Cheverus ends Bangor reign as Class A boys swim champs; Scarborough’s Gravel shatters brother’s state record

Posted Feb. 18, 2013, at 10:46 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 19, 2013, at 12 p.m.
Bangor High School's Liam Reading competes in the 200 individual medley at the State Class A Swimming and Diving Championships Monday at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. Reading finished second in the event.
George Almasi | The Times Record
Bangor High School's Liam Reading competes in the 200 individual medley at the State Class A Swimming and Diving Championships Monday at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. Reading finished second in the event.

BRUNSWICK, Maine — Jerry Gravel of Scarborough swamped the Class A boys state record in the 200-yard individual medley at the high school boys swimming and diving championships at Bowdoin College’s Greason Pool on Monday.

The award stays in the Gravel home, though, as the senior’s swim of 1 minute, 53.07 seconds shattered the mark held by his brother Robby Gravel, who posted a 1:55.08 at the 2010 state meet.

“I kept teasing him that it wasn’t that fast,” said Jerry Gravel. “If I didn’t break it, somebody else was going to.”

On the team side, Cheverus of Portland earned its first Class A state title by dethroning six-time defending champion Bangor.

The Stags used a pair of victories by Trebor Lawton and superior depth to score 372 points to the Rams’ 298.

They were followed by Deering of Portland with 190, Cape Elizabeth 182, Scarborough 171 and Brunswick 169, Brewer finished ninth with 111.

“This is the biggest [swim title] in Cheverus history,” said an overjoyed Kevin Haley, 25-year coach of the Stags. “The last one was in Class B 34 years ago.”

Haley gave credit to his swimmers for outperforming their seed times in many cases and moving into the top 16 for the finals.

“The kids swam very, very well this morning,” he said. “Swim meets are won or lost in the morning.”

Bangor coach Phil Emery knew his Rams faced an uphill battle against Cheverus.

“When you looked at the seeding sheets, you could see Cheverus was in control of the meet,” he said.

“Our job was to make them earn it,” Emery added.

Jerry Gravel was the favorite in the 200 IM, which consists of 50-yard sprints in the butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle disciplines. He topped the morning prelim with a 2:01.38 before coming back in the evening session to better it by more than eight seconds.

“When I decided to do high school swimming, I wanted to leave a mark,” said Gravel.

He did that and then some by adding a second state and meet record by winning the 100 breaststroke in 57.83, well under the old record of 58.57 that Bruce Crock of Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor set in 1991. Liam Reading of Bangor was second Monday in 59.88.

“He’s the first Bangor breaststroker below a minute,” said Emery.

Gravel, who also swam lead legs on the 200 medley relay and 400 free relay, was named Performer of the Meet for his state records.

“I was really motivated, being so close [last year],” said Gravel. “I decided at the beginning of the season those were the two I would go after.”

Bangor was propelled by its victory in the opening event, the 200 medley relay, and the 1-meter diving, where the Rams placed four among the top seven, including winner Grant Lufkin with 313.35 points and runner-up Alex Pulley with 304.55. The Rams also won the final event, the 400 free relay in 3:19.30.

“The kids have nothing to be ashamed of,” said Emery.

David Smallwood and Colton Markevich sparked the Rams’ win in the medley relay with fast swims in the final two legs. Smallwood went 23.03 in the third leg, the butterfly, making up 2.5 seconds on Cheverus. Markevich finished the freestyle leg in 23.06 as Bangor registered a 1:40.49 to the runner-up Stags’ 1:42.47.

Nick Sundquist of Windham upset defending champion Smallwood in the 200 free, finishing in 1:41.37 to Smallwood’s 1:42.33.

Evan Long of Cape Elizabeth broke a 30-year-old meet record in the 50 free, his 21.41 besting the 21.65 set by Sean McLellan of Hebron in 1983.

Trebor Lawton added a pair of wins for Cheverus, topping the 100 fly with a 51.23, a half-second ahead of Smallwood, and taking the 100 backstroke by more than a second in 52.12.

Sundquist set a meet record in the 100 free with a 47.00 clocking, topping the 47.34 mark of Ian Crocker of Cheverus in 1997. Second-place Long also came in under Crocker’s record with a 47.11.

Arthur Conover of Messalonskee of Oakland cruised in the 500 free, winning by more than 11 seconds in 4:37.94, while Cape Elizabeth took the 200 free relay in 1:32.71.

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