Maine swimmers competing for elite college teams

Posted Nov. 11, 2010, at 6:11 p.m.
Last modified Nov. 11, 2010, at 9:11 p.m.

A year ago, Mount Desert Island’s Ian Carbone and Morse’s James Wells were the elite in Maine swimming. Now, this year, their first in college swimming, they are swimming for two of this nation’s elite teams, the University of Texas and Indiana University, respectively.

Recently, the two teams competed in a double dual meet with another of the nation’s outstanding programs, the University of Michigan. Hosted by IU at the James Counsilman and Hobie Billingsly aquatic center, the meet ended with the Longhorns adding wins over IU and Michigan to their unbeaten early season while IU and the Wolverines tied..

Wells, who earlier this year qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials in the 100-meter backstroke, raced for the Hoosiers in two events, the 100-yard back and the 200-yard back. In the 100 back, Wells finished fourth  at 50.16, approximately two seconds off the winning time of 48.3 in a field of 12. Wells finished the 200 back at 1:53.

Actually, Wells and his mates led Michigan with one event remaining, the 400 free relay. However, Michigan nipped IU 3:00.0 to 3:00.3 for the relay win and also captured third at 3:00.7 to gain the tie.

Texas defeated IU 181-117 and Michigan 160-140.

Carbone, who did not compete this week for the talented Longhorns, raced a week ago for Eddie Reese’s squad in the Southwestern Invitational.  He contributed to the Longhorns victory in the field comprised of teams from Texas A&M, Texas Christian University, Southern Methodist, and the University of Missouri with a 58.8 100-yard breaststroke and a 2:09 200-yard breaststroke.

Texas returns to racing the first weekend in December, hosting the 15-team Texas Invitational. IU swims at Virginia against Penn State and the Cavaliers Nov. 19.

Strong start for Hodsdon

Last year, Brewer’s Jessica Hodsdon established school records at Bentley College in three events, the 50-yard breaststroke, 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard breaststroke. The sophomore opened the 2010-11 season against LeMoyne with wins in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.7), 200 individual medley (2:18.7) and the 50 freestyle. (25.4).  Bentley defeated LeMoyne 172-108.

Weekend meets scheduled

Husson University swims Saturday at the Regis Invitational hosted by Regis College in Weston, Mass.  And, the University Maine travels to Keene, N.H. The women will compete against Keene and  a strong University of Vermont team. Vermont, picked to finish fourth in America East, has defeated Army, Boston College, Stony Brook and Siena. The Catamounts were defeated by Northeastern. The Maine men (3-2) swim against Keene led by Drew Ledwith, who has this season already has  recorded a 4:35 500 free, a championship season quality performance.

Center honors two coaches

The Counsilman and Billingsley aquatic center at IU honors two coaches recognized internationally as among the “best ever.” Billingsley coached diving at IU from 1959-89 and his divers won more than 100 titles. In addition, he has authored numerous writing and publications on diving. Counsilman’s IU teams won consecutive NCAA titles at IU from 1968-1973 and 20 consecutive Big Ten titles. As coach of the 1976, Olympic team, Counsilman led the U.S. men to 12 of 13 gold medals. Counsilman, regarded as a master at combining physiology and psychology in his training of swimmers, was the pioneer in using underwater filming to teach stroke technique. Counsilman died in 2004.

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