MDI cross-country runners compete in the Ellsworth Invitational Sept. 3. ISLANDER PHOTO BY ZACH LANNING

Cross-country season up and running 



BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island High School cross-country team got off to a strong start at the first meet of the season, finishing in second place at both the boys’ and girls’ varsity level while dominating on an individual and team level during the junior varsity race. 

“I was impressed by the poise and maturity that the new runners raced with, and the leadership and sportsmanship displayed by the returning runners,” coach Desiree Sirois said of the team after the race. “I feel with the positive energy we have, the sense of team we have created and the work we display at practices and meets, we are poised to reach our potential.” 

On the boys’ side, senior Sam York finished in the top five for the Trojans with a time of 16:59.88. Junior Liam McKernan finished tenth and senior Sam Craighead came in sixteenth. 

Bucksport’s Will Hileman led the way, however, finishing in first place with a time of 15:44.64. The sub-16 time was a personal record for the junior, who also won the race on this course last year according to coach Chris Jones.  

“As a coach, I think [Hileman] will PR at every single race,” Jones predicted. “He put in some heavy mileage over the summer with weeks of around 50 miles… Every year we’ve continued to increase his mileage.” 

Despite Hileman’s strong individual performance, Bucksport fell to nine out of 11 qualifying teams in overall scoring. Team scores are calculated by adding together the finishing positions of each school’s top five runners. MDI had a solid enough performance all around to finish in second place with a score of 91, behind only John Bapst Memorial High, which had a score of 58. 

The team’s total time was 1:33:14.07 and its average finish was 18:38.82. 

George Stevens Academy and Ellsworth also landed in the top five, finishing third and fourth respectively.  

Deer Isle-Stonington High School did not have enough runners to qualify for the team results, but junior Owen Staples finished with a time of 25:31.07. 

On the girls’ side, the competition was dominated by Orono High School, which saw all five of their runners finish in the top 10. That included another first-place finish by the fleet-footed phenom Ruth White. Hot on her heels, however, was the senior from GSA, Thea Crowley, who finished with a time of 19:02.46. 

“It was really fun, I enjoyed it a lot,” Crowley said of her first race this season. “I’d like to just get a really good base down before the larger meets, the championship meets and then really excel in those.” 

MDI’s Amelia Vandongen and Ellsworth’s Addison Nelson also finished in the top five. The Trojans again finished in second place. Four seniors – Piper Soares, Ella Joyce, Carolina Graham and Sophia Taylor – finished in a bunch between eleventh and fifteenth, giving MDI an overall score of 51. 

At the JV level, the Trojans were truly dominant. Runners from MDI finished first, second and third in both the boys’ and girls’ races. Ryan Davis, Chris Cooper and Feleke Lynch took the top spots for the boys and Fiona St. Germain, Meri Rainford and Emma Simard filled out the podium for the girls. 

“We continue to have runners who are committed to training, the team and the process,” Sirois said of her team’s success at both levels. 

Zachary Lanning

Zachary Lanning

News reporter Zach Lanning covers news and features in the Ellsworth area. He comes to Ellsworth by way of New Jersey, which he hopes you don't hold against him. Email him at [email protected].
Zachary Lanning

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