Ellsworth swim edged by MDI in regular season finale

ELLSWORTH — The Ellsworth boys’ and girls’ swim teams fell to Mount Desert Island on Friday in the final virtual meet of the 2021 regular season.

Competing in its tightest meet of the year, the Ellsworth girls’ team scored 91 points to MDI’s 95. On the boys’ side, the Eagles’ four-man unit fought valiantly but fell to a 125-42 defeat to the still-perfect Trojans.

Sean Hill claimed solo wins for the Ellsworth boys in the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 8.79 seconds) and 100-yard butterfly (55.15 seconds), and Lucas Fendl added a win in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:16.31). The quartet of Hill, Fendl, Owen Frank and Robert Springer won the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:53.59.

On the girls’ side, Ellsworth claimed wins in six of the nine individual events. The Eagles got solo wins from Kristy Barry (100 butterfly, 1:02.25; 100 breaststroke, 1:12.66), Caroline Mazgaj (500-yard freestyle, 5:46.78; 100-yard backstroke, 1:07.35), Ellie Anderson (50-yard freestyle, 24.93) and Kiera Springer (1-meter dive, 180.65).

The Ellsworth girls’ team also claimed wins in two of the three relay events. Barry, Mazgaj, Lilja Hanson and Leah MacPherson gave the Eagles a win in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 2:03.06, and the unit of Barry, Anderson, Springer and Mazgaj earned a victory in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:48.59.

On Saturday, Kaela Springer set an Ellsworth team record with an 11-venue score of 333.35 in the Palmer Diving Invitational at Husson University. Barry, whose 100 butterfly time of 1:02.25 broke the previous mark of 1:03.17 set by Cece McEachern in 2013, was named the Eagles’ Penobscot Valley Conference Peak Performer of the Meet against MDI.

“[Kristy] is a team captain who is not only a superb swimmer but also displays exceptional team leadership beyond her years,” Ellsworth head coach Jim Goodman said. “Exceptionally gifted in all swimming events, she leads the way as a prime example [of] a student athlete whose total dedication to the sport is worthy of emulation.”

Cecilia Saltysiak (200 freestyle, 2:10.65), Maria Saltysiak (200 IM, 2:26.34) and Elle Yarborough (100 freestyle, 1:01.04) claimed individual wins for the MDI girls. Cecilia Saltysiak, Gaia Daul, Sadie Sullivan and Callan Eason won the 400-yard freestyle relay in 4:13.86 for the Trojans, who rode team depth to their fourth win of the season.

On the boys’ side, MDI got wins from Jesse Lower (200 freestyle, 1:59.40; 100 freestyle, 53.34), Ponce Saltysiak (50 freestyle, 24.93 seconds), Sam Mitchell (1-meter dive, 131.45), Brendan Graves (500 freestyle, 6:08.40) and Cody Parker (100 backstroke, 1:03.27). The Trojans also won the 200 medley relay (Parker, Lower, Saltysiak, Riley Donahue; 1:54.30) and 200 freestyle relay (Donahue, Mitchell, Lower, Walls; 1:44.01).

Lower’s wins came in extremely close finishes as the junior beat out teammates Brendan Graves by 0.16 seconds in the 200 freestyle and T.J. Willis by 0.03 seconds in the 100 freestyle. The MDI boys also had a photo finish in the 50 freestyle as Saltysiak edged Graves by 0.12 seconds for first place.

Tight battles were also a theme on the girls’ side, where the Eagles and Trojans went blow for blow for first place. Yarborough’s 100 freestyle win came as the freshman beat out Kiera Springer by 0.16 seconds, and Mazgaj’s victory over second-place finisher Eason in the 100 backstroke came by a mere 0.15 seconds.

“If it would have been us and Ellsworth in the same pool like in past years, those girls’ races would have been some fun ones,” MDI head coach David Blaney said. “That’s the tough part about this year because you don’t know that those races are so close until you compare the results.”

The next meet for Ellsworth and MDI will be the Penobscot Valley Conference championships. The Trojans will conduct their PVC championship swim at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, and the Eagles will follow at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 26.

With teams across the state at different stages in their respective seasons as a result of delays and issues regarding pool availability, a state championship meet in the weeks to follow might not materialize. With that in mind, Ellsworth and MDI are preparing as if the PVC meet will be their last.

“[We] will be continuing regular practice during the next two weeks and getting ready for PVCs,” Goodman said. “All hope is that times will continue to drop significantly for the final big meet of the season.”

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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