BAR HARBOR — Back at the course where it first began the 2018 cross-country season, runners of the Mount Desert Island High School cross-country team showed just how much they had grown.
MDI finished second in both the boys and girls team events Monday at the Hancock County championships at Ellsworth High School. More importantly, though, runners significant improvements from when they first competed in Ellsworth.
“Both boys and girls team showed significant time improvements on the course,” MDI head coach Desiree Sirois said. “On average, runners were 1-2 minutes faster this time around.”
Calvin Partin, who didn’t race for MDI in the Ellsworth Invitational, was MDI’s top finisher. Partin finished with a time of 18 minutes, 14.13 seconds to claim seventh place.
Jon Genrich and Stephen Grierson showed strong improvements over their season-opening performances in Ellsworth with times of 18:17.82 and 18:22.96, respectively. Genrich’s ninth-place finish marked an improvement of 50.07 seconds, and Grierson improved by 43.70 seconds to place tenth for the Trojans, who took second place as a team with 46 points.
On the girls side, Olivia Johnson’s time of 20:46.34 was more than one full minute faster than the sixth-place finish in Ellsworth in September. Johnson placed third to finish as MDI’s top female runner.
Katelyn Osborne’s time of 21:08.19, good for a fourth-place finish, marked an improvement of 1:36.51. Yet fifth-place finisher Grace Munger posted the biggest jump from opening day, improving by 2:58.26 to finish with a time of 21:08.19.
Olivia Watson and Rachelle Swanson placed eighth and ninth, respectively, to give MDI five of the top-nine finishers. The Trojans’ 29 points were just short of Ellsworth’s 26, but for their coach, it was their overall progress that mattered most.
“[These improvements provide] positive data and encouragement as our teams head to the PVC championships,” Sirois said. “Our training is paying off.”
Compared to the massive field at the previous weekend’s Festival of Champions, this meet was one of the smallest for the Trojans this season. Fifty-three runners competed in the boys race, and just 30 took to the course for the girls race.
“The goal of the meet was to maintain professionalism and focus despite the small meet size,” Sirois said. “[We also wanted] to identify the lessons learned from running the course previously and work toward improvement.”
Next up will be the Penobscot Valley Conference championships Saturday, Oct. 13, at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. The boys race will start at noon, and the girls race will follow it at 12:45 p.m.