“Team members showed so much improvement from to meet to meet. At the higher levels, you do not always see that. The kids should feel good about their success,” remarked Husson University’s Jeff Wren, who recently completed his first year coaching the Eagles after a highly successful coaching tenure at the University of Maine.
When the Husson women’s swim team began the season in September, Wren was not sure what to expect from his roster comprised of not only inexperienced college swimmers but inexperienced and novice racers.
“One of the areas where I am most pleased is that we started with 17 swimmers and finished with 17 swimmers,” Wren said adding that one swimmer was unable to compete due to an injury.
“We tried to remain mindful during the season of where everyone was and of the importance of progressing at an appropriate pace. With a young team, we were conscious of letting things evolve naturally,” Wren added.
Wren’s approach and his differentiated training routines based on each swimmer’s readiness resulted in 10 school records and some members of the team participating in the New England Championships.
“With a young team and our inexperience, I had doubts about our response to a New England competition. However, everyone did something significantly better than they had previously,” Wren said. “We scored points and exposed people to what it takes to compete at a New England championship. And, Erin Doucette won the consolation final of the 100 individual medley, our highest finish.”
With the success of the first year, Wren expects the Husson program to mature.
“We want to add more people and we would like to be able to cover all events,” Wren said.
However, he added, “The best way to get better as a team is for team members to improve.”
EM swimmers gain honors
Eastern Maine swimmers and divers earned spots on the Maine All-State Interscholastic Swimming and Diving teams announced Monday. The teams recognize swimmers and divers from Class A and Class B.
Ellsworth’s Brian Batson was named the Class B Swimmer of the Year while Orono’s Kirby Kelly was named Class B Diver of the Year. Bangor’s Tim Smith was named the Class A Diver of the Year.
Boys from Eastern Maine named to the team include:
200 free: Batson; 200 individual medley: Ian Carbone (Mount Desert Island); diving: Smith, Kelly; 500 free: Batson; 100 backstroke: Taylor Wicks (Bangor); 100 breaststroke: Carbone; 200 medley relay: Wicks (backstroke), Carbone (breaststroke), Batson (freestyle); 200 free relay: Robert Bickford (Old Town), Tyler Arndt (Rockland); 400 free relay: Joey Quinn (Bangor), Carbone, Robert Bickford (Old Town)
Girls from Eastern Maine include:
200 individual medley: Mariah Reading (Bangor), Tara Nitardy (John Bapst); diving: Ashley Higgins (Bangor), Meg Rowe (Bangor); 100 fly: Jessica Hodsdon (Brewer), Nitardy; 100 backstroke: Chelsey Curran (MDI); 100 breaststroke: Hodsdon; 200 medley relay: Hodsdon (breaststroke); 200 free relay: Lauren Dwyer (Orono), Mamie Clark (Foxcroft), Marley Clark (Foxcroft); 400 free relay: Curran.
ä Kevin Wright, diving coach at Texas A&M University and a graduate of Bangor High School, was voted Big 12 Diving Coach of the Big 12 Championship men’s meet. The recognition was the seventh time Wright has won the award.
ä Ryan and Justin Coombs, whose grandfather, the late John Coombs, served as director at the Bangor YMCA, have been named to the Atlantic 10 All Academic team. The brothers swim for Fordham University. In the recent Atlantic 10 championship meet, Ryan won the 200 butterfly (1 minute, 50 seconds) and finished fourth in the 200 free (1:40.2). Justin finished third in the 100 free (45.6) and fourth in the 50 (20.7).
ä In Greek mythology, Hebe had the power to restore the aged to youth. Dara Torres, 41, continued to swim like a youth as she swam a 21.64 in the 50-yard free and a 24.91 in the 50-meter free for a win in the recent Austin Grand Prix held in Texas. Torres, the oldest member of the 2008 US Olympic team, began competing for the U.S. Olympic team in 1984.