The Mount Desert Island girls’ swim team poses for a photo after winning the Class B championship Feb. 17 at Bowdoin College. 2020 was a banner year for both the MDI boys’ and girls’ teams, which won state championships to cap off perfect seasons. PHOTO COURTESY OF CARRIE EASON

THE YEAR IN PICTURES: MDI swim teams win state titles

BAR HARBOR — Even after saying goodbye to a legendary coach, the Mount Desert Island swim team didn’t skip a beat in 2020.

MDI claimed both boys’ and girls’ state titles last winter under first-year head coach David Blaney. The championship wins capped off perfect seasons for the Trojans, whose former coach, Tony DeMuro, stepped down in the offseason to take the job at Maine Maritime Academy.

On the girls’ side, MDI earned 323 points in the Feb. 8 Penobscot Valley Conference championships to top Bangor (234 points) for the title. In the Feb. 17 state championships at Bowdoin College, the Trojans finished with 379 points to top Greely (333 points) and win its first state title since 2014 and the fourth in team history.

After winning each of its dual meets in the regular season, the MDI boys’ team claimed the PVC crown as it racked up 347 points to beat out Bangor (270 points) for first place. The boys’ team then claimed its third state title in a row and ninth overall with a first-place finish in the Class B championships Feb. 18.

“We had [this meet] as our focus all year,” MDI head coach David Blaney told the Portland Press Herald after the girls’ state championship meet. “We came off [our usual] events in our conference championships. We trained for this, so I’m not surprised at all.”

Rather than relying on event wins, the Trojans used their team depth to score major points throughout the season. That strategy proved to be a winning one for MDI, which claimed the boys’ and girls’ state titles in the same season for the first time ever.

“Some of the other teams will get a lot of people get first or second, but we will have so many girls finish in those next few spots,” senior Ruby Brown said. “That’s what really got us the points and brought us home.”

Championship meets are unlikely to be held in 2021 as a result of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. Should a winter sports season be held in the coming months, teams will instead compete in virtual meets.

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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