“I have never seen four teams more evenly matched,” remarked Mount Desert Island High swim coach Tony DeMuro, reflecting on Friday’s meet with Bangor. The MDI boys defeated Bangor by winning the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay, and the Bangor High girls nipped MDI in the final relay to win the meet.
“The atmosphere was electric,” DeMuro said. All four teams had outstanding performances during the meet, according to DeMuro.
In the girls meet, he pointed to the 500 freestyle where Bangor’s Zarin Kacer and MDI’s Tarryn Rourk raced for 20 lengths with each improving her time by approximately eight seconds, an example of the competition and the atmosphere contributing to improved performance.
“We swam really well as did Bangor [girls]. I projected their last relay at 4:06 and they swam a 4:03,” DeMuro added.
Actually, the MDI girls were prepared to swim with Bangor’s 4:06 as the Trojans swam a 4:06, only to have coach Cindi Howard’s Rams pull away at 4:03.
DeMuro acknowledged that “the biggest surprise of the boys meet was how well Bangor swam. [Rams boys coach] Phil [Emery] has got his magic going.”
“We have a great competitive relationship with MDI and the sportsmanship is always good. Friday was as good as a dual meet can be. It was a heck of meet,” Emery stated. Emery’s boys recorded 28 personal-best times during the meet.
Bangor’s veteran coach quickly added, “It’s gone. We have Old Town this week. We are back to doing what we do.”
Husson earns second victory
Husson University’s swimmers won for the second time this season Saturday by defeating Wheelock College in a double dual meet. St Joseph’s of Standish defeated the young Eagle team in the Monks’ meet with Husson.
“Most everyone had something that was their best of the year,” Husson coach Jeff Wren said. In fact, the Eagles set their 10th school record of the year.
“Everyone in the medley relay went faster than they had in the past and the relay bettered the record by a second,” Wren explained.
This week Wren’s training schedule for the Eagles targets speed.
“We have been working on speed-assisted swimming and long rest swims. Our challenge has been with finding the speed gear. I don’t like to over-race. I do think if you race too much in practice, the next gear may not be there in a meet.”
Saturday, the Eagles will test their speed in a meet at Smith College.
Bears heading to Boston
Skip Nitardy’s University of Maine swimmers and divers travel to Boston Friday for a two-day meet at Boston College with Dartmouth, BC and the University of Rhode Island. With the America East Championship three weeks away, Nitardy reinforced the importance of this meet’s racing.
“This is the last chance for some of the team to do things in key events like the 800 free relay and the 400 individual medley. There are a couple of swimmers in these events, but there are four to six swimmers that have a chance to solidify spots.”
The Black Bears “swam very well” against Bowdoin Saturday, Nitardy said. And Friday, the women, according to the UMaine coach, had “a great meet” with UNH as the Bears challenged the Wildcats in several areas.
The first-place performance by Gardiner’s Sara Knight against Bowdoin in the 1000 freestyle drew comment from Nitardy.
“Sara swam very well. She came to Maine thinking of herself as a sprinter, but she has moved into middle-distance events. She swam well against good competition.”
John Quinn, who usually races the 50, 100 and 200 free, also ventured into the 1000 free and turned in the second fastest time this year for Bears in his race against Bowdoin. “The mile is a possibility for him in championships,” noted Nitardy.
And Lauren Thornbrough’s swim in the 200 fly against UNH, finishing in 2:08.2, her fastest time of the year, pleased Nitardy. “This is the fastest fly time we have had.”
• Fifty-one year-old Fritz Homans returned to Bangor, where he excelled in age-group swimming 35 years ago, to compete in a master’s meet Sunday at Husson University. Competing in the 100 fly, Homans challenged the pool record, finishing in 53.3, two-tenths off the record of 53.1.
As an age-group swimmer, Homans swam for the Bangor YMCA, holding numerous Y state records before enrolling at Deerfield Academy, where he was an eight-time All American. In 1976, he competed in the U.S. Olympic trials in the 100 butterfly. He was an All American swimmer at the University of North Carolina.
• Alan Switzer, who was the first men’s coach at UMaine and who during his tenure at Maine won New England titles, has coached his Plymouth State (N.H.) University women’s team to three straight wins as PSU stands at 4-4 with two dual meets remaining before the New England cham-pionships. At PSU, Switzer coaches both swimmers and divers.
• Ryan and Justin Coombs, whose father Jock Coombs was a member of the Bangor High School New England Championship team and whose grandfather John Coombs was the respected executive director of the Bangor YMCA for many years, compete for Fordham University. In Ford-ham’s recent victory over LaSalle, Ryan and Justin each won two events — Ryan in the 200 free (1:44.4) and the 200 butterfly (1:56.6) and Justin in the 50 free (21.7) and the 100 free (47.5).
James Wells of Morse High in Bath continues his speedy swimming during the dual-meet season. Wells recently set a Maine interscholastic record in the 50 free with a 21.17 clocking, breaking his previous mark. In fact, Wells’ 50 free is the fastest time swum this season by any Maine swimmer, high school or college.
• Colby College’s Kelsey Potdevin continues to race past all competitors in the backstroke events. The Alaska native established pool records in the 100 back (57.6) and the 200 back (2:07.9) in the White Mules’ win over Bates College on Saturday. The senior also won the 50 back (27.3). She is ranked nationally in NCAA Division III rankings and has qualified for the nationals.