Mount Desert’s Ian Carbone raced wearing the orange and white of the Texas Longhorns for the first time last weekend in the annual Orange-White intrasquad meet. Carbone, recruited by Texas coach Eddie Reese to join one of the nation’s elite swim programs following his swim in April at the YMCA Nationals, was an outstanding racer in multiple events for coach Tony DeMuro and the MDI Trojans throughout his high school career.
Saturday, Carbone raced in two events, the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke. In the 100, he finished in 1:00.4, turning the 50 at 28.4. And, in the 200 he finished in 2:15.9 with a 1:04 100 split.
The fastest time in the 100 came from junior Eric Friedland at 56.0 while the 200 winner hit 2:02. The Orange squad defeated Carbone and the White.The Longhorns begin their intercollegiate racing later this month at the Southwestern Invitational.
During Reese’s tenure at the Texas, the Longhorns have finished in the top 3 at the NCAA Championships in 25 of the last 32 years.
Maine features local stars
In Orono, UMaine Black Bears coach Susan Lizotte enters her first season as head coach after serving last season as interim head coach. The women, prepping for their opener Oct. 16, will race six of their first seven meets away.
Following the development of the team a year ago under Lizotte, the Bears attracted several of the state’s premier swimmers including local standout Lauren Dwyer of Orono and diver Ashley Higgins of Bangor.
The roster includes 13 Maine swimmers and divers. Joining the diving events in addition to Higgins is Belfast’s Amber Resmini, who has complete lists in both the 1- and 3-meter as does Higgins and another frosh, Kara Capossela of Greenwich, Conn. It is unusual to have incoming divers with complete lists, particularly in 3-meter, according to Lizotte.
The remainder of the roster features swimmers from 11 states and two from Canada. At last week’s Blue-White meet, held without relays and without the 1,000 free, the swimmers each swam three events — two selected by the coaches and one selected by the swimmer.
“It appears that we will be versatile again this year, which is the way we like to do things,” Lizotte said.
Thomas, Kovenock set for seasons
Bangor High graduate Erin Thomas, a junior at Penn State, will compete with her Nittany Lion teammates in the team’s opening meet Oct. 16 at West Virginia. Thomas, an All-Big Ten Academic selection for 2009-10, recorded her fastest times of the campaign at the Big Ten Championships with times of 23.3 (50 free), 50.3 (100 free) and 1:49.1 (200 free).
Meanwhile, Orono native Kate Kovenock begins her second year year as an assistant coach with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Irish open the season Oct. 22 in a meet at Auburn against the War Eagles and the LSU Tigers.
Swim coach Bussard dies
Ray Bussard, one of college swimming’s most innovative coaches during his 22 years at the University of Tennessee, passed away recently at the age of 82. For those who had the opportunity to watch Bussard’s Volunteers race, as I did, the spirit and speed of the Volunteers set them apart during the 1970s and 1980s.
Early in his tenure at Tennessee, Bussard introduced Davy Crockett coonskin caps to his Volunteers in a meet with Southern Methodist. The coonskin caps then became part of the Volunteer uniform. It was Bussard who initiated the practice of emptying a bottle of Tennessee water into the opponent’s pool prior to the racing of the first event.
And, it was Bussard who developed the Volunteer sprinters, particularly in the 50 and 100 free, into the fastest in the nation. Bussard was the Olympic sprint coach for the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games. In 1999, the International Swimming Halll of Fame recognized Bussard inducting him into the shrine.