University of Maine Athletic Director Blake James has confirmed assistant swim coach Susan Lizzotte has been named interim head coach of Black Bear swimming for the 2009-10 season.
James said a national search will be conducted following the season.
Lizzotte, a highly accomplished swimmer for the Black Bears, served as an assistant coach most recently under Walter “Skip” Nitardy. Prior to serving with Nitardy, who resigned earlier this month, Lizzotte worked with Jeff Wren, the founder of the UMaine women’s swim program.
Saturday, the Black Bears host the University of Rhode Island at 1 p.m.
“We are excited to have a home meet. The kids are ready to swim at home,” Lizzotte said.
“The kids are swimming with confidence,” she added. “All are training hard. The results we saw last weekend against Bryant University and Boston University are indicators the training is going in the right direction.”
Sophomore Alicia Hahn, racing backstroke last weekend, “put together her races and swam competitive times for this stage of the season,” Lizzotte said.
Hahn’s teammates, Lauren Thornbrough and Caitlyn Shelley, also swam very well, Lizzotte added.
“Against Bryant, Lauren had a very good 1,000 free and Caitlyn swam well in both freestyle and breaststroke events both days,” she said.
Meanwhile, the men’s team, Lizzotte said, “had a great weekend of racing.”
Andrew Meehan, a sophomore from Brewer, swam an impressive 1:49 in the 200 free and Roy Warren, also a sophomore, turned in a fast 21.9 in the 50 free.
“He was really excited,” Lizzotte said.
In the stroke events, captain Jamie Young from Pennsylvania drew recognition from his coach for his 200 backstroke races.
Husson University women’s swim coach Jeff Wren is pleased with his team’s progress.
“We are consistently ahead of where we were last year,” said Wren, reflecting on his team’s performance in practices and in the team’s opening competitive racing last weekend. Husson competed in a five-team meet in Connecticut.
“Everybody returning from last year, by and large, is ahead of their performance of a year ago. And, the new swimmers are fun to work with,” Wren said.
“Generally, the meet in Connecticut was a very good meet for us,” Wren added.
In fact, the Eagles of Bangor established a school record in the 200 medley relay (Amanda Mason, Renne Dufrense Dixon, Erin Doucette and Kaitlyn Theriault).
“We won a lot of heats, so we were finished our races well,” Wren said.
Saturday’s meet opens the home dual-meet season for the Eagles and marks the season’s first meet competition for Saint Joseph’s College of Standish. A year ago, St. Joseph’s finished 7-1 in dual meets.
Hannah Gajewski of Biddeford, a holder of eight school records, provides Saint Joseph’s with a versatile swimmer who races freestyle at all distances as well as individual medley and breaststroke events.
• Former Black Bears captain John Quinn has been named an assistant coach for boys swimming at Bangor High School.
• Bangor High boys with no competitive swimming or diving experience interested in swimming or diving for the Rams are encouraged to contact coach Phil Emery.
• Julie Cobb, who dived last year for the University of Vermont, has transferred to Maine and will dive for the Black Bears.