Maine preparing for league finals

Posted Jan. 28, 2010, at 10:57 p.m.

The dual-meet season for the University of Maine’s swimmers and divers concludes for the 2009-10 season with Friday evening’s and Saturday’s competition against Dartmouth College and Boston College at Wallace Pool in Orono.

“We are swimming right through this weekend’s meets. The swimmers will stay with their main events. This will be one last chance for them to race in their events before America East Championships next month,” explained interim Maine coach Susan Lizzotte.

The Black Bears this year have altered their regular swim-season schedule from past years’ schedules and have swum in meets requiring consecutive days of racing.

“It is a good way for them to test their bodies and to see what they have for readiness since America East is 3½ days of racing,” Lizzotte said.

Anticipating the championship season, Lizzotte also has adjusted her teams’ training, placing a greater emphasis on speed.

“We have been doing more shorter swims and more broken swims to develop speed on the way out and on the way back in our races,” she said.

This weekend’s meet will be the final home meet for six seniors: diver Samantha Graham, breaststroker Meg McLean, butterflyer Nissa Marrone, flyer and individual medley swimmer Meag Fisher, backstroker Jamie Young and freestyler Kevin Staples.

“It is a strong class. Their graduation will leave us with some gaps to fill. They have given us tremendous leadership in and out of the pool,” Lizzotte said.

Lane lines

— Dartmouth College diving coach Chris Hamilton is a graduate of Bangor High where he competed for coach Phil Emery and the Rams before earning All-American recognition at Southern Connecticut University. Hamilton is in his 11th year at Dartmouth.

— Former Bangor diver Emma Chaiken, who competes for Wheaton College, finished second in the 1- meter diving in her team’s win over Babson, recently. Chaiken and her diving teammates swept Babson in the event finishing first, second, and third.

— On Saturday, Brewer’s Jessica Hodsdon swimming for Bentley College established a pool record in the 100 breaststroke (1 minute, 7 seconds) in her team’s loss to Keene State. Hodsdon also won the 200 IM (2:15.4) and the 200 breaststroke (2:31.7). Earlier this week, she continued her gold gathering by winning three events against Bridgewater State: 50 breaststroke, 31.2; 100 free, 56.8; and the 100 IM, 1:03.

Husson sets two records

Coach Jeff Wren’s Husson University Eagles, who seemingly weekly rewrite records, set two more records Saturday in a meet at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. Erin Doucette set a 200 backstroke mark (2:25.9) and the 400-free relay team set a record as well. The Eagles travel to Smith College in Northampton, Mass., on Saturday.

“We expect it will set up some competitive situations for us. It is nice pool in which to swim, well illuminated,” Wren said. “It offers an opportunity for some of our swimmers to qualify for New England Championships in additional events and it offers others a chance for a first event qualification. [Smith coach] Kim Bierwert and I have a long standing relationship and fortunately we were able to put this together.”

Husson a master’s meet Sunday under Wren’s direction.

“I was delighted with the turnout of 45 swimmers ages from 19 to 63 demonstrating that swimming is a life long sport. Maine has a strong group of masters’ swimmers and this meet attracted some of them and it also attracted a group of people trying it out. It was well- received,” Wren remarked.

Perhaps, modeling the techniques of racing for the swimmers they coach were Jim Goodwin, coach of Ellsworth High swimming, and Sam Manhart, assistant coach at Hampden Academy. Both raced in multiple events in the meet.

And two swimmers, Amy and Fritz Homans, who during their youthful years in the Bangor area developed their swimming roots, returned to the area to compete. Amy is a former 400 individual medley record holder at Bowdoin College and Fritz, in addition to his many successes at the collegiate and national level, was a qualifier for the 1980 Olympic Trials.

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