BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island High School outdoor track team is ready to get back at it.
Last year, the Trojans came within touching distance of a boys’ state title and posted a solid performance on the girls’ side as well. MDI will return many of the key athletes from those teams, and another season as a championship contender could be ahead.
“We have about 75 kids, and many of them were major pieces for us last year,” Coach Aaron Long said. “We’re hoping we can be just as good as last year or maybe even a little bit better.”
Thorin Smith, Liam Higgins, Oliver Johnston, Owen Mild and Griffin Maristany headline a strong returning boys’ group on the track, and Sam Hoff and is back to lead the team in the field. MDI also has runners who excel at both, including Colby Lee and Croix Albee.
Last year, that group of athletes led the MDI boys to Hancock County and Penobscot Valley Conference titles and a second-place finish at the Class B championships. Although they didn’t come home with a first-place trophy, the Trojans delivered nothing short of a championship performance.
“When I did some research on it after states, I realized we had posted something like second-highest score of any second-place team,” Long said. “If it had been any other year, there’s a good chance we would’ve won with that score, but that’s track and field for you.”
The girls’ team also is well-positioned this year. Top runners Katelyn Osborn and Zoe Olson are back for the team that claimed the county championship and took second at the regional meet before a third-place finish at states.
Both the boys’ and girls’ teams have students who participate in one or two other varsity and junior varsity sports in the fall and winter. That’s a helpful mix in track and field, a sport in which multiple events offer athletes of all sizes and abilities opportunities to compete.
“The thing about track and field is that your athleticism is going to translate,” Long said. “If you’re good at football, soccer, basketball, cross-country, indoor track or anything else, you’re going to find another event you’re good at here.”
The season is set to start for MDI in just over a week when the Trojans host Bangor Christian, Central, Dexter, Foxcroft, John Bapst, Narraguagus and the Maine School of Science and Mathematics on Saturday, April 21, at noon. That will be the first of two home meets in consecutive weeks for the Trojans, who will host another meet at the same time on April 28.
“It’s nice to start out in the confines of home,” Long said. “There are a lot of expectations for this year, and it’s a good way to start the season.”