Tardy tops at Festival of Champions



Ellie Bridgers, front left, and Emma Strong, back right, run it out last Saturday at the Festival of Champions in Belfast. Strong finished 201st and Bridgers finished 211th out of 665 girls. The MDI girls finished 20th overall and the boys’ team finished 39th overall in what is the largest cross-country meet in the state. PHOTO COURTESY OF SKIP STRONG

Ellie Bridgers, front left, and Emma Strong, back right, run it out last Saturday at the Festival of Champions in Belfast. Strong finished 201st and Bridgers finished 211th out of 665 girls. The MDI girls finished 20th overall and the boys’ team finished 39th overall in what is the largest cross-country meet in the state. PHOTO COURTESY OF SKIP STRONG

BELFAST — Mount Desert Island High School’s Tia Tardy recorded a personal best time to beat out 664 girls Saturday at the Festival of Champions in Belfast.

The MDI senior ran the Troy Howard Middle School 5K course in 18 minutes, 32.71 seconds for a personal best and the seventh-fastest time in course history.

The annual Festival of Champions hosts runners from nearly every high school in Maine and teams from New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and Canada.

Malaika Pasch of Falmouth High School was next behind Tardy in 18:36.49.

Katelyn Osbourne finished second for MDI and 95th overall with a time of 21:12.35. Olivia Watson was MDI’s third female finisher and 192nd overall in 22:28.90.

As a team, the Trojan girls placed 20th overall.

The MDI boys’ team came in 39th overall.

Luke Laverdiere of Yarmouth won the boys’ division in 15:33.84, followed by Wyatt Lord of Hampden Academy in 15:51.75.

Nik Reznick came in first for MDI and 71st overall in 17:37.63. Josh Bloom finished second for the Trojans and 185th overall in 18:46.07.

MDI cross-country Head Coach Desiree Sirois said the team accomplished what it set out to do at its first championship meet of the season.

“We as a team looked at this as our first real championship meet,” said Sirois. “We were all taking the strategies and tactics we’ve practiced throughout the season – pacing, positioning, running a smart race, surging, using the course to your advantage – and putting them altogether in that championship meet trial run.”

Other techniques the runners have worked on include patience, employing a strong finishing kick and surveying the race in order to stay in control.

“You have to control the race. You can’t let the race control you,” said Sirois.

The coach said the Festival of Champions “really set the tone” for the remainder of the championship season.

The team uses “gradual aerobic progression-building,” which helps develop a strong physical and mental base for the runners.

“We’re using that base to propel towards the end of the season and having the fastest times at the end,” said Sirois.

She said 95 percent of MDI runners recorded personal bests for the season and more than 75 percent recorded lifetime personal bests at the Festival of Champions.

“It showed that they are really ready to handle the big pressures of championship racing,” said the coach.

The Trojans will next compete tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 7, in the Hancock County Championships at Bucksport High School with races starting at 3:30 p.m.

Complete results

MDI girls
1. Tia Tardy 18.32.17

95. Katelyn Osbourne 21:12:35

173. Louise Chaplin 22:05:62

192. Olivia Watson 22:24:31

194. Emmy Banks 22:29:05

201. Emma Strong 22:33:46

211. Ellie Bridgers 22:42:43

252. Sofie Dowling 23:16.29

298. Erin White 23:51.28

336. Lily Cook 24:21.73

350. Ashley Anderson 24:34.46

373. Raisha Lipski 24:50.77

397. Georgia Hansbury 25:08.84

405. Theresa Kreig 25:13.23

471. Matilda Allen 26:18

557. Megan Howell 27:45:34

MDI boys

71. Nik Reznick 17:37.63

154. Sean Murray 18:29:50

185. Josh Bloom 18:46.07

208. Calvin Partin 18:53.87

243. Liam Higgins 19:05:20

319. Erik Merchant 19:32.81

325. Stephen Grierson 19:36:95

391. Parker Shortell 19:56.94

500. Chase McGee 20:34:87

546. Reilly Linkel 21:02.64

602. Ben Watson 21:31.13

This article has been revised to include the names and times of runners who were omitted from the original story.

Taylor Bigler Mace

Taylor Bigler Mace

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Taylor covers sports and maritimes for the Islander. As a native of Texas, she is an unapologetic Dallas Cowboys fan. [email protected]
Taylor Bigler Mace

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