners graduating on the boys’ side and two on the girls’ side, MDI will be in strong shape once again next season. The returning talent has MDI coaches confident the Trojans can build on this season’s success in 2020.

“[We had a] fantastic year for sure,” assistant coach Aaron Long said. “It’s a special group and one that I think will be even better next year.”

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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