ORONO, Maine — The Mount Desert Island boys were humbled slightly recently when they lost to Bangor in the Penobscot Valley Conference Swimming and Diving Championship.
The extra motivation was exactly what the Trojans needed going into Tuesday’s Class B state championship at the University of Maine’s Stanley Wallace Pool.
Junior Ian Carbone swam to individual victories in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke and also competed on MDI’s first-place 200 medley and 400 free relay squads while spearheading the Trojans to their sixth consecutive boys state title.
“This year we lost PVCs, so that was kind of like a wakeup call, I guess,” said Carbone, who was named the Performer of the Meet. “Bangor’s not here, but we realized that we needed to work harder if we were going to win today.”
It was a clean sweep for coach Tony DeMuro’s team, which also won the sportsmanship award after scoring 368 points to post a resounding victory over runner-up Greely of Cumberland Center (263).
“They’ve been through a lot. It’s a pretty experienced group and they work hard,” DeMuro said. “This is the meet we focus on and they come out and they respond. We had so many best times, so many lifetime bests.”
Ellsworth finished a strong third with 214 points, followed by Belfast (187), Orono (162) and John Bapst of Bangor.
This year’s meets were dedicated to longtime swimming official Duffy Akerley, who served as the Class B boys meet director.
Carbone achieved personal bests in winning the 200 IM in 1 minute, 59.11 seconds and the 100 breaststroke (59.27). He swam the breaststroke leg of the medley relay, which set a meet record in 1:41.22, and closed out the meet by anchoring the 400 free relay unit that won in 3:24.03.
“I finally broke 2 minutes in the IM and I finally broke a minute in the 100 breast, so that was good,” Carbone said. “I’ve been trying to break a minute in the breaststroke for a while now. It’s nice to get it.”
MDI exerted its influence early and often, scoring in each of the 12 events. The Trojans placed 13 different swimmers in the scoring column.
Junior Ty Onda was another key performer for the Trojans. He claimed a slim victory in the 500 free (5:09.15), took fifth in the 100 butterfly and swam on the 200 medley and 400 free relays.
Patrick Breen posted a third (100 free) and a fifth (50 free) and Michael Breen had a third (100 fly) and a seventh (100 backstroke), with both competing on two winning relays. Andre Stevens-Rosa chipped in with 4th (500 free) and a sixth (200 free) and swam on the champion 400 free relay.
Other MDI swimmers who scored in two or more events included Cullen O’Brien (4th 500 free, 6th 50 free; 200 medley, 400 free relays), Ben Cline (8th 50 free, 10th 100 fly, 200 free relay) along with Rowan Kase, Jason Carbone, Tyler Steel and Evan Hendricks. Abe Gladstone and Max Timko also scored.
“A lot of it’s Tony. He’s very good at keeping us focused,” Ian Carbone said of his coach.
Senior Brian Batson of Ellsworth was among the individual stars. He sliced 6.54 seconds off his preliminary swim to establish a meet record of 1:44.44 in the 200 freestyle. That bettered the mark of 1:44.71 set by Steven Cartwright of John Bapst in 1997.
Battson also claimed the 100 butterfly in 55.32 seconds, holding off a determined charge by Orono freshman Cameron Dwyer by 0.04 seconds. Battson swam on the Eagles’ runner-up 200 and 400 free relays.
“He’s far exceeded expectations,” said Ellsworth coach Jim Goodman. “He was always a great swimmer, but he did some outstanding times.”
Ellsworth’s finish is believed to be its best ever.
“We’ve taken fourth or fifth before, but this is the first time that I’ve had so many swimmers qualify,” Goodman said of his 12-man squad. “I brought nine kids here who swam.”
Dwyer annexed the 100 backstroke title in 57.63 seconds with a 0.3-second victory over John Madeira of Greely. Ian Nichols of North Yarmouth Academy took the 50 free (22.36) and was second in the 100 breaststroke.
Robbie Bickford of Old Town won the 100 free (49.40) and was second in the 200 free. Kirby Kelly of Orono won the two-man diving competition over Carson Beck of Belfast by scoring 316.45 points.
MDI wasted no time asserting itself in the meet as Onda, Ian Carbone, Michael Breen and O’Brien combined to win the 200 medley relay in a meet-record time of 1:41.22. That swim was 7.49 seconds faster than their prelim effort.
There were a handful of tight races, but none closer than the 500 freestyle. Ryan Robitaille of Saint Dominic in Auburn set the pace early, leading Onda and Belfast’s Will Hurley by only a fraction of a second over the first 200 yards.
That’s when Hurley took charge briefly and built a 1.3-second edge over Onda heading into the last 100. Onda started to surge at the 350 mark, got even at the final turn and — with the crowd on its feet — touched in 0.02 seconds in front.
“I decided to breathe every stroke, but I noticed when I breathed on every stroke, on both sides of the lane, the swimmers were there,” Onda said. “I had to kick it up a notch a little bit at the end.”
Dwyer, seeded sixth in the finals of the 100 fly, nearly claimed the upset. Batson led by a half-second at the midway point, but narrowly survived a late charge by Dwyer to win by two-hundredths of a second.