ORONO — Nearly a year to the day after the Ellsworth and Mount Desert Island boys’ swim teams fought to the wire for the conference title, the two delivered another classic showing.
The Ellsworth boys edged MDI in another back-and-forth battle at the Penobscot Valley Conference championships Friday at the University of Maine. The meet came down to the end with the Eagles edging the Trojans 308-295 to win their second consecutive PVC crown.
“Ellsworth has a very good boys’ team again this year, and they swam a fantastic meet,” MDI head coach Tony DeMuro said. “We had some good swims, but it wasn’t our best meet overall. Hats off to Ellsworth because they deserved it.”
Ellsworth began the day with a team win in the 200-yard medley relay, and MDI was close behind with a third-place finish. The next event was the 200-yard freestyle, in which Ellsworth sophomore Sean Hill placed first with a time of 1 minute, 48.86 seconds as the Trojans’ Tyler Woodworth claimed second in 1:54.96.
After Ellsworth’s Camden Holmes won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.51 seconds, MDI got its first win of the day when Sam Mitchell won the 1-meter dive with a score of 229.4. The Trojans followed Mitchell’s win with a solid effort in the 100-yard butterfly, in which Liam Sullivan, Amos Price and Zeke Valleau placed a respective second, fourth and fifth.
In the final five events, Ellsworth reached top gear wins from Sean Hill (500-yard freestyle) and Sam Pelletier (100-yard backstroke) as well as team wins in the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays. Isaac Weaver finished third in the 100-yard breaststroke for MDI, which placed second in the aforementioned relays.
“The final relay lifted us,” Ellsworth head coach Jim Goodman said. “The boys battled an aggressive MDI team, but they prevailed in the end. All of them had great times.”
Ellsworth and MDI also had strong days on the girls’ side; the third-place Trojans earned 189 points to edge out the fourth-place Eagles’ 183. Bangor won the girls’ meet with 281 points, and John Bapst took second with 194.
For MDI, sophomore Adria Horton won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:34.31. Ruby Brown had fourth- and fifth-place finishes for the Trojans in the 200 and 100 freestyles, respectively, and Addy Smith placed fifth in the 200-yard individual medley. MDI placed second in the 400-yard freestyle relay and third in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
“As far as the girls’ meet went, I don’t think I could’ve been much happier,” DeMuro said. “They had all-around fast times in every race and set themselves up to do really well coming up at states.”
Ellsworth’s Kristy Barry won the 200 IM for Ellsworth and set a team record in the process with a time of 2:18.73. The Eagles also got a team record in the 200-yard freestyle relay with Barry, Ellie Clarke, Caitlin MacPherson and Miriam Nelson taking second place with a time of 1:43.99.
Elsewhere, Clarke earned runner-up finishers in two events, finishing 0.16 seconds behind Bangor’s McKayla Kendall in the 50 freestyle and 0.11 seconds behind Rachel Hand, also of Bangor, in the 100 backstroke. On the diving board, Elena Springer placed second for Ellsworth with a score of 303.35.
The teams will return to UMaine next week to compete in the state championships with the boys’ meet scheduled for next Saturday, Feb. 16, and the girls’ meet set to be held Monday, Feb. 18. Both meets will start with the diving competitions at 10 a.m.
“We have many state qualifiers, and it will be an exciting meet to watch,” Goodman said. “It’s been a great season, and we are all very proud of both our teams for their dedication and perseverance in achieving both their personal goals and those of the team.”