BAR HARBOR — The first events of the 2021 winter track season came under a different roof — or, for some athletes, no roof at all.
Mount Desert Island began the indoor track season last week with throwing and distance running events. Distance runners competed outdoors on school grounds last Thursday with throwers and high-jumpers competing Thursday and Friday, respectively, at Brewer High School.
The first competition was held last Thursday afternoon as MDI runners competed in the boys’ and girls’ 1-mile runs in Bar Harbor. Jon Genrich posted a time of 5 minutes, 30.24 seconds for the boys’ team to place seventh and finish in the top half of the 18-runner field.
As recently as two weeks ago, distance running events this winter had been scheduled to compete in the Cross Insurance Center. With that building currently being used for COVID-19 vaccinations and local high schools lacking the space necessary for distance running, runners have been forced to go outdoors for that “indoor” event.”
“One of the beauties of distance running is that it can be done regardless of location, terrain and weather,” MDI head coach Aaron long said. “Running on a couple inches of snow wasn’t ideal in terms of running fast times, but the experience was great, and the athletes had fun ‘breaking the ice’ on the season.”
Later last Thursday, MDI’s throwers traveled to Brewer to compete in the shot put. The Trojans produced some of the event’s top performers with Archer Hill winning the boys’ competition with a throw of 45 feet, 6 3/4 inches and Logan Closson placing fourth in the girls’ competition with a distance of 28 feet, 6 1/4 inches.
Jumpers traveled to Brewer on Friday to compete in the year’s first high-jump competition. MDI’s lone contestant, junior Delaney Sweeney, cleared a height of 4 feet, 2 inches in that event to tie for fifth in the 13-person girls’ field.
Local athletes had been scheduled to compete in the long and triple jumps Saturday evening at the Old Town YMCA, but that event was canceled at the last minute. Long knows such cancellations will be a common occurrence throughout the winter as teams face challenges related to building access, virus exposure and inclement weather.
“This season is very much a day-by-day scenario, and I feel that coaches and athletes accept that and show up ready to take things as they come,” Long said. “Everyone’s resilience is constantly being tested, but I’ve seen repeated positive responses in the face of it throughout both the fall and winter seasons so far.”
MDI’s throwers will return to Brewer to compete in the next event at 5 p.m. today, Feb. 4. The team will host Brewer and Hampden Academy for jumping events at 6 p.m. tomorrow, Feb. 5. Distance runners will compete at an undetermined time during the week.