Members of the Mount Desert Island junior varsity cross-country team pose for a photo following an Oct. 26 meet in Bangor. The MDI JV team had an outstanding season with many runners running at a varsity championship level and the girls posting numerous perfect scores and meet wins. PHOTO COURTESY OF DESIREE SIROIS

JV cross-country team records historic season

BAR HARBOR — While the Mount Desert Island varsity team was winning meet after meet, the Trojans’ JV runners have been making history of their own. 

MDI enjoyed a remarkable JV cross-country season with the girls’ team frequently winning meets and even competing at levels that would make even other varsity teams jealous. With runners at the top of nearly every meet, the Trojans regularly achieved perfect scores on the girls’ side and top finishes on the boys’ side. 

MDI’s JV girls’ team commanded every meet in which it participated this season. Led by Sophia Taylor, Carolina Graham, Lexi Simard, Azaria Long, Emma Simard, Lillian Beckwith and Fiona St. Germain, the Trojans breezed to victories Sept. 4 in Ellsworth, Sept. 27 in Old Town, Oct. 9 in Hermon, Oct. 16 in Bucksport (Penobscot Valley Conference championships) and Oct. 26 in Bangor. 

The MDI girls completed sweeps of the top-six places in all five of those meets. In doing so, the Trojans achieved the remarkable feat of notching perfect scores in every meet in which they participated this season. 

“The ladies as a collective are by far the [strongest] JV team I have seen in my 14 years as head coach,” MDI’s Desiree Sirois said. “They dominated the season; they were untouchable. They individually run state championship-level times. Add that up, and collectively, they would be in the top three in the state at the Class B meet. That is historical.” 

Graham won the Ellsworth and PVC championship meets with times of 23:03.52 and 21:26.05, respectively, and Long won at Old Town (24:02.92) and Hermon (22:12.19). Taylor closed out the season by winning the Bangor meet with a time of 21:28.53. 

Although MDI did not have enough runners to compete as a team on the boys’ side, the Trojans were consistently among the top competitors in every meet. With the exception of the Bangor meet, MDI had at least one runner in the top two of every race. 

Ryan Davis won the Old Town meet for MDI with a time of 20:45.37, and Feleke Lynch finished second in the Old Town (21:45.99), Hermon (20:45.37) and PVC (19:45.28) meets. Simon Zhang had a strong October for MDI as he placed eighth in Hermon (22:49.18), 13th at PVCs (21:40.16) and 18th in Bangor (22:14.59). 

Many MDI JV runners went back and forth between varsity and JV competition both this year and in past years. Although running at the highest level is always the goal, Sirois said the grace with which runners handled their assignments this season was nothing short of remarkable. 

“The commitment, drive and positivity they bring to every practice and every meet regardless of what type of practice it is or what meet they are running in is the gold standard,” Sirois said. “Their athletic ability is one thing, but their determination and positivity is also something equally as monumental.” 

New Englands set for this weekend 

The 2021 fall sports season will officially come to an end this weekend as qualified runners compete in the New England championship meet. 

Members of the MDI varsity girls’ team and the boys’ team’s Sam York are set to compete in the meet. The competition will be held in Thetford, Vt. 

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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