ORONO — In the first meets of the season, coaches tend to focus on development more than points, wins, or losses. But when four Mount Desert Island High School swimmers broke a decades-old record at the Penobscot Valley Conference Relay Carnival last Friday, they couldn’t help but make a splash.
Swimmers Olivia Jacobs, Amelia Kief, Erin Connery, and Leila Johnston broke the girls’ 250-yard freestyle record at the meet on Dec. 7. That record has stood since 1992, or since “the year after I graduated [high school],” said Tony DeMuro, head coach.
The former record, set by swimmers from Old Town High School, was 2:19.18. The MDI team slashed more than 2 seconds off that time, clocking in at just 2:17.13.
“I actually put the relays together trying to go for a new record,” said coach DeMuro. “We’ve got a great group of girls and a lot of them have been in the program forever,” he added. Three of the record-breaking swimmers – Jacobs, Connery, and Kief – are seniors and leaders for their team, the coach said. Johnston is a sophomore.
Swimmers on the MDI team competed in 16 swimming events – plus two diving events – with both the boys’ and girls’ teams finishing second overall, just behind Bangor High School. MDI beat out teams from Ellsworth, Brewer, and John Bapst, among 12 other high schools competing in the start of the season meet.
Standout swimmers for the boys’ team included Tyler Wood, Thomas Gallup, Madison Luck, and Nathaniel Genrich, who placed second in the 200-yard medley relay. “We’ve got a bunch of new guys that aren’t necessarily career swimmers but they looked really good,” the coach said.
Luck and Gallup, along with Sam Jacobson and Ross Johnston, also placed second in the 250-yard freestyle event just behind Bangor High School and just before Old Town High School, in third.
The MDI swim team is next scheduled to compete against Washington Academy on Friday, Dec. 14, at the MDI YMCA at 6 p.m.