The Mount Desert Island girls’ cross-country team shows off its first-place trophy after winning the Pendale Invitational on Oct. 9 in Hermon. The MDI girls beat out George Stevens Academy and Caribou to claim their fourth win in five meets this season. PHOTO COURTESY OF DESIREE SIROIS

Trojans lead the way at Pendale Invitational

HERMON — The Mount Desert Island cross-country team led a competitive field over the weekend in the team’s latest meet.

MDI claimed team and individual victories Saturday in the Pendale Invitational in Hermon. The Trojans claimed a team win in the girls’ event and got an individual win on the boys’ side as Sam York topped the field.

“[Our goal was to] continue to develop racing skills alongside aerobic training and mental strength,” said MDI head coach Desiree Sirois. “The strong performances individually and as a team are the result of this continual, season-long progression that targets incremental and specific growth and routine feedback.”

On the girls’ side, MDI got top-five finishes from Grace Munger (third place, 20:59,62), Callan Eason (fourth place 21:24.34), Ella Joyce (fifth, 21:34.26) and Ella Joyce. Strong efforts from Piper Soares (seventh, 21:55.00), Carolina Graham (eighth, 22:20.31) and Sophia Taylor (ninth, 22:28.36) gave MDI six of the top-nine finishers.

York took first place in the 55-runner boys’ field as he posted a time of 16 minutes, 53.33 seconds. The win was the third of the season for York, who previously claimed first place Sept. 17 in Blue Hill and Sept. 27 in Old Town and also set a 5K record with a time of 16:33.90 in the Oct. 2 Festival of Champions.

Tucker James placed 14th with a time of 18:36.90 for the MDI boys, and Liam McKernan (18th place, 18:54.37) joined him the top third of the field. Callahan Bryer (23rd, 19:00.76) and Sam Craighead (27th, 19:29.77) finished in the top half for the Trojans.

The MDI boys’ cross-country team poses for a photo with its second-place trophy following the Pendale Invitational on Oct. 9 in Hermon. MDI will be back in action at noon Saturday, Oct. 17, for the Penobscot Valley Conference championships at Bucksport High School.

MDI’s win in the girls’ competition came as the Trojans, who notched their fourth team title in five meets this season, racked up 27 points to beat out George Stevens Academy (54 points) and Caribou (58 points) for first place. On the boys’ side, MDI scored 83 points to finish just shy of first-place GSA (79).

The meet was the last for MDI before the start of championship season, which is scheduled to begin this coming weekend. Bridging the gap between the Festival of Champions and upcoming Penobscot Valley Conference championships with a tune-up competition was a welcome change of pace for the Trojans, who have adapted well this year regardless of the circumstances.

“The team has shown the ability to transition fluidly between high-pressure large meets and lower-key developmental meets such as the Pendale,” Sirois said. “This ability will hopefully serve the team well in upcoming weeks.”

MDI will participate in the PVC championships Saturday at Bucksport High School (girls’ meet at noon, boys meet to follow at 12:40). The team will then compete in the Northern Maine championships the following Saturday, Oct. 23, at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast.

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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