BANGOR, Maine — Seven events into Friday night’s Penobscot Valley Conference boys swimming and diving championship at Husson University, Bangor held a half-point lead over five-time defending champ Mount Desert Island.
That lead appeared in jeopardy as the MDI Trojans won the next event, the 200-yard freestyle relay, and Bangor finished second.
That was before MDI’s team was disqualified when one of its swimmers left his block early. The result was as much a turnaround as Pittsburgh’s defensive touchdown at the end of the first half of the Super Bowl
That play was a potential 14-point turnaround as the Arizona Cardinals were poised to score a touchdown. Friday night’s DQ was a 38-point swing as the Trojans lost 32 points for the first-place finish and Bangor went from the 26 for second to 32.
The end result was an end to MDI’s reign as PVC champ and a 25.5-point victory for the Rams, who finished with 303.5 points.
“Ironically, presuming they had to jump, we might have won that relay, they would have gotten second, and we would have won the meet by a point and a half,” said Rams head coach Phil Emery. “They would have had 26, we would have had 32, and we would have won.”
Either way, it’s Bangor’s first conference title since 2003 and the Rams did it with depth as just two team members finished first: junior Tim Smith in the 1-meter dive and classmate Taylor Wicks in the 100 backstroke.
“We’ve been sneaking up on them more and more every year. We lost by 13 last year,” Emery said.
Meanwhile, the Trojans took firsts in the 200 medley relay (Ty Onda, Ian Carbone, senior Michael Breen, and senior Ben Cline, the 100 butterfly (junior Onda), the 500 freestyle (junior Carbone), 100 breaststroke (Carbone), and the 400 free relay (senior Patrick Breen, senior Cullen O’Brien, Onda, and Carbone)
“They’ll probably need a couple days to get over it. There’s at least one really sad kid on the team, but that’s part of life,” said MDI coach Tony Demuro. “You have to learn to handle disappointment and the guys on this team have never had to deal with this before.
“The good thing is from the beginning of the meet, we got tons of personal-bests, but you swim your butt off and accept the consequences at the end.”
One of the meet’s biggest individual winners was Ellsworth senior Brian Batson, who won both the 200 freestyle, the 100 free despite only having swam it twice total this season, and helped the Eagles’ 400 free relay team to a second-place finish by swimming the anchor leg. He would have also been part of a third-place 200-free relay team had the Eagles not also been disqualified after one swimmer left his block early.
“I was very surprised how fast I went in the 100 because I’d only done it once before,” said Batson. “I treat this like a dual meet and it’s kind of a fun thing for me, but once states comes, I get the full bodysuit on and shave down and the whole nine yards.”
This is Batson’s fourth straight year with at least one individual race championship. He won the 500 as a freshman.
Other individual champs were Old Town’s Robbie Bickford in the 200 free and Andrew Desrosiers of John Bapst in the 50 free. Bangor’s 200 free relay team was made up of Zach Veilleux, Wicks, Ihan Cameron and Joey Quinn.