The championship season for local interscholastic swimming and diving opens Friday with the boys Penobscot Valley Conference championship at Husson University in Bangor followed by the girls meet Saturday in Orono.
“I believe this will be one of the most exciting championships. Everyone has a race, from the relays to diving to individual events,” said Brewer coach Kathy Cahill, the meet director for the boys meet.
Coach Tony DeMuro’s Mount Desert Island boys team won the 2008 PVC title and this year’s team has displayed both speed and depth during the dual-meet season. But, with 14 teams competing MDI’s depth will be challenged by the league’s quality racers and MDI’s frontline speed and punch will be challenged by Bangor High School, a team which has certainly developed during the dual-meet season.
While MDI and coach Phil Emery’s Bangor Rams will compete for the team title, the meet will preview some of the state’s elite swimmers. In fact, Ellsworth’s Brian Batson has the state’s fastest times in Class B in several events including the 200 individual medley (2 minutes, 2.1 seconds), 50 freestyle (22.2), 100 butterfly (54.6) and the 500 freestyle (4:55). MDI’s Ian Carbone is top-ranked in the 200 free (1:49.3), 100 breaststroke (1:00.6) and the 100 free (48.9).
The backstroke, for example, could also attract some of the state’s fastest racers. If entered in the event, Bangor’s Taylor Wicks, MDI’s Ty Onda and Orono’s Cameron Dwyer, who consistently have raced well during the meet season, recording some of the state’s fastest times, can be expected to chase one another in the backstroke.
Add to the events racers such as Orono’s Carson Foley, Old Town’s Rob Bickford, Bangor’s John Quinn, Brewer’s Brent Williams and John Bapst’s Andrew Desrosiers, and one would have to agree with Cahill’s prediction.
On Saturday, coach Cindy Howard’s Bangor High team will be defending the 2008 PVC title in the 15-team girls meet. During the dual-meet season, diving has been one of the Rams’ strongest events. In the PVC, divers will execute 11 dives rather than the six dives executed during the dual meet season. Bangor divers Megan Rowe, Ashley Higgins and Julie Clifford, based on dual-meet performances, are ranked third, fifth and sixth, respectively, in Class A. The fourth-ranked diver is Brewer’s Martina Bosse.
While the meet will feature several of the state’s top interscholastic divers, the swimming races also highlight the quality of swimming in the PVC. Brewer’s Jessica Hodsdon, John Bapst’s Tara Nitardy, Orono’s Lauren Dwyer, Foxcroft’s Marley Clark, MDI’s Chelsey Curran and Bangor’s Mariah Reading are all among the state’s leaders in their events and will challenge for medals in next week’s state championships.
Positive meet for Husson
Husson University traveled to Smith College for a dual meet Saturday.
“Overall positive, to be sure. Over half of the team had at least one best swim,” said Jeff Wren, coach of the young Eagles.
While his team lost to Smith, Wren was particularly pleased with the performances of Nicole Nadeau, Kaitlyn Theriault and Ann Marceau all of whom improved previous performances in 200-yard races. Saturday, the Eagles conclude their dual meet season at Saint Joseph’s in Standish.
Miller strong for Bears
Maine’s Colleen Miller won two events, the 500 and 1000 freestyle, in a two-day meet at Boston College against BC, Dartmouth and Rhode Island in the Black Bears’ most recent action.
Coach Skip Nitardy cited the swims of Zach Cravens in the 200 fly and 500 free as highlight performances for the men. Both the men and women began their taper for the American East Championships this week and will close their dual-meet season Saturday against Boston University.
• Brewer’s Cahill has changed all the records above and below the 1-meter diving on the Brewer record board, some several times, but never had changed the diving record set in 1986 by Erin Masse. Now, she must make two adjustments to the diving record. Saturday, competing in the Irene Palmer diving invitational at Husson, Bosse rewrote the 1-meter diving 11-dive record, scoring 310.70 points. Earlier in the month, the junior set a six-dive mark of 188.50 points.
• Another week and another record performance for Maine interscholastic swimmer James Wells of Morse High in Bath. Wells established a state record in the 50 free (20.9) in a meet against Brunswick, becoming the first Maine high school swimmer to slide under 21 seconds in the 50 free.
• Swimming for the Penn State Nittany Lions in their recent win over Ohio State, Erin Thomas turned a 1:53.5 in the 200 free and a 53.3 in the 100 free. Thomas is a graduate of Bangor High School.