May 30, 2020
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Shipbuilders sail past field for state title

BRUNSWICK, Maine — The Bangor girls scored a whopping 65 points in the diving competition, but it wasn’t enough to keep Morse of Bath from winning its first Class A state championship team title at Bowdoin College’s Greason Pool Tuesday.

The Morse Shipbuilders scored 255 points to outdistance Scarborough, which scored 210. Cheverus of Portland was third at 198 and Bangor wound up fourth with 169 points. Defending state champ Cape Elizabeth wound up seventh with 117.5 points.

The Rams mined some major points in the 1-meter diving competition, placing four divers in the top five starting with individual champ Meghan Rowe.

“We did better than they expected,” said Rowe, who scored 308.65 points to outscore runner-up Kayla Purinton of Brunswick.

Rowe, who finished fourth in last year’s state meet, said two dives in particular made the difference in a tight competition.

“My reverse pike is one I’ve just recently started getting down. It’s not a high difficulty dive, but it’s something I’m real comfortable with now,” said Rowe. “But I think it came down to my last dive, which was my back semi 1½ twist.

“There was a lot of pressure on me at that point, so I tried to just take a deep breath and block everything else out, and I nailed it.”

Alice Ruiu, a junior from Brewer, took a second-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly (1:00.16) and a third in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:58.83.

“I’m satisfied, but I think I can do better,” said Ruiu. “It’s like being in two different kinds of competitions, doing relay and individual races. I just wanted to do my best and today I did the best I could do.”

The junior exchange student from Sardinia, Italy, who has been swimming competitively for 11 years, also anchored Brewer’s 11th-place 200 free relay team and the 400 free relay team.

Ruiu had the daunting task of trying to beat Sanford star swimmer Jenni Roberts in the 100 butterfly. Roberts was not to be denied, however, and swam a 55.89 to win and top Whitney Rockwell’s 2002 mark of 56.74.

“I felt really good today,” said Roberts, who will continue swimming at the University of Maryland next fall. “I wanted to swim my best in my last high school meet.”

Roberts, a senior who was the top seed in two events and a high school All-American in three events, won her first and made it look easy by smashing her own meet record (2:07.67) as well as the state record (2:07.45) in the 200 individual medley by clocking a 2:04.63 to easily outdistance the rest of the field by nearly nine seconds.

“I felt I left everything I had out there after both of my races,” said Roberts, who briefly held the 200 IM mark as a sophomore before Kristin Jackson beat it the same year. “I had it for about a half hour, so that’s what I’m really happiest about is getting that mark back.”

Roberts was named outstanding performer of the meet and Cheverus was given the team sportsmanship award.

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