The high school swim season opens Saturday for the 12 teams in the Penobscot Valley Conference as the annual relay carnival will be held at the University of Maine’s Wallace Pool in Orono beginning at noon.
“The biggest benefit is seeing the swimmers in a meet early in the season. There is no strategy other than build the strongest relays. People love to watch relays. Relays generate great racing and excitement,” explained Bangor High boys swim coach Phil Emery.
“From a team perspective, the relay meet begins to build team pride. We see mistakes in racing this early in the season, but it provides an early-season evaluation of where we are,” Emery added.
The girls will swim the odd events and the boys the even events.
One-meter diving will be held with each team entering two divers, each of whom will execute two dives.
Emery, who 41 years ago accepted the BHS coaching position with the intention of coaching one year and then attending graduate school, commented on his coaching tenure, following one of his team’s practices this week.
“Coaching is fun. It is exciting to see kids do well and it is exciting to see the looks in their eyes when they accomplish something they did not think they could achieve,” he said.
Maine swimmers stand out at BU
Coach Suzie Lizzotte’s UMaine swimmers and divers do not compete this weekend after swimming in the three-day trials and finals at the Boston University Invitational last weekend, a competition where the Black Bears swam very well, according to their coach.
“It was amazing to see the way the team performed. They are believing and we had fun,” Lizzotte said.
In a remarkable performance for this period in the training regimen, first-year Black Bear Jennifer Trodden of Reading, Mass., established a school record in the 200 breaststroke in Sunday’s finals of the event in 2 minutes, 25.1 seconds. Trodden’s record is the first regular-season record in Black Bear swimming since 1996 when Lizzotte set a school record in the 200 butterfly.
“She exceeded all expectations. She is very talented. She had a race plan and followed the plan,” Lizzotte stated. “She maintained a low stroke count, went out in 1:09, and swam an aggressive last 100 yards.”
Falmouth’s Alicia Hahn, a sophomore, finished with her best college time in the 200 backstroke (2:07.5), improving by two seconds her previous best college race. And Bangor’s Grace Barnett, according to Lizzotte, “swam awesome again [1:59, 200 free and 55 seconds, 100 free]. She is working hard and having fun,” Lizzotte said.
Roy Warren’s 48.6 leadoff leg of the 400 free relay was another personal record, Lizzotte explained. “The teams swam well all weekend,” the Maine coach concluded.
Husson set for two-day meet
Husson University’s women’s swimming team travels this weekend to Simmons College in Boston to compete in the two-day Greater Northeast Athletic Conference trials and finals meet.
“Hopefully, it will provide some good results for us. If we are anywhere as successful as last year, it will be a very good meet for us,” second-year Eagle coach Jeff Wren commented.
“I would rather have good swimming in December than focus on scoring points,” Wren added.
Although the Eagles, with Erin Doucette, Amanda Mason, and Kaitlyn Theriault, all seeded among the leaders in events such as the 200 butterfly and 200 backstroke, could generate front-line points in their events.
“We have a chance to get a reasonable number of swimmers back in the finals at night.” Wren noted.