Members of the MDI and Ellsworth boys’ swim team’s dive into the pool during a meet Jan. 28 at the MDI YMCA in Bar Harbor. Ellsworth took two of the three relay races against the MDI boys’ team, but the Trojans claimed wins in six of the nine individual events to earn the team victory. ISLANDER PHOTO BY NINAH GILE

MDI splits with Ellsworth in tight swim meet

Members of the Ellsworth and Mount Desert Island girls’ swim teams swim the backstroke during a meet Jan. 28 at the MDI YMCA in Bar Harbor. MDI and Ellsworth split a tight meet Friday night with the MDI boys beating the Eagles 86-63 and the Ellsworth girls topping the Trojans 99-78.

BAR HARBOR — One of the most anticipated meets of the 2021-22 swim season did not disappoint.

Mount Desert Island competed in a tight meet with rival Ellsworth Friday evening at the MDI YMCA in Bar Harbor. The Trojans edged the Eagles 86-63 in the boys’ meet, while Ellsworth stayed undefeated on the girls’ side as it beat MDI 99-78.

The Ellsworth girls won two of the three relays against MDI as the quartet of Kiera Springer, Caroline Mazgaj, Ella Montgomery and Adriana Richardson won both the 200-yard medley relay (2 minutes, 8.26 seconds) and the 400-yard freestyle relay (4:01.13). For the Trojans, Nina Rozeff, Addy Smith, Denali Wagstaff and Elle Yarborough won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:39.86.

Montgomery (50-yard freestyle, 26.54; 100-yard butterfly, 1:01.92) and Mazgaj (200-yard freestyle, 2:07.36; 100-yard breaststroke, 1:11.87) added two individual wins each. Kiera Springer (500-yard freestyle, 5:39.51), Kaela Springer (1-meter dive, 181.45) and Jordan Berry (100-yard backstroke, 1:10.48) also earned victories for Ellsworth, while Lily James won the 200-yard individual medley (2:29.10) for the home team.

Ellsworth also took two of three relay races against MDI on the boys’ side with wins in the 200 medley relay (Owen Frank, Nick Partridge, Lucas Fendl, Kobe Swett, 1:48.90) and 200 freestyle relay (Partridge, Frank, Fendl, Andy Erlanson, 1:39.86). MDI won the 400 freestyle relay in 3:46.91 (Julian Walls, Sam Schleif, Sam York, Brendan Graves).

Walls added two individual wins for MDI as he took first place in the 50 freestyle (24.04) and the 100 backstroke (1:02.05). The MDI boys’ team also got individual victories from York (200 freestyle, 2:06.59), Graves (100 freestyle, 53.56), Schleif (500 freestyle, 5:48.12) and Oakley Bench (1-meter dive, 106.85).

MDI’s strong performance went beyond just the Trojans’ event winners. David Blaney’s team also managed to accumulate points with its team depth, and the MDI head coach was also left impressed by the efforts of one of his Lane 6 swimmers, Hodari Foster.

“He’s learning how to swim, and he’s been in and out of the water for various reasons, but he swam really well,” Blaney said of Foster, who posted a personal best of 31.27 seconds in the 50 freestyle and finished in an impressive 1:17.65 in the 100 freestyle. “I was really impressed with him and how he did in both races.”

For Ellsworth, Partridge won the 200 IM in 2:09.35 and added a second win in the final solo event as he swam the 100 breaststroke in 1:00.39. Fendl also earned an individual win for the Eagles as he posted a time of 59.61 seconds to win the 100 butterfly.

With COVID-19 forcing quarantines, both teams were missing a number of their key swimmers entering Friday night’s meet. Those who did swim, though, earned top marks from their coaches with fast times posted and a number of personal bests set.

“Both MDI and EHS were down about one-third of our swimmers, but others stepped up and carried on and performed well,” said Ellsworth head coach Jim Goodman. “Both teams swam well, and we had a lot of awesome times, and many best times for some of my swimmers. Many swimmers improved their times over previous meets.”

Next up for Ellsworth and MDI will be the final meets of the 2021-22 regular season. Ellsworth will host Brewer at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4, and MDI is scheduled to host George Stevens Academy at that same time and date.

Those meets will serve as the last opportunities for swimmers from both teams to achieve state qualifying times. They will also mark the final tune-ups for the Penobscot Valley Conference championships, which will be held next Friday, Feb. 11 (boys), and next Saturday, Feb. 12 (girls), at the University of Maine.

“All of our kids are working hard in what’s been another different year, and we’re in a good spot as we head into those championship meets,” Blaney said. “This is our last chance before that, and it’s another one for us to get ready.”

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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