ORONO — The Mount Desert Island High School boys’ indoor track-and-field team took first place at its inaugural Eastern Maine Indoor Track League (EMITL) meet of the season Monday at the University of Maine.
The meet was originally scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 17, but was postponed due to inclement weather.
The MDI boys earned 107 points to beat out George Stevens Academy with 100; Hampden Academy, 94; John Bapst Academy, 65; Ellsworth High School, 16; Central High School, 16; and Mattanawcook Academy, 11.
The MDI girls earned 52 points to place fourth behind GSA, 95.5; Hampden, 98 and John Bapst, 76. Mattanawcook finished with 40 points; Central, 26.5; and Ellsworth, 18.
Head Coach Bradley Witham said he is proud of how the MDI indoor track team is shaping up.
“I am super impressed with them so far,” he said. “We have new people and veterans rising to the occasion.”
The MDI boys’ 4×200-meter relay team made up of Liam Higgins, Noah Hutchinson, Giovanni McKenzie and Jose Chumbe finished in first place with a time of one minute, 40.32 seconds, just ahead of the Hampden team in 1:41.39.
In the boys’ shot put, Micah Hallett took first place with a throw of 37 feet, 7 inches, and Samuel Hoff finished second with 36 feet, 5 inches. Nate Messmore came in fifth place with 32 feet, 9 inches.
Chumbe took the top spot in the boys’ long jump in 18 feet, 7 inches, and McKenzie placed first with 39 feet, 3 inches in the boys’ triple jump. Hutchinson came in first in the high jump in 6 feet, 2 inches.
Josh Bloom finished second in the 1-mile run with a time of 5:04.93, behind Hampden’s Paul Casavant in 4:31.62. MDI’s Thorin Smith placed third, in 5:07.92.
Hutchins, Higgins and Bloom placed fourth, fifth and sixth in the 200-meter dash with times of 25.42, 25.60 and 25.61, respectively.
In the 400-meter dash, Higgins came in second place in 54.96, just behind GSA’s John Hassett in 53.15.
Matthew Perconti placed fifth in the 55-meter dash in 7.38 seconds, ahead of sixth-place finisher Chumbe in 7.4 seconds.
Smith and Stanley Grierson finished in second and third place in the 800-meter dash in 2:25.62 and 2:27.14, respectively. John Bapst’s Gavin McDonald placed first in 2:20.23.
Like most indoor track teams around the state, the MDI team practices once per week at the Orono field house and the remaining days in the halls of the high school.
Witham said the practices are key to improving technique.
“It’s exciting to see what we can do with nontraditional workouts,” said the coach. “We have a limited area but not a limited imagination when it comes to practicing.”
Although she has been practicing with the team, Tia Tardy did not compete in Monday’s meet.
“After a long cross-country season that can be really demanding on the body, we will have her starting out later than everyone else,” said Witham.
Tardy holds the EMITL and New Balance Nationals records for the 800-meter run in 2:14:29 and the New Balance record for the 400-meter dash in 59.09 seconds. She is expected to compete in the next meet.
Despite Tardy’s absence, the MDI girls stepped up to the challenge.
Ashley Anderson came in first place overall in three of the girls’ events.
She took first place in the 55-meter dash in 7.85 seconds. Anderson completed the 400-meter dash in 1:08.32 and the 200-meter dash in 28.53 seconds.
Lily Turner came in fourth in both the 55-meter dash in 8.35 seconds and in the 200-meter dash in 30.73 seconds.
Zoe Olson took second place in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:39.62.
In the shot put, Dorothy LeMoine placed third with 29 feet, 10 inches.
Turner took eighth place in the long jump with 12 feet, 10 inches.
“I am really proud of everyone’s runs from new runners and also the seasoned veterans,” said Witham. “One of my triple jumpers, we noticed that every jump he took was better than any he made last year, and people that are new to the team are having a good time. I couldn’t ask for a better start to the season.”
MDI will next compete at UMO on Thursday, Dec. 29, beginning at 10 a.m.