When the University of California women won their first NCAA Division I swimming and diving championship Saturday at Texas A&M, Bangor High coach Phil Emery was on deck serving as a timer in lane 7.
Emery, who for 23 years has worked as timer and head timer at the NCAA men’s Division I swimming and diving championships, worked his first NCAA women’s championship.
Holding a one-point lead entering the 400 free relay, the Cal Bears set an NCAA, NCAA meet, American and U.S. Open record of 3 minutes, 9.8 seconds in the event to gain the title over second-place Georgia.
In addition to watching the record in the 400 free relay, Emery witnessed Dana Vollmer, Swimmer of the Meet, speed away from the fastest female swimmers in America in her events. In the 200 free, Vollmer finished at 1:42, splitting a lightning 25.7 over the final 50 yards of the race. And, in the 800 free relay, Vollmer split a 1:41.7 to lead the relay to an NCAA, NCAA meet, American and U.S. Open record.
Forty-eight schools scored in the championship. No New England schools scored, however.
Emery will time at the men’s NCAA Division I swimming and diving championships beginning today at Texas A&M. The Aggie facility includes an eight-lane 50-meter pool with two portable bulkheads. In addition, the diving facility is eight lanes, 25 meters with two 1- and 3-meter boards and platform diving at 5, 7½ and 10 meters. A hot tub is available at the diving center. The natatorium also includes a five-lane instructional pool with a hot tub.
Meanwhile, at the NCAA Division III nationals held last weekend at the University of Minnesota, Colby College’s Kelsey Potdevin earned All-American honors with her eighth-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke. The Alaska native recorded a 56.9 in the trials and finished at 57.2 in the finals.
Also earning All-American honors was Monmouth native Stephany Perkins. Perkins, swimming for Wheaton College (Mass.), swam a leg on the 200 free relay (1:37.1) which scored the first points ever for Wheaton in the nationals.
Kenyon won both the men’s and women’s titles. Kenyon’s 2009 men’s crown was its 30th consecutive.
Swimmers turn in top efforts
Several area youth scored among the top 10 at the YMCA New England Championships held recently at the Melrose (Mass.) YMCA.
Mariah Reading, representing the Bangor YMCA in the 13-14 age group, finished second in the 100 butterfly (59.3), third in the 200 IM (2:12.7) and third in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.9). Teammate Carson Foley (13-14) claimed fifth in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.4) and seventh in the 200 free (1:56.6). Josh Williams (13-14), also of the Bangor YMCA, finished seventh in the 100 back (1.00.2). Old Town YMCA swimmer Cameron Dwyer (13-14) nabbed third- place medals in the 100 butterfly (56.4) and the 100 back (57.1).
Liam Reading (11-12 age group) from the Bangor YMCA scored fifth in the 50 breaststroke and sixth in the 100 back.
Olympian to conduct clinic
Maine Swimming will host a clinic by Eric Shanteau, a member of the 2008 U. S. Olympic Team, April 25 at the Waterville Boys/Girls Club. Shanteau was a breaststroker on the U.S. Olympic Team and is a world-class individual medley swimmer. Swimmers interested in attending the clinic can contact the Waterville Boys/Girls Club at 873-0684.