The training season is finished. The descending sets, the pace sets, the circle sets and the broken swims have all have been swum. Now is the time to race as the state’s swimming and diving state championships will be held Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday.
On Saturday, at the University of Maine in Orono, the Class B girls championship finals are scheduled to begin at 5 pm. with trials opening at 10:30 a.m. Bob Hale’s Greely High Rangers of Cumberland and Tony DeMuro’s Mount Desert Island Trojans account for the top seeds in eight of the 12 events.
MDI’s 200 medley relay (1 minute, 55.2 seconds) along with Chelsy Curran’s 28.5 50 free and 1:00.5 100 back enter the championships as No. 1 seeds. Meanwhile, Greely’s 200 free relay (1:44.1), 400 free relay (3:40.6) as well as Sara Schad’s seeds in the 100 free (55.2), 200 free (2:02.5) and Sarah Easterling’s 200 individual medley (2:12.1) hold the top entry.
On Monday at UMaine, the Class B boys championship finals begin with the trials at 10:30 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m.
According to the pre-meet seeds, Ellsworth’s racers can be expected to compete for gold medals. Ellsworth’s medley relay (1:45.5) and the Eagles’ Keith Chandler (100 butterfly 53.8) (100 breaststroke 1:03) and Matt Grover (500 free 5:04.4) are pre meet favorites in their events.
Foxcroft Academy’’s Donnie Boyer, winner of the PVC 50 free last week, is seeded first at 22.8.
In addition to Ellsworth, Greely High and Belfast have fast swimmers strategically entered suggesting the teams will compete for the title.
In Monday’s Class a girls meet meet at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Cindi Howard’s Bangor High team, following their speedy swims at last week’s PVC, are positioned to race for both individual and team gold. However, Windham, Morse High of Bath and Cheverus of Portland have displayed the quality swimming required to compete among the elite at the state meet. Finals will begin at 7p.m.
The Rams are entry favorites in each of the three relays. Emma Waddell, frosh speedster, will be a difficult matchup for the Class A field on her relay leg wherever Howard places her on the relays. The BHS recordholder is the pacesetter in the 100 butterfly (59.1) and 200 individual medley. Julie Clifford, Bangor’s senior diver, like Waddell, is the lead entry in her event, 1-meter diving.
The Rams also will have strong entries in a number of events including but not limited to Jamie Hunsaker (500 and 200 free), Meri Wicks (50 and 100 free), Juliana McDonald (100 back and 200 free), Jenny Dickson (200 free and 100 free) and Sadie Redman (50 free and 100 free).
The veteran of Maine’s coaches, Phil Emery, has another Rams squad trained for the Class A boys meet Tuesday at Bowdoin. Finals begin at 7pm.
The defending state champions are a young team but are led by an experienced state-meet veteran racer, senior Sam Barnett. Barnett is number one in the breaststroke and also is entered in the 200 individual medley. Interestingly, in the relays Bangor does not have a top seed. Windham has two spots in two relays, 200 free and 200 medley.
Emery, however, has the reputation of structuring his relays in a position to compete for the gold in the evening’s finals.
After Barnett’s breaststroke, the highest ranked seeds for Bangor are the 50 free and the 100 butterfly with frosh swimmer’s David Smallwood’s second-seed entries. A number of Rams, including Matt Fuller, Isaac Walton, Matt England, Jeff Rogers, Isaac Carson, Ryan Robinson, Joey Kacer, Jake Worcester, Gordon Carroll, Welles Tisdale, Nick Montemurro, Colton Markevitch, Louis Booysen and divers Kyle Mallory MacDonald and Tommy Townley, will compete with the intention of retaining the Class A crown in Bangor.
Maine’s Smith finishes third
University of Maine frosh diver Tim Smith collected his first bronze medal in college championship diving Thursday evening at the America East Swimming and Diving Championships being held at the Germantown Aquatic Center in Maryland.
Smith totaled 505.50 points in the 11-dive 1-meter event won by Boston University diver Tanner Knorr with 565 points.
Other Thursday performances by the Black Bears included a fifth-place finish in the men’s 800 free relay. Comprising the 7:01. relay were Andrew Meehan (1:45.4), Yuri Chornobil (1:44.5), Rob Bickford (1:45.5) and Jermey Bender (1:45.7). The men also scored fifth in the 200 medley relay at 1:36.1, four second faster than their seed time.
The Maine women finished seventh in the 800 free relay with a 7:45 finish, nine seconds faster than their entry time. Kara Dubiel (1:54), Carmen Linden (1:56.7), Shannon Bender (1:55.9) and Halenia Sacco (1:56.7) raced for Maine. In a four-second improvement from their entered time, the Maine 200 medley relay Courtney Mellish (27.8), Caitlin Shelley (29.6), Erica Smrcini (25.2) and Jen Trodden (24.3), touched in 1:47.6, a seventh-place finish.