ELLSWORTH — Since the day Ellsworth’s 2019 track schedule came out, Matt Shea has had one day circled. On Saturday, that day arrived.
Among the Ellsworth junior’s many goals this season has been to win a home meet against some of the state’s top competition. The Eagles’ 12-team home meet over the weekend was an opportunity for Shea and his teammates to deliver.
“We really wanted to win this one,” Shea said. “We had two not-so-great meets before this, and we were motivated to come out here and do better. We wanted to be extra ready.”
From the first event to the last, ready the Eagles were. The result was a meet in which Ellsworth took first place on the boys’ side and second place on the girls’ side at Del Luce Stadium.
The Ellsworth boys racked up points early in the meet with a first-place finish in the 4-by-800 relay, a third-place finish from Henry Scheff in the 110-meter hurdles and a second-place effort from Javon Williams in the 100-meter dash. Yet Caribou took over first place following the race walk, in which the Vikings fielded all seven runners to claim all 31 points from the event.
In the 1,600-meter run, Ellsworth’s Matt Shea and Nick Cormier took the top-two spots with times of 4:49.09 and 4:49.91, respectively. From there, a third-place finish in the 4-by-100, top-five finishes from Nate Mason (third place), Colby Hamilton (fourth place) and Mark Berry (fifth) in the 400-meter dash and placements from Scheff (third) and Williams (fourth) in the 300-meter hurdles put the Eagles back on top.
Mount Desert Island and Hermon surpassed Caribou with solid showings in the field, but the Eagles kept their hold on the top spot with second-place finishes from Nate Mason (high jump and long jump), Beck Deeney (triple jump) and Logan Grass (discus throw). Strong efforts in the 200-meter dash, 3,200-meter run and 4-by-400 saw the Eagles finish the meet with 140 1/6 points.
“I thought around the 200 [that we were going to win], but you never know what can happen,” Ellsworth head coach Darren Richardson said. “MDI always has good throwers, and we were also waiting to see where Caribou ended up.”
For Shea, the wait to see if his team had done enough to secure the win was a difficult one. Like his coach, though, he felt the Eagles had it in the bag following the 200-meter dash.
“I’m not going to lie: It was very stressful,” Shea said. “They were posting all the scores up [by the snack shack], and it went back and forth between us having a bigger lead and the other teams closing the gap.”
On the girls’ side, Autumn Paul won the discus throw for Ellsworth with a distance of 88 feet, 8 inches. The Eagles got second-place relay finishes in the 4-by-100 and 4-by-800 and individual second-place finishes from Paige Sawyer (100-meter hurdles), Addi Laslie (100-meter and 200-meter dashes), Maddie Nida (300-meter hurdles), Caitlin MacPherson (800-meter run) and Emma McKechnie (high jump) to place second with 116 points.
MDI wasn’t originally scheduled to participate in the Ellsworth meet, but the Trojans’ plans changed when Friday’s meet in Bucksport was postponed to coincide with their home meet Monday in Bar Harbor. Aaron Long’s boys’ team beat out Hermon and Caribou to take second with 110 points as the girls’ team took home third with 84 points.
The MDI girls got relay wins in the 4-by-100 and 4-by-400 and individual wins from Marilyn Sawyer (200-meter dash) and Zoe Olson (1,600-meter run). Gilbert Isaacs won the discus throw and shot put for the MDI boys with distances of 132 feet, 5 inches and 49 feet, 3 inches, respectively.
“We have young team, and that makes those improvements from meet to meet really important for us,” Long said. “We got some important practices under our belt leading up to this meet, and that helped us deliver a lot of good results.”
For the Sumner girls, junior Blue Howard took sixth in the javelin throw with a distance of 78 feet, 7 inches. Logan Carter and Luke Barnes placed a respective eighth and 12th in the 800-meter run for the boys.
On Monday, MDI hosted Sumner, Central, Narraguagus, Old Town and Penquis Valley in its first home meet this season. MDI scored 208 1/2 points to win the boys’ competition and fell two points short of first-place Old Town on the girls’ side. Howard recorded a throw of 85 feet, 1 inch to win girls’ javelin for Sumner, which also won the boys’ 4-by-800.
Elsewhere Monday, Carter Tolmasoff (boys’ 100-meter dash), Nate Sawyer (boys’ 200-meter dash), Gavin Billings (boys’ shot put), Addie Morrison (girls’ 200- and 400-meter dash) and Angelina Cotoni (girls’ 100-meter hurdles) won individual events for Bucksport. The Golden Bucks got relay wins from their boys’ and girls’ 4-by-100 teams.
Ellsworth will host Sumner, Bangor Christian, Calais, John Bapst and Narraguagus in its second home meet of the season at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 9. MDI will host Bucksport, George Stevens Academy, Hermon and Washington Academy at that time Friday, May 10.
After those meets, local teams will participate in the Hancock County championships at 3:30 p.m. next Friday, May 17, in Bar Harbor. MDI will be looking to defend both its boys’ and girls’ titles, though Ellsworth and GSA will be eager dethrone the Trojans.
“All of the sudden, we’re thinking championships after only a few weeks of being out on the track,” Richardson said. “Every team has to get up to speed fast.”