May 22, 2018
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Greely edges MDI to capture Class B state crown

By Mark Jeanneret, Special to the BDN

BRUNSWICK, Maine — Sarah Easterling was chomping at the bit by the time she hit the water.

The Greely junior used all of her pent-up energy to quickly dispatch the opposition and set a meet record at the Class B girls’ state swimming and diving championships held at Greason Pool on the campus of Bowdoin College Tuesday night.

Easterling posted a time of 2 minutes, 6.11 seconds in the 200 individual medley and in doing so left the rest of the field in the dust as she finished more than 11 seconds ahead of Yarmouth’s Abby Belisle Haley.

“I was just going for the best time but I knew what the record was,” said Easterling, who also established a meet record time of 57.32 in the 100 backstroke later in the program. “Sometimes I have a sense of where the other competitors are around me. But I just go out as fast as I can and hope for the best.”

Easterling’s IM win was the first of back-to-back victories for Greely.

Sara Schad, who also successfully defended her 100 freestyle state title (53.73) at the event, followed with a win in the 50 freestyle in a time of 24.66.

The consecutive victories took the Rangers from nine points off the pace being set by Mount Desert Island to 14 points ahead. The two teams remained neck-and-neck until Greely delivered what turned out to be the decisive blow in the ninth event by capturing the 200 freestyle relay in a meet record time of 1:40.84.

“That was definitely the race of the meet,” said Schad, who teamed with Easterling, Emily Domingo and Katie Whittum for the win. “We knew coming in that MDI was going to go for the medley relay and we just took our chances hoping that we’d make the top eight and score, which we did. This was a big test for us and we were happy to come out on top.”

Easterling, Domingo, Whittum and Schad cemented Greely’s second state title in three years with a win in the 400 freestyle relay in a meet record time of 3:41.08.

The Rangers finished the event with 328.5 points followed by MDI (285) and Waynflete of Portland (221.5).

“We knew we’d be in the hunt but we knew we had a depth issue,” said Greely coach Rob Hale. “It wasn’t until the Southwesterns that I thought we had a shot.

“This one, they earned it. Everyone had to contribute. Other times we’ve had some margin of error. We did not have that today.”

MDI began the meet with a win in the 200 medley relay. Leila Johnston was the difference maker in the race. When the freshman hit the pool for the third leg of the relay, she was two seconds behind the pace set by Foxcroft Academy. By the time Johnston finished her swim, the Trojans led by three seconds. The MDI team, including Emma Soucek, Erin Connery and Sydney Wright, finished with a time of 1:55.25. Foxcroft was second in 1:59.52.

Colby Harvey of Waynflete set the lone state record at the meet when she captured the 100 butterfly in a time of 55.72. The previous mark was 55.89 set by Jenni Roberts of Sanford in 2010.

“I had no idea that I could get that time,” said Harvey after posting her second straight state win in the event. “Last year I did a 59 and my best was a 56 but I didn’t expect to go that fast at a high school championship.

“I don’t know how it happened other than I was really psyched for the race.”

Harvey was also part of a dead heat in the 100 breaststroke as she went stroke for stroke with Cece McEachern of Ellsworth. Both swimmers finished in a time of 1:08.58 to share state honors.

Amelia Deady of Waynflete was another double winner at the meet. She captured the 200 freestyle, narrowly edging out MDI’s Johnston by 0.14 seconds, and then won the 500 freestyle in a time of 5:24.50.

Nicola Mancini of Falmouth captured her third straight state championship in the 1-meter diving competition. She finished with a score of 448.60.

Easterling was named swimmer of the meet for the second straight year after either setting or helping set four meet records.

Other team scores included: McAuley of Portland 170; Foxcroft Academy 161; Falmouth 138; Lincoln Academy of Newcastle 124; Camden Hills 115.5; Yarmouth 109; Ellsworth 98.5; Orono 98; Belfast 89; John Bapst Memorial of Bangor 70; Waterville 63; Hampden Academy 46; Old Town 40; Greenville 32; Presque Isle 28; St. Dominic Academy of Auburn 22; Erskine Academy of South China 16; Gardiner 13; Old Orchard Beach 12; George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill 11; Westbrook 6.

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