Elijah Joyce of the Mount Desert Island High School track and field team competes in the 110-meter hurdles at Saturday's the Class B track and field championship meet. The MDI boys tied with York for first place in the meet. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

State champions! MDI boys tie York



DOVER-FOXCROFT — On Saturday, the Mount Desert Island High School boys’ team tied York for first place at Saturday’s Class B track and field championship at Foxcroft Academy. The result marked the first state outdoor track title in school history after the Trojans came three points short of claiming the crown last season.

Mount Desert Island High School shot putters Gilbert Isaacs, left, and Croix Albee flex their muscles on the podium after medaling at the Class B track and field championships June 2 in Dover-Foxcroft. The MDI boys’ team finished with 86 points to tie York for first place and win the first state title in program history. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

“It feels great to make history,” senior Owen Mild said. “We just felt throughout the meet that everything was going really well, and the confidence we had in ourselves was enough to get it done in the end.”

The Trojans got off to a strong start to the day and led Brewer through 13 events.

York, though, withstood an individual win from MDI’s Griffin Maristany in the 200-meter dash and the Trojans’ team win in the 4×100 relay to surge to a two-point lead entering the decisive 4×400.

MDI had won the 4×400 in five of its six previous meets this year, so the team had good reason to be optimistic. A win in the final event, which had been one of the Trojans’ best all season long, was guaranteed to give them at least a share of the state championship.

“We both had had teams in the last heat going head to head,” Head Coach Aaron Long said of the Trojans’ showdown with York entering the final event.

“The boys running the relay knew we were in contention for the team title, but they weren’t aware of the exact score before their race.”

In the end, both MDI and York would be satisfied with the final result. MDI’s Billy Kerley, Jose Chumbe, Mild and Maristany led the Trojans to a first-place finish in the 4×400 with a time of 3 minutes, 32.19 seconds, and York took second to leave the two teams tied at 86 points.

Adriana Novella of the Mount Desert Island High School track and field team competes in the 100-meter dash final at the Class B track and field championships Saturday in Dover-Foxcroft. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

In an interesting twist, the Trojans’ 3:32.19 time in the 4×400 was the exact same as the one MDI posted in the same event in the 2017 state championships. Whereas that effort clinched MDI second place behind Winslow, this one was enough to earn the team a share of the title.

“I essentially told [the relay runners] that I believed in them, but that the only things they needed to focus on were the things they can control,” Long said. “I had complete faith that these boys would rise to the occasion.”

Aside from their three event wins, the MDI boys had a number of other strong performances on the track. Elijah Joyce’s 15.97-second effort in the 110-meter hurdles final earned him fourth place, and Maristany took third in the 400-meter dash with a time of 51.02 seconds.

MDI also had a successful day in the field, where Croix Albee finished second in the shot put, javelin throw and discus throw. Sophomore Elijah Denning cleared a height of 12 feet to place second in the pole vault.

The first-place finish marked the fourth state championship in the past two seasons for MDI athletics. The Trojans won the Class B boys’ basketball and indoor track titles last year before edging Ellsworth for the Class B swim championship in February.

“Honestly, I think the success we’ve had as a school is just a matter of having good team cultures and a lot of drive and determination in each sport,” Mild said. “We all play and compete for each other and our community, and the rest of it just comes down to trusting our coaches and giving it 100 percent.”

MDI’s girls’ team also enjoyed an excellent day in Dover-Foxcroft. The Trojans finished the day with 37 points to place ninth of nearly 30 teams. The 4×100 relay team of Alahna Mild, Marilyn Sawyer, Adriana Novella and Ashley Anderson finished with a time of 51.43 seconds to give the Trojans first place over Belfast.

Individually, Anderson took second place in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.59 seconds. Zoe Olson added another second-place finish for the Trojans in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:25.63.

In the field, MDI’s Mackenzie Hanna finished fourth place in the discus throw with a 106-foot effort.

MDI will send its boys’ 4×100 and 4×400 relay team and girls’ 4×100 relay team to the New England championships Saturday, June 9. Albee will compete individually for the Trojans in the discus throw and shot put.

That meet will be the last high school competition for seniors Owen and Alahna Mild, Albee, Maristany, Lee, Kerley, Chumbe, Novella and Anderson. Set to compete in MDI uniforms one last time, they want the occasion to be a memorable one.

“I think the biggest thing is going to be just doing our best there and enjoying it, because it’s the last chance for a lot of us as seniors,” Owen Mild said. “Setting school records is a big goal, but I want to be at my best in general because it’s the last meet for us no matter what.”

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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