The Maine Principals’ Association interscholastic swimming and diving championships begin Saturday with the Class A boys championship at the University of Maine’s Stanley Wallace Pool.
On Feb. 19, the Class A girls compete, also at UMaine, while the Class B girls meet is scheduled at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. The Class B boys championship caps the events on Feb. 20, also at Bowdoin.
Again this year, the meets will be swum as timed finals.
Jim Goodman, coach of Penobscot Valley Conference boys champion Ellsworth, expects a competitive race for the Class B title.
“It’s going to be very exciting,” said Goodman. “There are very good teams: Cape Elizabeth, Greely, Mount Desert and Morse are all strong. There will be some great swims in the meet.”
“Our swimmers are really motivated for what they have to do,” he added.
Eagles junior Camden Holmes recorded the fastest time during the dual-meet and conference season in the 50 freestyle (21.5 seconds) and the 100 free (48.7). Teammate Richie Matthews is among the Class B elite in the 200 free, the 100 butterfly and the breaststroke.
Liam Sullivan, Mount Desert Island’s talented junior, recorded the fastest time in six events during the dual-meet season. Sullivan leads the field in the 200 free (1:47.2), 500 free (5:02.7), 200 individual medley (2:03), 100 backstroke (55), 100 butterfly (53.5), and the 100 breaststroke (59.2).
Orono’s Kellen Doyle projects as a particularly competitive entry in his events having displayed speed in freestyle, butterfly and backstroke in dual meets.
In the Class B girls meet, Ava Selander of George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, the Performer of the Meet at this year’s Penobscot Valley Conference Championship, owns the speediest time in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.4) entering the state meet. Two of Maine’s fastest swimmers, Olivia Tighe of Cape Elizabeth and Olivia Harper of Morse High in Bath, will compete for gold medals in the Class B championship.
Bangor High’s Cindi Howard, coach of this year’s PVC girls’ champions, indicated the Rams have 14 qualifiers for the Class A meet including 12 swimmers and two divers.
“Traditionally, Bangor goes into the state championship with a very strong presence. This year is no different,” Howard said.
In their PVC win, all Rams recorded season-best times.
“If the girls swim as well as they did in the PVCs, we should score in the top five,” Howard added.
Cony High of Augusta, the defending Class A champion, won the Kennebec Valley Conference, and the Rams are the top entry in each of the three relays and in four of the eight individual events.
Cony’s KVAC win included impressive swims from junior Gabby Low in the 100 butterfly (56.0) and (56.9) in the 100 backstroke.
According to Kathy Cahill, PVC Meet Director and Brewer High coach, Cheverus is “exceptionally strong” in Class A boys division. She explained the defending champion Stags display front-line quality as well depth.
In Bangor, coach David Barnett says the Rams, “have trained hard all season and are poised to have an outstanding state meet.”
Bangor senior Colby Prouty is the meet’s top seed in the 200 individual medley (1:57.6) and the 100 breaststroke (57.9). Carson Prouty is the No. 1 seed in the 200 free (1:48.5) and Hampden’s Cam LaBree is the second seed in the butterfly (54.6).
Bucksport’s skilled diver Anthony Wardwell will compete in the Class A championship. Wardwell, who trains with Brewer, is entered with 494.30 points for 11 dives, 100 points ahead of the next best qualifier.