BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor High School boys swimming team captured its fifth straight Penobscot Valley Conference championship Monday evening, using six first-place finishes and superior depth to cruise to victory at Webber Pool on the campus of Husson University.
The Rams scored 314.5 points to outdistance second-place Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor (233) and capture its 27th team title in the 34-year history of the conference meet.
“It was a typical PVC meet where some of the kids swim faster than you think and some swim slower than you think and one time you think you’re a pretty good coach and another time you’re thinking maybe they need another coach,” said longtime Bangor head coach Phil Emery.
Bangor will attempt to win its seventh consecutive Class A state championship next Monday at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, while MDI will attempt to challenge Greely of Cumberland Center’s three-year hold on the Class B state crown Monday at the University of Maine in Orono.
Ellsworth finished third among the 14 schools at the PVC meet with 175 points, with Brewer (155) and John Bapst of Bangor (102) rounding out the top five.
Bangor was led to its latest conference title by junior David Smallwood, the only swimmer to win two individual events as well as a key member of the Rams’ victorious 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay teams.
Smallwood edged Foxcroft Academy’s Cameron Fadley and MDI’s Ross Johnston to win the most hotly contested race of the evening, the 100 butterfly.
Smallwood finished in a pool-record time of 53.03 seconds to outtouch Fadley (53.35) and Johnston (53.44).
It marked Smallwood’s second-fastest career time for the distance, trailing only his 52.99 clocking at last year’s state meet.
“It was seeded to be a really close race,” said Smallwood, who was ranked second behind Johnston entering the event. “I don’t really know what happened, but just by the end of it we had all taken our places and with Cameron it came down to the last stroke.”
Smallwood also won the 200 butterfly in 1:46.81 while teaming with Louis Booysen, Liam Reading and Colton Markevich to win the meet-opening 200 medley relay in 1:43.70 and the last of the 12 events, the 400 freestyle relay, in 3:25.40.
Reading and Markevich each won an individual event, with Markevich taking the 100 freestyle in 52.20 and Reading edging MDI freshman Thomas Gallup to win the 100 breaststroke in 1:03:06.
Reading also placed second in the 200 individual medley, one of five runner-up finishes for the Rams. Also finishing second in their events were Bangor’s 200 freestyle relay team of Andrew Ye, Leif Grosswiler, John Peterson and Stephen Comeau, Comeau (500 freestyle) and Grant Lufkin, who joined teammates Alex Pulley, Kyle Adams and Tommy Townley in a 2-3-4-5 effort by the Rams in the 1-meter diving competition.
“I thought we did really well,” said Smallwood. “We had a lot of good times. We didn’t have many best times, but that’s kind of typical at this point of the season because everyone’s really tired. But for the most part we were right where we want to be.”
Smallwood had one of three pool records set during the meet.
Brewer senior Josh Williams set both PVC and pool records with his clocking of 53.25 in the 100 backstroke, while MDI sophomore Will Greene won the diving with a new pool standard of 398.40 points.
Greene secured one of four individual-event victories for MDI. Senior Madison Luck won the 500 freestyle by 16 seconds with his time of 5:27.85, while Johnston won the 200 IM by six seconds in 2:00.93 and joined with Gallup, Sam Jacobson and Tyler Wood to edge top-seeded Bangor in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:39.15.
Fadley scored the other individual-event victory, winning the 50 freestyle in 22.39.