May 22, 2018
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Black Bears facing challenges in grueling weekend meets


“It will be a grueling three days of racing. We have to get back into our racing mode. We are ready for the challenge of this weekend’s competition,” said Susan Lizzotte, interim coach of the University of Maine swim team.

The Black Bears will race at Providence College today and Saturday in a meter pool against the Friars and Syracuse University. On Sunday, the Black Bears will be at Connecticut College to swim against the Camels and Southern Connecticut University.

“The men’s meets will be very tough this weekend. We will need to stay with our standard lineup,” Lizzotte said. “In the women’s meet, we may have some wiggle room in the lineup to move swimmers. We are excited with the additional depth the return of freestylers Kevin Staples, Jeremy Bender and Dan MacDonald will provide to the men’s team.”

In addition to their freestyle skills, both Staples and Bender can race skillfully in stroke events.

During the semester break, the Black Bears intensified their training by swimming four hours daily in a 50-meter outdoor facility in Florida.

“Despite the weather conditions, we were able to get in very good training. They worked very hard as a team. We did a lot of meters and built our endurance and strength,” said Lizzotte, who noted while the air temperature was too cool and some days cold, the water temperature fit the demands of long-course training.

Wright files suit vs. Texas A&M

According to a report published Wednesday, Kevin Wright, a member of the Maine Swimming Hall of Fame and the former diving coach at Texas A&M University, has filed suit in Travis County, Texas, against Texas A&M under the Texas Whistleblower Act.

The suit alleges Wright was dismissed from his coaching responsibilities for reporting possible gender equity violations of the Title IX federal law in the Aggies’ swimming program.

Wright, who coached men’s and women’s diving for 17 years at Texas A&M, was dismissed this fall by athletic director Bill Bryne.

During his 17 years at A&M, Wright won 12 coach of the year awards and coached his divers to 28 individual conference championships. Additionally, during his tenure Texas A&M divers received 46 All-American awards.

An All-American diver at Bangor High School, Wright was a scholarship athlete at Ohio State University before completing his elite diving career at the University of Maine.

MDI’s Carbone tops in 5 events

Mount Desert’s Ian Carbone dominates the dual-meet rankings in Class B high school swimming. Results recently released by Ritchie Palmer, swim statistician for the Maine Principals’ Association, reveal that Carbone, a senior racer for coach Tony DeMuro’s Trojans, leads the field in several events, the 200-yard freestyle (1:49.7), 200 individual medley (2:08), 50 free (23.2), 100 free (51.2) and 100 breaststroke (1:01.2).

Meanwhile in Class B girls racing, Orono’s Lauren Dwyer has the third fastest performance in multiple events including the 100 backstroke (1:05.8), 100 butterfly (1:04.3) and the 200 free (2:06.7).

Brewer’s Alice Ruiu is the only Penobscot Valley Conference swimmer in Class A to lead the field in a racing event. Ruiu, a foreign exchange student from Italy, has recorded the fastest Class A 500 freestyle time (5:26.2) and the speediest 100 butterfly (1:00.5). However, Bangor’s female divers, Megan Rowe, Ashley Higgins, Chelsea Hardy and Julie Clifford, based on six-dive competition, currently are ranked one, two, three and four in Class A.

Taylor Wicks of Bangor has the highest ranking of any PVC Class A male swimmer with the second fastest 100 backstroke swim of 55.7 in the state’s Class A field. Teammate Tim Smith has recorded the highest six-dive total in Class A.

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