ORONO, Maine — The Cheverus High School girls won their first Class A Maine Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championship Saturday at the University of Maine, scoring 294 points.
Brunswick, a team that scored 91 points in the final four events, placed second at 288. Bangor finished third with 230 points.
In their title performance, Cheverus of Portland won a relay, the diving, and the backstroke while sprinkling swimmers through the consolations and finals in the 13-event meet, which included 27 teams.
When asked to describe his team’s performance in the finals, Stags coach Kevin Haley, responded, “amazing”.
Actually, according to Haley, his team’s swimming in the trials was equally noteworthy.
“We swam out of our minds this morning to put ourselves in a position to win tonight,” he said.
In the opening event of the finals, Cheverus’ anchor swimmer Hattie Train gave the Stags their first gold of their title drive with an anchor leg of 26.0 seconds. A backstroke leg from Abby Longstaff of 28.3 had given Cheverus the lead, a lead it held for two legs until a scorching 24.4 butterfly leg from Bangor’s Emma Waddell put the Rams in front. Cheverus’ finish time of 1:55.0 was half a second ahead of Bangor, the second-place team.
Approximately a second separated the top three seeds in the 200 freestyle. However, Bangor’s Hannah Wood, competing in her first state meet, swam a controlled race and outsplit the field on the second, third, and fourth 50s, to finish in 1:56.8, nearly eight seconds faster than her preliminary time. Brunswick’s Lynsie Russell scored second (1:58.4) and Cony’s Anne Guadelupi touched third at 2:00.7.
Waddell, who was voted Swimmer of the Meet, dominated the 200 individual medley winning by seven seconds and finishing only two-tenths shy of the state record with a 2:04.8 finish. Waddell led after the first leg and outsplit the field on each of next three legs including a forceful and powerful anchor leg of 28.5, almost four seconds faster than the next fastest final leg.
After three events Messalonskee and Bangor were tied at 74 and Deering had recorded 72.
It was the 50 free where the Stags made a statement performance, scoring four swimmers and three in the finals to surge to a 16-point lead, 109 to 93 over Brunswick. Brunswick moved into second when Caitlin Tycz comfortably raced past the field in the event to win (24.2).
Cheverus extended the lead, scoring 30 points in the one-meter diving when Courtney Kane and Lilly Lehte placed third and fifth, respectfully. Emily Daub of Bangor placed second and Falmouth’s Charlotte Janelle won the the 11-dive competition.
In the 100 butterfly, Brunswick’s Tycz, the top seed following the preliminaries, and Waddell showcased their talents in the meet’s most exciting individual event. Waddell turned at 25.5 and Tycz at 25.6. Bangor’s senior swam an impressive 28.9 second half to win in a state, meet, and pool record of 54.49. Tycz’s time of 54.7 was also under the previous state and meet record.
Cheverus gained second-place points in the 100 free when Longstaff finished in 55 seconds. Olivia Paione won the event for Edward Little (54.5).
Wood, in winning her second event of the meet, led after the 100 in the 500 free and maintained a strong, steady kick and a fluid stroke to touch in 5:17, 16 seconds faster than her preliminary swim. Brunswick’s Russell touched at 5:20. Cheverus scored points with Jess Soucy (fourth) and Danielle Chambers 10th. The Stags pushed their point total to 204, 47 ahead of Brunswick and Deering tied at 157.
The Dragons broke the tie with Deering following a 1:42.1 win in the 200 free relay. Messalonskee finished second at 1:48.5.
Senior Sarah Nappo, in the 100 backstroke (57.5), provided the Stags with their first individual swimming race win and moved their point total to 256.
It was Brunswick that dominated the 100 breaststroke, scoring four swimmers
in an event won by Messalonskee’s Kristy Prelgovisk, who turned in a speedy 1:06.1. The Dragons collected 33 points in the event to push well ahead of both Deering and Bangor, non scorers in the field.
Brunswick closed the meet with a relay win of 3:43.3. It was Waddell, however, who had the crowd’s attention as the senior clocked a 51.1 anchor split, two seconds faster than any anchor leg in the event, to move the Rams from third to second in the relay. The Stags scored fourth.