Ex-Maine high school stars turn in strong efforts at NCAA Div. I meets

Posted Dec. 08, 2011, at 9:15 p.m.

Erin Thomas, James Wells and Ian Carbone, three former standout Maine age-group swimmers and Maine interscholastic swimmers, continue to race competitively on teams ranked or collecting votes for ranked status at the highest level of NCAA competition, Division I.

Thomas, a senior at Penn State, recorded speedy swims in the Nittany Lions’ recent second-place finish at the Ohio State Invitational. The Bangor High graduate finished fourth in the 200 freestyle (1 minute, 48.8 seconds) and as a member of the 800 free relay and the 400 free relay split 1:49.9 and 51.1, respectively. Both relays also scored fourth.

Meanwhile in Austin, Texas, Carbone and his Texas teammates, ranked second behind Michigan, won the the 10-team Texas Invitational, including racers from the University of Southern California and the University of Arizona, schools steeped in college swimming success. Carbone finished in an impressive 56.5 100 breaststroke, splitting 26.4 at the 50-yard mark. In the 200 breaststroke, after turning with a 58.6 100, the former Mount Desert Island High swimmer finished in a strong 2:04.4.

And, at the Georgia Invitational, Indiana Hoosier James Wells of Bath hit a fast 47.8 100 backstroke for fifth and a quick 1:47.2 200 backstroke.

Swimming in the 400 free relay, Wells split 44.7 and then 22.4 on the backstroke leg of the 200 medley relay. Wells displayed his versatility by swimming a third stroke, the butterfly, touching in 49.9 for the 100 yards. IU is ranked 14th.

Strong weekend for Bears

The Maine Black Bears, coached by Susan Lizzotte, turned in another weekend of strong swimming, racing at the University of Rhode Island Invitational. The men finished second in the five-team field and Black Bear junior Yuri Chornobil collected gold in the 500 free (4:53.7) and in the 1,000 free (10:05). The Rochester, N.Y., native earned American East Swimmer of the Week for his performances.

Maine’s swimming in the 500 free was particularly sharp. Mike Caposella claimed second at 4:54 with Old Town’s Robbie Bickford (5:04) and Brewer’s Brent Williams (5:05) finishing seventh and eighth, giving Maine four swimmers in the top eight.

The women maintained their season’s consistency in relay racing with a 1:49.3 200 medley-relay win in the eight-team field. On Saturday, Maine swims against Bates College at the Wallace Pool.

Hodsdon sets two records

Brewer’s Jessica Hodsdon, a junior at Bentley College, established pool records recently at the Northeast 10 Invitational. Hodsdon, who has set numerous records at Bentley, rewrote the 100 butterfly standard at 57.1 and the 100 breaststroke record 1:05.2. The accounting major also won the 200 individual medley at 2:11.8. Bentley won the invitational, nipping Southern Connecticut University.

PVC relays set Friday

Interscholastic swimming opens the 2011-12 season in the Penobscot Valley Conference on Friday at the PVC Relay Carnival scheduled for the University of Maine.

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