BANGOR — The Mount Desert Island High School swim team’s 2019-20 season could hardly have started any better.
The MDI boys and girls both earned first-place finishes Saturday in the Ram Invitational at Husson University. The Trojans topped tough fields that included Bangor, Ellsworth and Old Town, perennial swimming powerhouses.
“Top to bottom, we had a really good meet,” head coach David Blaney said. “I asked them to go out and put in a really good effort, and we did that all around. It was a great chance to get back in the pool and get the season started.”
On the boys’ side, MDI began the competition with a win in the 200-yard medley relay. Ponce Saltysiak, Brendan Graves, Tyler Willis and Julian Walls combined for the first-place finish with an overall time of 1 minute, 50.30 seconds.
The MDI boys also clamed second-place finishes in the 200-yard freestyle relay, 100-yard freestyle (Amos Price) and 50-yard freestyle (Willis). The Trojans got third-place finishes in the 200-yard medley relay, 50-yard butterfly (Willis), 50 freestyle (Graves), 50-yard backstroke (Sam Mitchell) and 100-yard individual medley (Saltysiak).
On the girls’ side, MDI earned a win in the 200-yard freestyle relay (Maria Saltysiak, Zoe Eason, Addy Smith and Nina Rozeff). Cecilia Saltysiak earned an individual win for the Trojans as she reached the wall in 58.74 seconds, a mere 0.03 seconds before teammate Ruby Brown.
Other second-place finishes for MDI came in the 200-yard medley relay, 50-yard fly (Saltysiak), 50-yard freestyle (Saltysiak) and 50-yard breaststroke (Lily James). Callan Eason earned third-place finishes for the Trojans in the 50-yard backstroke and 100-yard freestyle and swam the fourth and final leg for MDI’s 200-yard relay team, which also included Zoe Horton, Elise Craighead and Gaia Daul.
The meet also featured two mixed freestyle relay events. MDI’s Mitchell Burr, Piper Soares, Ryan Davis and Julia Perconti placed second in the mixed 100 freestyle relay, and the Trojans’ A (Maria Saltysiak, Cecilia Saltysiak, Ponce Saltysiak and Amos Price) and B (Willis, Eason, Brown and Cody Parker) claimed third and fourth, respectively, in that event.
MDI’s win came as the Trojans used their team depth to rack up numerous second-, third- and fourth-place finishes. Personal records and improved times were had across the board for the Trojans, who beat out Bangor for both team wins (257-207 on the boys side; 272-207 on the girls’ side)
“You had swimmers like Cody Olson and Mitchell Burr who shaved four seconds off of their times,” Blaney said. “That’s an awesome thing to see so early in the season.”
MDI’s next meet will be at Belfast at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13. The Trojans will then take on George Stevens Academy at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17, at the Down East Family YMCA.
“We showed the league that we have a lot of firepower,” Blaney said. “Now, we can see where can build on this and go from here.”