MDI sweeps Cony to open swim season 

BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island swim team began the 2021 season in winning fashion Friday with victories over Cony in the first virtual meet of the season. 

MDI romped to a win on the boys’ side as it scored 144 points to Cony’s 15. The Trojans added a 106-76 victory over the Rams in the girls’ competition to complete a sweep of the opening meet. 

On the boys’ side, MDI got wins in all nine individual competitions. Jesse Lower (50-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke) and Sam Mitchell (100-yard freestyle and 1-meter dive) posted two individual wins each for the Trojans, who got one solo win apiece from Brendan Graves (200-yard freestyle), Ponce Saltysiak (200-yard individual medley), T.J. Willis (100-yard butterfly), Cody Parker (500-yard freestyle) and Paul Briggs (100-yard backstroke). 

The MDI boys’ team also claimed a sweep of the three relay competitions. The Trojans won the 200-yard medley relay (Briggs, Mitchell, Caden Braun and Ryan Davis) in 2 minutes, 5.51 seconds, the 200-yard freestyle relay (Graves, Saltysiak, Willis and Sam York) in 1:39.75 and the 400-yard freestyle relay (Briggs, Parker, Lower and Julian Walls) in 3:51.83. 

Willis, a senior, was named the Penobscot Valley Conference Peak Performer of the Week for his impressive time of 57.66 seconds in the 100 butterfly. The MDI standout also aided the Trojans’ efforts on the technological end to ensure the virtual meet took place without hiccups. 

“T.J. spent his day off from school at the YMCA wiring cameras to computers and troubleshooting internet connections,” MDI head coach David Blaney said. “[He] then got in the pool and went 57 in the 100 fly.” 

MDI’s girls’ team claimed four wins in nine individual events against a tough Cony squad. Cecilia Saltysiak (200 IM), Lily James (1-meter dive), Elle Yarborough (100 butterfly) and Callan Eason (100 freestyle) claimed the solo wins for the Trojans, who racked up a number of second-, third- and fourth-place finishes to surge past the Rams in points. 

In relay competition, MDI claimed a first-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay as the Trojans’ B team (Saltysiak, Denali Wagstaff, Samara Gilhooley and Nina Rozeff) topped the C team (Eason, Gaia Daul, Sadie Sullivan and Gracie Parker). That event came down to the wire as MDI B’s time of 1:55.61 gave it a razor-thin victory over MDI C’s 1:55.67. 

MDI was originally scheduled to face George Stevens Academy for Friday’s meet but instead swam against Cony following a last-second schedule change. The school is still working to find an opponent for a meet tomorrow, Jan. 29, following Bangor’s switch to remote learning.  

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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