The University of Maine Black Bears continued their impressive racing against Bates College of Lewiston in the final meet of the first semester.
Not only did the Black Bears comfortably win both dual meets against the Bobcats, but Black Bear swimmers Brian Landry and freshman Naja Harvey were named America East Swimmers of the Week in the final AE honors of the first semester.
Landry, a senior, won the 100 breaststroke in 1:01 and the 200 breaststroke in 2:13.8. Harvey won the women’s breaststroke events in 1:07.4 and 2:30.5, respectively.
Landry succeeds teammate Yuri Chornobil, who the previous week was named America East Swimmer of the Week.
In the 200 free relay, which Maine has swum quickly since the opening meet of the season, Harvey (24 seconds), sophomore Lauren Dwyer of Orono (23.7), Bath freshman Emily Buckowski (23.5) and Jen Trodden (24.6) established a Wallace Pool and school record. The 1:36.02, which eclipsed the previous mark of 1:36.64, is the second fastest swum this season in the America East.
Buckowski and Harvey combined with Dwyer and Erica Smrcina for
the season’s fastest 200 medley relay by the Black Bears (1:51). Dwyer opened with a 29-second backstroke leg, Harvey split 30.8 on the breaststroke, Smrcina went 26.7 in the butterfly and Buckowski anchored at 24.4.
Dwyer, who raced the 100 back and the 100 fly in high school along with the sprint free, has extended her event range in college racing to include the 200 backstroke. After an opening 50 yards of 31.8, the sophomore stroked 32.7, 33.9 and 33.5 for the successive 50s and finished in 2:12, five seconds ahead of the field.
In the 200 freestyle, Bangor’s Grace Barnett outsplit the field on the fourth 50 with a 30.1 in an event won by Maine’s Shannon Bender at 1:58.2.
In the men’s 100 back, Bates’ Dan Aupi led by nine-tenths of a second after 50. However, on the second 50 Maine’s Drew McKeil outsplit his Bates competitor by seven-tenths of a second, narrowly missing the gold, 54.92 to 54.94.
McKeil’s ability to close on the second 50 is encouraging, particularly given the intensity of Maine’s training and that the Bears are swimming without rest or taper.
Maine’s swimmers and divers were the lone America East teams competing last week. Maine now prepares for the semester training period before returning to dual-meet competition in January.
High school swimmers in action
The interscholastic swim season previewed Dec. 2 at Wallace Pool with the annual Penobscot Valley Conference Relay Carnival.
Coach Phil Emery’s Bangor team’s performance in winning the event suggests the Rams have skills in all strokes. Their medley relay win of 1:45.1 was sharply impressive for early season. It is a time many coaches and swimmers would achieve at a state meet after a taper and shave.
Comprising the relay were Matt England (26.4), Liam Reading (29.7), David Smallwood (25.2) and Gordon Carroll (23.5).
The Bangor girls also put together impressive relays and established three records. The records the Rams rewrote were among the oldest in Maine interscholastic swimming dating back to the the early 1990s.
In the medley relay, Bangor’s 1:54.9 overturned the 1:56.7 set by Old Town in 1991. Julianna MacDonald, Mariah Reading, Emma Waddell and Meri Wicks recorded the win and the first record of the meet.
Reading, Wicks and Waddell combined with Jamie Hunsaker to set the 400 free relay record, breaking the 1993 Old Town mark with a 3:50. Bangor’s butterfly relay eclipsed an Old Town mark set in 1993 as Reading, Waddell, Hunsaker and Alyssa Reardon touched in at 1:53.
The 2012-13 Penobscot Valley Conference dual-meet season opens this week.