UMaine diver Smith displays drive, poise

Posted Jan. 20, 2011, at 6:02 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 20, 2011, at 8:40 p.m.

For the third time this season, America East has named the University of Maine's Tim Smith as diver of the week.

Smith, a freshman diver for the Black Bears, won both competitions, 1- and 3-meter, in Maine’s recent win against the Friars of Providence College.

The Bangor native, who had not dived 3-meter in competition until this season, has “the complete package,” according to Maine coach Susan Lizotte.

“Fundamentally, he is excellent. He always has a good hurtle and takeoff. Some divers are inconsistent with the hurtle and lean to one side. Tim hits his every time. He is so poised and relaxed on the board. He has the degree of difficulty on his dives and he has the drive to get better. It is exciting to see him develop,” Lizotte continued.

The swimmers, too, displayed their development against Providence, gaining wins in both the men’s and the women’s meets.

“We had a good time against Providence. We had a lot of good swims,” Lizotte said.

Captain Jeremy Bender turned in his fastest college 1,000 at Maine with a 10:04. And three local swimmers — Robbie Bickford (Old Town), Joey Quinn (Bangor) and Brent Williams (Brewer) — all sparkled for the Bears against the Friars.

Bickford’s 5-minute 500 free was a personal record. Williams nearly turned in his fastest 500 on the way to the 1,000 free with a 5:05 and Quinn collected his first college win with a 50-second 100 free. But it was Quinn’s first 50 which impressed Lizotte.

“He was 23.9 at the 50. To show that front-half speed this time of the season is encouraging,” she said.

The women, too, raced aggressively and paced their races consistent with Lizotte’s teaching.

Carmen Linden and Lauren Thornbrough, both of whom responded so well to the long course training available during the semester break training trip, hit season bests. Linden hit 1:58 in the 200 free and Thornbrough touched a 2:11 200 fly and a 5:17 500 free.

Lizotte also noted the progression of Bath’s Rebecca Bonnett in the butterfly.

“She is responding well to the training, particularly since we are doing more speed work,” said Lizotte.

Saturday, Maine hosts Bowdoin College of Brunswick in the final dual meet for seven Maine seniors.

Eagles' Call qualifies for NEs

Husson University’s Eagles added another event, the 100 breaststroke, to their New England Championship entry.

In Saturday’s meet against St. Joseph’s of Standish, Megan Call, a sophomore for coach Bruce Babin’s young team, hit the qualifying standard in the 100. Earlier in the season, she achieved the standard in the 50 breaststroke.

Freshman Hali Fleishman from Brewer scored personal records in both the 50 and 100 free, as did Bethany Beaulieu in the 500 and 200 free.

“They did a really nice job,” Babin commented on his team’s performance against St. Joseph’s. “The girls were really excited with their performance.”

This week the Eagles race Western New England.

Carbone, Thomas shine

Ian Carbone of Mount Desert and his No. 1-ranked Texas Longhorns were defeated by Auburn University in last week’s racing. The Longhorns, however, defeated the Georgia Bulldogs last weekend, and Carbone swam a 2:06.7 200 breaststroke in an event where the winning time was 1:58.6.

Carbone’s performance was three seconds faster than his swim against Auburn.

Meanwhile, Penn State’s Erin Thomas (Bangor) finished third at 1:52.0 in the 200 free in the Nittany Lions’ competition against Maryland, Pitt and Villanova. Thomas also grabbed fourth in the 100 free at 51.5. Penn State won the racing.

Waddell versatility sparkles

Emma Waddell, Bangor’s talented freshman swimmer, continues to display her versatility and ability in a variety of events.

According to the recent release of the top 20 times in Maine 2010-11 interscholastic swimming, Waddell is ranked first in the 500 free (5:23.9) and the 100 fly (59.5) and second in the 200 individual medley (2:16.3), four seconds behind the season’s fastest time of 2:12. Her 200 free time of 1:59.9 is two-tenths of a second off the speediest performance.

Another Bangor freshman, David Smallwood, leads the state’s butterflyers at 54.9, and teammate Sam Barnett, a senior for Coach Phil Emery’s squad, holds the second ranking in the 100 breaststroke (1:05.22), one-hundredth off the leading swim.

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