ORONO, Maine— Falmouth High School took advantage of its strength in the relays to earn its fifth Class B girls swimming and diving state championship in six years.
The Yachtsmen won all three re-lays — the 200-yard medley relay, the 200 free relay and the 400 free relay — to start strong and finish the same way as they piled up 319 points to turn back runner-up Greely High of Cumberland Center, which posted 295.
Defending champion Catherine McAuley of Portland was third with 239 points, Mount Desert Island took fourth with 205, and Foxcroft Academy was fifth at 180.
Other Eastern Maine team scores included John Bapst of Bangor in seventh at 138.5, Orono tied for ninth at 95, Washington Academy of East Machias in 11th with 92, Belfast 12th at 71 and Hampden Academy 13th at 41. Twenty-eight schools scored in the meet.
Falmouth won the 200 medley relay to open the meet, scoring a quick 40 points to Greely’s 28 for finishing fifth.
Falmouth followed with victories by senior Kristin Jackson in the 200 individual medley (2 minutes, 9.54 seconds) and 100 butterfly (58.73) sandwiched around wins by team-mates Adrianne Madden in the 50 free (24.99) and Evelyn Perry in the 1-meter diving (323.45 points).
“We tried to capitalize right away,” said John Keyes, who is in his seventh year as the Falmouth coach.” I knew once we got to the 200, we wouldn’t have as many [swimmers] as Greely.”
Jackson was named performer of the meet for her efforts. McAuley won the sportsmanship award.
Sophomore Chelsey Curran led the MDI Trojans with a victory in the 100 backstroke and Mae Speight took third in the diving.
Curran blistered the field in the 100 back. Her time of 1:01.23 was more than three seconds better than runner-up Amber Murray of Fox-croft (1:04.90).
“That’s the best time for me for high school,” said Curran.
Her prelim time was more than two seconds better than everyone else, and she sliced 3.01 seconds off that in the final.
“I felt pretty good,” she said, de-spite having already finished fourth in the 100 free in event seven and swimming the second leg of the fourth-place 200 free relay in event nine, the race before her 100 back.
“I just went as fast as I could in the finals,” she said. “I was glad at the end.”
MDI was also second in the 200 medley relay.
Marley Clark paced the Foxcroft Ponies’ efforts, including a win in the 100 freestyle (54.46) and a sec-ond in the 50 free (25.09).
Tara Nitardy sparked Bapst with seconds to Jackson in the 200 IM (2:14.11) and the 100 fly (1:00.84).
Greely actually went ahead of Falmouth after the second race, posting 47 points to take a 75-67 lead, but winning the next four events gave Keyes a little relief.
“I thought [Greely] had a slight advantage going in,” said Keyes, pointing to the Rangers’ depth as a major concern.
That depth pulled Greely close when it piled up 42 points in the 100 free, 34 in the 200 free relay and 40 in the 100 back.
The Yachtsmen’s lead was down to 16 entering the 400 free relay, the final event, but Keyes was less wor-ried by then.
And it was the perfect wrapup for the Yachtsmen.
Falmouth had been disqualified from that event in the trials last year, an event they expected to be favored in and –could possibly have continued their state title streak.
This time, they handled it per-fectly.
“This was so much a team ef-fort,” he said.
Lauren Dwyer led the Orono Red Riots with third places in the 50 free (25.46) and 100 fly (1:03.04).
Caitlin Swalec paced Hampden with fifth-place finished in the 200 free and 500 free.