June 18, 2018
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Depth propels MDI girls to Class B swimming state title

By Robby MacDonald, Special to the BDN

ORONO, Maine — Scoring in 10 of the 12 events, the Mount Desert Island swimmers raced to the Class B State girls championship Tuesday at the University of Maine’s Wallace Pool.

MDI tallied 295.5 points while the Rangers from Greely High scored 280. Camden Hills Regional High finished third at 234.5. Twenty-four teams scored in the championship.

Trailing Greely by 6.5 points after the 10th event, the 100 backstroke, MDI — with Avalon Kerley and Erin Connery finishing fourth and sixth in event 11, the 100 breaststroke — collected 28 points for the Trojans and coach Tony DeMuro’s squad led 265.5 to 246 with one event remaining.

With their fans standing and clapping throughout the 16 lengths of the final event, the 400 free relay, the MDI relay of Sydney Wright, Olivia Erickson, Erin Connery and Kerley swam four seconds faster than their trial swim and finished fourth. Their 30 points in the event solidified the victory.

Actually, MDI did not lead in the meet until the seventh event, when in a dominating performance of sprinting, the Trojans amassed 62 points in the 100 free.

Sophomore Leila Johnston won the gold by two-tenths of a second, touching in 53.7 seconds, almost four seconds faster than her trial swim.

Teammates Amelia Kief, Olivia Jacobs and Sydney Wright claimed fourth, fifth and sixth place, respectively, to give MDI a 15.5-point lead.

Coach Bob Hale’s Greely squad, which opened the meet with a sizzling relay win at 1:53.4, reclaimed the lead in the next event, the 500 free, by 2.5 points. However, Connery, a senior, in an impressive race, moved from the third seed to a silver medalist in the 500 free finals, lowering her trial performance by 8 seconds to touch at 5:27, less than a second ahead of the third-place swimmer.

Her move to second provided MDI with additional points.

Connery then joined Johnston, Jacobs and Kief in event nine, the 200 free relay, as MDI raced to a silver and recaptured the lead by 1.5 points. Performer of the Meet, Sarah Easterling of Greely, gave the Rangers their final lead of the meet in event 10, following her meet record-setting gold-medal swim of 56.5 in the 100 backstroke.

In the first half of the meet, DeMuro’s sprinters were quick and fast in the 50 free, scoring 47 points. Johnston won her first event of the meet with a 24.5 touch. Jacobs finished fifth and Wright sixth. MDI won the silver medal in the medley relay (1:54.2) and Kerley won a bronze in the 200 individual medley at 2:16.

MDI also won the 2011 championship.

In addition to the meet record in the 100 back, Easterling set a meet record in the 200 individual medley at 2:04.8. Sonia Lin of North Yarmouth Academy established a meet record in the 100 breaststroke at 1:06.7. Waynflete relays in the 400 free (3:41.00) and in the 200 free (1:40.13) also set meet marks.

The diving event was won by Falmouth’s Charlotte Janelle.

Winslow High won the Sportsmanship Award.

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