Members of the Mount Desert Island boys’ swim team show off their plaque after placing second in the Class B championship meet Feb. 21 at Cape Elizabeth High School. PHOTO COURTESY OF MDI HIGH SCHOOL

Trojans shine at states to close out swim season

CAPE ELIZABETH — A much-anticipated Maine high school swim season finale lived up to its billing.

All season long, the Mount Desert Island and Ellsworth swim teams have produced some of the best individual and team results statewide. That didn’t change this week as the Eagles and Trojans went out on high notes in the state championships.

The Ellsworth boys and girls placed a respective fourth and third in the Class B championships at Cape Elizabeth High School. MDI’s teams were runners-up in both competitions with the girls coming within 11 points of a strong Cape unit.

In Monday’s boys’ meet, Ellsworth’s Nick Partridge set a new team record in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 57.70 seconds, and Owen Frank took second in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 56.02. The pair also teamed up with Robert Springer and Lucas Fendl to swim the 200-yard medley relay for the Eagles, who placed third with a time of 1:46.49.

“[We took] fourth place overall with the ‘magnificent seven’ Eagle swimmers, who competed against larger teams,” said Ellsworth head coach Jim Goodman, whose boys racked up 199.5 points despite a thin roster. “We had great swims and great effort by all. … They had a great overall season.”

For the MDI boys, Jesse Lower took second in the 200-yard individual medley (1:58.59) and the 100 breaststroke (58.27). The Trojans also got third-place efforts from Brendan Graves (50-yard freestyle, 23.16) and Julian Walls (500-yard freestyle, 5:06.43).

MDI also took second place in both the 200 medley relay (Walls, Graves, Lower, Sam York, 1:42.39) and the 200-yard freestyle relay (Lower, York, Graves, Ryan Davis, 1:33.44). Although the Trojans (345 points) didn’t have the squad depth of their 2018-20 state title-winning teams this year, their effort Monday evening was no less championship-worthy.

“We totally exceeded any expectations we had, hands down,” MDI head coach David Blaney said of his boys’ team’s effort. “Jesse Lower swam really, really well; the whole team did. We had some huge drops in time. It was an unbelievably good day.”

On the girls’ side, Ellsworth entered Tuesday’s state meet with an early advantage after Kaela (318.05 points), Elena (308.50) and Kiera Springer (298.25) placed a respective first, second and third in Saturday’s diving meet in South Portland. The quartet of Kiera Springer, Kristy Barry, Caroline Mazgaj and Ella Montgomery then gave the Eagles wins in the 200 medley relay (1:51.20) and 200 freestyle relay (1:42.04).

Individually, Montgomery set an Ellsworth girls’ team record in the 100 butterfly for the third time this season as she posted a time of 58.92 seconds. Kiera Springer was runner-up for the Eagles in the 500-yard freestyle (5:20.18), and Barry (2:02.30) and Mazgaj (2:16.40) placed third in the 200 freestyle and 200 IM, respectively.

“That’s a program that’s really coming a long way,” Blaney said of the Ellsworth girls, who earned 284 points in their best-ever finish at states. “Every year, they seem to be getting better and better. Jim is an outstanding coach, and they have a bright future ahead of them. You have to give them a lot of credit.”

Although the MDI girls’ team failed to earn any top-two finishes, the Trojans accumulated major points as many swimmers finished in the 5-9 range. Elle Yarborough took fourth for MDI in the 200 freestyle (2:04.48), and Lily James placed fourth in the 200 IM (2:17.07).

MDI also enjoyed its own relay success with third-place finishes in the 200 freestyle relay (Yarborough, Denali Wagstaff, Nina Rozeff, Callan Eason, 1:46.25) and 400-yard freestyle relay (Yarborough, Rozeff, Eason, Cecilia Saltysiak, 3:54.37). The Trojans racked up 327 points as a team.

The MDI girls’ team also received Class B’s Good Sportsmanship Award. The Trojans were previously the recipients of both the boys’ and girls’ sportsmanship banners, which are voted on by opposing coaches in each classification, in 2020.

“We knew it was going to be a close battle in the girls’ meet, and our kids swam great,” Blaney said. “I was really impressed with Lily Allen. She had some crazy drops in her times. … To win the sportsmanship banner was also a huge honor for us.”

On the boys’ side, Cape won its eighth state title as it accumulated 409 points. The Cape girls made it a sweep for the host team as they finished with 338 points to secure the Class B title, the 20th state championship in program history.


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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