BANGOR, Maine — Sophomore Emma Waddell led Bangor High School to its 14th straight Penobscot Valley Conference girls swimming and diving championship at Husson University on Saturday.
Waddell earned two individual titles and also swam on two record-setting relay squads as the Rams posted 349 points. She set PVC and pool marks in the 100-yard butterfly at 58.29 seconds, won the 100 backstroke (1:01.12) and competed on the 200 medley and 200 free relay teams, both of which also snapped PVC and pool marks.
Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor finished second for the 10th year in a row, getting 282 points. Foxcroft Academy captured third with 166, followed by Ellsworth with 110, John Bapst of Bangor with 101, Orono 93, Old Town 83, Presque Isle 75, Hampden Academy 63, Brewer 35 and George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill 27.
“A lot of girls had really good times, so that gives us a lot of confidence going into states,” said Waddell of the state Class A girls championships. That meet is set for Feb. 20 at the University of Maine’s Wallace Pool in Orono.
Bangor coach Cindi Howard likes having the PVCs as a springboard to the state meet.
“I’ve always liked PVCs,” she said. “It’s a [challenging] meet against MDI.”
Trojans coach Tony DeMuro would prefer more time between PVCs and states, though. He finds it difficult to have his team swim well at PVCs and still taper off their workouts to get his swimmers rested for the state Class B meet Feb. 21 at Bowdoin College in Brunswick.
“It’s all about next week,” said DeMuro.
Junior Erin Connery did give MDI a pair of individual wins, in the 200 free and the 100 free. That has DeMuro thinking positively about the state meet.
“Anytime you have a glimmer of hope at states, you have to go at it,” he said. “That’ll be our approach.”
The host Rams sent a strong message in Saturday afternoon’s opening event, the 200 medley relay, by posting a time of 1:53.31. The former PVC mark of 1:55.42 was set by Bangor in 2008, while the previous pool mark of 1:54.67 was set by MDI on Jan. 30 in a meet against Bangor, which swam 1:54.72.
“Coach tells us, if you set the tone in the medley, it sets the tone for the whole meet,” said Waddell. “I was pretty excited to out-touch [MDI] this time.”
The Rams’ Juliana McDonald, Mariah Reading, Waddell and Meri Wicks posted the record, with MDI second at 1:55.13 and Foxcroft third in 2:00.54.
“The [swimmers] I expected to do well did well,” said Howard. “What I wasn’t expecting was the freestyle relay record.”
In the 200 free relay, the same quartet of (in race order) Waddell, McDonald, Reading and Wicks tripped the timer in 1:41.52, 1.2 seconds better than the old pool mark set by the Rams in January and well under the former PVC mark of 1:43.91, also held by Bangor. MDI surpassed both marks as well while coming in second in 1:42.57. John Bapst finished third (1:55.13).
“McDonald came out of the woodwork,” said Howard. “She swam her fastest 50 split ever in the  free relay.”
The Trojans’ Connery won the 200 free in 2:04.39, more than three seconds faster than runner-up Jamie Hunsaker of Bangor (2:07.70). Lacey Hernandez of Bangor edged Olivia Jacobs of MDI for third, 2:11.61 to 2:11.67.
Leila Johnston of MDI won the 200 individual medley in 2:15 flat, holding off Reading (2:15.31). Cece McEachern of Ellsworth took third (2:21.17).
Wicks prevailed for Bangor in a tight 50 free, finishing in 26.20. Amelia Kief of MDI took second in 26.35, Erica Hemphill of Presque Isle was right behind in 26.45 and Taylor Wardwell of GSA was fourth in 26.76.
Bangor’s Elizabeth Huber grabbed victory in the 1-meter diving by a wide margin, scoring 333.80 points. That included a 94-point effort in the final three dives in front of a packed crowd. Kate Morrison of Foxcroft also finished strong to total 294.45 for second place. Kayla Bousfield of John Bapst of Bangor came in third (281.30), followed by Glory Watson of Brewer (259.80).
Waddell defeated McDonald in the 100 fly by almost four seconds. McDonald posted a 1:02.22, and Trojan teammates Emma Soucek and Jacobs were third and fourth, respectively, in 1:07.31 and 1:07.53.
Connery gave the Trojans another boost by winning the 100 free in 57.57, with teammate Kief next in 58.16. Hemphill was third (58.26), Wicks fourth (58.39) and Jules Annis of Foxcroft fifth (58.59).
Ellsworth’s McEachern had a convincing victory in the 500 free, recording a 5:35.06, more than 12 seconds faster than runner-up Hunsaker (5:47.88). Aiesha Sargent of Orono took third (5:53.21).
In the 100 back, Waddell rallied in the second 50 to defeat MDI’s Johnston (1:01.56). Amber Murray of Foxcroft finished third in 1:03.28.
Bangor’s Reading also used a strong second half to win the 100 breaststroke in 1:11.80. The Ponies’ Annis was second (1:12.67) and Hernandez of Bangor third (1:15.60).
The Trojans’ team of Emma Soucek, Samantha Luck, Sydney Wright and Jacobs won the 400 free relay in 3:58.89. Bangor (4:02.41) took second, Ellsworth (4:14.88) third and John Bapst (4:17.29) fourth.