ORONO — After a year of competing in events staggered across high school gymnasiums, the Mount Desert Island indoor track team has made its long-awaited return to the University of Maine.
MDI opened its 2021-22 season with Saturday’s Eastern Maine Indoor Track League meet at UMaine’s New Balance Field House. The meet marked the Trojans’ first time competing in the facility since Feb. 8, 2020, after the campus was not open to outside sporting events last winter.
On the girls’ side, MDI got a victory from junior Sophia Taylor in the 800-meter run. Taylor crossed the finish line in 2 minutes, 43.84 seconds to beat out Old Town’s Cassidy Radcliffe by 6.01 seconds for first place in the 10-runner field.
Recording two strong finishes for the MDI girls’ team were Sarah Weaver and Amelia VanDongen. Weaver placed fifth in the 55-meter dash (8.24 seconds) and fourth in the 200-meter dash (29.42 seconds), and VanDongen took third in the triple jump (30 feet, 3/4 inch) and sixth in the long jump (13-9).
Azaria Long took second in the 400-meter dash for the MDI girls with a time of 1:09.26. The Trojans also got a third-place finish from Carolina Graham in the 1-mile run (6:08.30), a sixth-place effort from Bella Brown in the shot put (28-1 1/2) and a runner-up finish from Delaney Sweeney in the pole vault (7-6).
Miles Burr crossed the finish line in 24.04 seconds to win the 200-meter dash for the MDI boys’ team. The sophomore ran the 55-meter dash in 6.89 seconds for the Trojans to place third in the 20-runner field.
The MDI boys also got a second-place finish from Noah Daigle in the 400-meter run (1:00.71) and a seventh place effort from Feleke Lynch in the mile run (5:33.20). In the field, Andrew James recorded a throw of 35-2 3/4 to place fifth of 20 contestants in the shot put.
The MDI girls’ team racked up 53 points in the meet to finish third to Bangor (181 points) and Old Town (76) points. On the boys’ side, MDI’s 31 points were fourth to Bangor (110), Bucksport (96) and Old Town (86).
MDI head coach Aaron Long praised the team’s preparation in practice as well as the team’s hard work ahead of the first meet. He added the challenges of last season helped the team “put things in perspective” ahead of a return to a more normal schedule in 2021-22.
The Trojans will be back at UMaine at 10 a.m. on Dec. 23 for their second meet of the season.