Two former standout local swimmers, Kate Kovenock and Steve Cartwright, coached teams at the recent 2009-10 Big East Swimming and Diving Championships. Cartwright coaches men’s and women’s swimming at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., while Kovenock is in her first year as an assistant coach at Notre Dame in South Bend.
Kovenock swam for coach Gary Theriault at Orono High and for the Canoe City Swim Club of the Old Town-Orono YMCA, and Cartwright swam for the Hurricane Swim Club, a local area team, formerly directed by Tim Babcock.
Both teams found success at the Big East meet. Georgetown established 12 school records at the meet. The Hoya men finished eighth and the women ninth.
Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish women won the Big East title. A member of the Big East women’s title team senior, Gina Mancini, was an elite Maine high school swimmer while at Falmouth High.
Kovenock, a national 50-yard freestyle champion in 2004 for Connecticut College, joined Notre Dame this year following four years as an assistant at Kenyon College. Cartwright, an accomplished distance swimmer, graduated from Catholic University before beginning his coaching career.
Burnham in 10th Bowdoin season
Bowdoin College, the site of last weekend’s Maine USA Swimming Championships, has hired only three swim coaches in the 78 years of swimming at the college. Former UMaine swimmer Brad Burnham, who succeeded the highly respected Charlie Butt after Butt’s 39 years as head coach, is in his 10th year as the Polar Bears coach.
Robert Miller, Bowdoin’s coach for 29 years, started Polar Bear swimming in 1928-29. In 1932, he joined with Portland’s Harold Paulson to form the Maine Interscholastic Swim League. Today, the Maine Interscholastic Swim League continues to govern Maine high school swimming.
At last week’s championship meet, Canoe City swimmer Liam Reading broke the ages 11-12 200 breaststroke mark set in 1986 with his swim of 2 minutes, 30.6 seconds. Reading also set records in the 50 breaststroke (31.3) and the 100 breaststroke (1:08). Jenni Roberts, who was Maine’s 2010 Interscholastic Swimmer of the Year, turned in a particularly impressive record swim in the 200 back (2:00.6), four seconds under the previous record.
Wright’s case in federal court
Maine Swimming Hall of Fame member Kevin Wright continues his legal grievance against Texas A&M University. A recent published report noted that Wright’s lawsuit, filed earlier this year under the Texas Whistleblower Act, has been moved to federal court in Houston.
The lawsuit claims Texas A&M terminated Wright because of Title IX compliance concerns he revealed in the school’s women’s swimming and diving program.
Wright, an All-America diver at Bangor High School, was relieved of his coaching duties during the fall of 2009. During his 17 seasons at Texas A&M, Wright coached 46 divers to All-America honors and 28 divers to Southwestern Conference and Big 12 titles. The former Ohio State scholarship athlete received 12 Big 12 Coach of the Year honors.