MDI’s Meri Rainford (left) and Piper Soares compete in a high school cross-country meet Sept. 27 at Old Town High School. MDI runners were among a small contingent competing in Monday’s Old Town Invitational. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

MDI cross-country sweeps Old Town Invitational



OLD TOWN — It was a lighter slate on the cross-country circuit this past week, but a select group of Mount Desert Island runners traveled north for the fourth meet of the 2021 season.

MDI competed Monday in the Old Town Invitational at Old Town High School. The sectional meet pitted the participating Trojans against a limited selection of runners from schools throughout eastern Maine.

“It was a great tune-up race before the start of our October racing season,” MDI head coach Desiree Sirois said. “The athletes focused on confidence building, pack running and adapting to race-course elements.”

MDI dominated the girls’ event as it racked up 24 points to easily outpace Caribou (81 points) for first place. Grace Munger (second place, 21 minutes, 34.87 seconds), AyliGrace Munro (fourth place, 22:01.75) and Ella Joyce (fifth, 22:16.78) placed in the top five for the Trojans.

Elsewhere for the MDI girls, Meri Rainford (eighth place, 23:03.99), Piper Soares (ninth place, 23:07.41) and Carolina Graham (10th, 23:07.41) finished in the top 10. Sophia Taylor placed 11th with a time of 23:13.03 for the Trojans, who placed all seven runners in the top fifth of the 58-runner field.

On the boys’ side, MDI’s Sam York claimed first place individually as he finished in 7:42.78. Liam McKernan (19:11.67) and Spencer Rose (19:12.01) finished a respective eighth and ninth to give the Trojans three top-10 finishers.

Members of the MDI boys’ cross-country team compete in a high school cross-country meet Sept. 27 at Old Town High School. MDI will compete in the Festival of Champions at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast.
ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

MDI also placed its other four runners in the top half of the field as Tucker James, Callahan Bryer, Sam Craighead and Jay Haney all placed in the top 35. James finished 15th with a time of 20:04.11, Bryer placed 22nd with a time of 20:28.30, Craighead posted a time of 20:33.19 to finish 23rd, and Jay Haney crossed the finish line in 21:32.66 to place 35th.

MDI runners will compete in the Festival of Champions on Saturday, Oct. 2, at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast. The day will begin with the unseeded races at 11 a.m., continue with the freshman races at 12:20 p.m. and conclude with the seeded races at 1:40.

MDI alum Saltysiak named NAC Rookie of the Week

Recent MDI graduate and current Maine Maritime Academy freshman Ponce Saltysiak was announced Tuesday as the North Atlantic Conference’s Rookie of the Week.

Saltysiak competed with the MMA cross-country team in Saturday’s Husson Harrier 8K at Saxl Park in Bangor. The 2021 MDI graduate’s time of 28:27.7 was good enough for third in the 55-runner field and first among MMA runners.

At MDI, Saltysiak participated in cross-country, swimming and outdoor track and field. He was a member of MDI’s state championship track teams in 2018 and 2021 as well as the Trojans’ state title-winning swim teams in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

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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