BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island High School cross-country team competed in their final meet of the regular season Saturday at the Old Town Invitational, placing third in the girls competition and fifth in the boys competition at the sectional meet.
“We are building on the training accomplished during the first phase of the season to propel ourselves in the championship races — pacing, progression, positioning and power,” head coach Desiree Sirois said. “The goal was to fine-tune physical, mental and emotional aspects of racing to be in the best position to post top times during the finale of the season.”
MDI enjoyed particular success on the girls side, in which the Trojans were pitted against strong teams such as Orono, Ellsworth and Caribou. MDI finished the day behind Orono and Ellsworth with 73 points.
MDI’s top finisher on the girls side was sophomore Olivia Johnson, who crossed the finish line in 21 minutes, 35.34 seconds. Johnson’s 10th-place finish was one spot ahead of teammate Katelyn Osborne, who posted a time of 21:37.69.
Freshman Grace Munger finished 14th for the Trojans with a time of 22:10.91. Rachelle Swanson (22nd), Olivia Watson (23rd), Louise Chaplin (36th) and Azaria Long (39th) rounded out the team’s girls finishers.
On the boys’ side, MDI competed in a deep field of 11 teams. The Trojans’ 138 points placed them behind Hermon, Caribou, Ellsworth and Brewer.
Alex Eason continued his strong season for MDI to place 17th in the 80-person field. His time of 18:50.91 earned him a top-20 finish along with teammate Calvin Partin, who claimed 19th place with a time of 18:59.44
Seconds after Eason and Partin crossed the finish line, sophomore Jon Genrich joined them with a time of 19:06.20. Junior Stephen Grierson (39th) and sophomores Ponce Saltysiak (40th), Mason Soares (60th) and Wyatt Lawson (65th) also finished for the Trojans.
This week’s race featured a course that was slightly longer than those from the Trojans’ previous meet this season. To prepare for that challenge, the team took a different approach in the buildup to the meet.
“This week, our focus was on refining the 5K,” Sirois said. “We clued into smart racing strategies both as a team and as individuals, and we utilized the opportunity to run a 5K course — to post a 5K time — as meets up to this point were shorter in length.”
Starting with this coming weekend, the Trojans will participate in championship meets in each of the next five weekends. The team will compete in the Festival of Champions on Saturday, Sept. 29 at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast. The first race will begin at 10:30 a.m. with boys and girls unseeded, freshman and seeded races lasting throughout the late morning and early afternoon leading up to the awards ceremony at 3:15.
After that, the Hancock County championships are Oct. 5, the Penobscot Valley Conference championships, Oct. 13, the Class B North championships Oct. 20 and the state championships Oct. 27.