ELLSWORTH — The first cross-country invitational of the season was held at Ellsworth High School on Saturday, Sept. 5. George Stevens Academy varsity girls’ and Orono High School varsity boys’ teams were winners in team scores at the 3-mile run.
The Mount Desert Island High School varsity boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams finished with team scores of 196 and 120.
“We are continuing to work on building our physical and mental strength during this early season,” Coach Desiree Sirois said. “Physically, our focus is on pacing, pack running and hill strength. Mentally, we are focused on staying tuned into the race, our positioning within and our form.”
Behind the Orono boys with a score of 35 in the team competition were Caribou 40, George Stevens Academy 95, Old Town 117, Washburn 172, Sanford 182, Presque Isle 192, MDI 196, John Bapst 205, Foxcroft Academy 206, Central 260 and Hermon 330.
Peter Philbrook was first among the Trojan boys to cross the finish line in 19:51.78.
MDI teams, said Sirois, are in the strength-building phase in which they challenge themselves during the tough terrain sections of both training runs and races.
Also in the varsity boys’ race were Sean Murray, 33rd in 20:24.64; Josh Bloom, 42nd in 20:50; Matthew Lambert, 59th in 21:52.58; Matthew Perconti, 60th in 22:15.17; Chase McGee, 62nd in 22:26.52; and Eilon Zboray, 66th in 22:32.70.
In the girls’ race, George Stevens Academy took top honors with 42 points, followed by Orono 64, Caribou 93, Old Town 109, MDI 120, John Bapst 141, Presque Isle 178, Sanford 187, Foxcroft Academy 203 and Hermon 256.
For the Trojans, Emma Strong was 15th in 22:55.74; Xingyao Chen, 18th in 23:05.60; Emily Banks, 30th in 24:13.73; Sierra Tapley, 35th in 24:55.63; Erin White, 36th in 25:00.60; Kelsey Shaw, 46th in 26:47.67; and Allison Gray, 51st in 27:16.56.
“Returning members have stepped up and demonstrated class and leadership. New runners have shown ambition and excitement,” added Sirois. “Teamwork, commitment, grit and unity really define this season.”
The MDI team is looking forward to sharing the cross-country experience with the community on Saturday, Sept. 12, as they prepare to host and run in their first MDI Trail 5K Invitational at the high school track.