ORONO, Maine — Cheverus High School was trailing after five events by 34 points, but won the final event, the 400-yard free relay, by two-tenths of a second to edge Bangor in the relay and successfully defend its Class A swimming and diving championship on Monday night at Wallace Pool.
The Stags, coached by Kevin Haley, scored 368 points in their win. Bangor tallied 358 for second. Brunswick finished third at 180 in the 24-team field.
The Stags received a 50.8-second lead-off leg from Jacob Griffin and opened a two-second in the 400-free relay. The lead stretched to almost three seconds after the second leg before the Rams were able to move on the speedy Stags.
Bangor’s anchor swimmer David Smallwood churned an astonishing 46.4 leg, but Cheverus’ Mike O Donovan’s 48.2 was enough to hold off the determined Smallwood. The Stags clocked a 3:18.3 to Bangor’s 3:18.5.
Cheverus won the state title for the second time since the first high school championship was held in 1938.
Both teams raced throughout the meet for every available point, consistently improving performances from the morning’s trials.
The Rams, who had entered Monday’s meet trailing Cheverus according to the seed sheets, sizzled in the first event, the 200 medley and won the gold. Bangor finished in 1:39.6, sixth-tenths of a second off the state and meet record.
Brunswick took the lead on the backstroke and the Rams narrowed the lead on the breaststroke before Smallwood flew through the fly leg at 22.8 to give Bangor a three-second lead. Ram anchor Colton Markevich preserved the win with a 22.7 freestyle. Cheverus claimed second at 1:43.1
Smallwood cooled down during the consolations of the 200 free before swimming away from the field in the finals with an impressive 1:42.3 win. The senior led by a second after 50 yards and turned at 48.8 at the 100. However, Cheverus outscored the Rams, finishing second, fifth and 10th and held a 72-69 lead after two events. Bangor’s Sam Carlson won the consolations.
Three swimmers clocked sub two minutes in the 200 individual medley. Eric Delmonte of Deering, who was voted Swimmer of the Meet, was the fastest of the three and finished with a winning time of 1:54.5. Liam Reading of Bangor nabbed second (1:58.9) and the Stags’ Kevin Kane placed third. (1:59.7).
Both Bangor and Cheverus collected additional points in the event. The Rams led by two points after three events.
In the 50 free, the Stags’ sprinters collected 29 points highlighted by a bronze medal from John Devine, giving them a three-point lead after four events. Colton Marevich finished fourth, and Grant Lufkin won the consolations for Bangor. Jake Perron of Falmouth won the event in 22.3
Bangor’s divers, coached by Jaret Lizzotte, bundled 61 points in the one-meter diving and pushed Bangor to a 34-point lead. Lufkin placed first. Alex Pulley won the bronze while Damien Robinson and Toby Jones finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
In the remaining events with the Stags and the Rams contesting every available
point, Cheverus began to erase the Ram lead.
Smallwood won his second event, the 100 butterfly, as impressively as he won the 200 free and finished in 50.9, nearly four seconds ahead of the field. Cheverus outscored Bangor by five points.
Nate Swanson of Brunswick with a 48.5 won the 100 free. Markevich finished with the bronze for Bangor moving from his seventh qualifying place. Cheverus outscored Bangor by two points.
Cheverus picked up points in the 500 free when Mike O’Donovan (4:46.6) finished second behind Falmouth’s Jake Perron. (4:43.7). Cheverus scored a second swimmer in the finals and Bangor’s Sam Carlson and Steve Comeau placed seventh and eighth, respectively. Cheverus narrowed the Bangor lead to 250-237.
A 200-free relay win by the Stags (1:32.9) and the Rams’ fourth-place finish cut
the lead to three points.
Three swimmers scoring in the consolations of the 100 backstroke put Haley’s squad ahead by one point with two events remaining. Nate Samson of Brunswick won the event. Louie Booyson of Bangor nabbed fourth.
Delmonte, in a state and a meet record of 57.6, won the 100 breaststroke. Reading of Bangor was second (59.9) and teammates Andrew Yea and Erza Frost also scored. The Stags, with a fifth place, a seventh place, and an 11th outscored the Rams and led by four with the 400-free relay remaining.
The Maine Principals’ Association, prior to the first event, dedicated the meet to Bangor’s Ritchie Palmer, a former record-holder, longtime official and coach.
Correction: A previous version of this story contained an error. Swimming events at the championship meet were measured in yards.