After five events in Monday’s Class A Swimming and Diving State Championship meet, Cony High trailed both Scarborough and Kennebunk. Jon Millett’s Rams won the next five events, including the 200 free relay, and raced to their second consecutive championship at the University of Maine’s Stanley Wallace Pool.
“It was a team win. Coming into the meet I put us as an underdog,” said Millett. “Scarborough is a very talented team with depth. Our swimmers were focused and we kept gaining ground.”
The Rams scored 280 points followed by Scarborough’s 259 and Falmouth’s 226 1/2. Also among the top eight teams in the 27-team field were Kennebunk (218), Bangor (214), Cheverus (163), South Portland (146) and Brewer (136).
Cony opened the meet with a gold medal in the 200 medley relay in 1 minute, 53.38 seconds as breaststroker Cecilia Guadalupi and butterflyer Gabby Low swam sizzling legs of 30.2 and 25.1 seconds, respectively, supported by backstroker Tessa Jorgensen’s 30.7 and anchor leg Tara Jorgensen’s 27.3.
Guadalupi sprinted to victory in the fourth event, the 50 freestyle (24.7).
However, Cony (99 points) trailed both Kennebunk (105) and then-leader Scarborough (108) through event five.
In the next event, Cony’s Lowe, voted Performer of the Meet, dominated the 100 butterfly with a five-second victory over the field. The junior swam a 26.1-second first 50 yards and led by 2 1/2 seconds and extended her lead with a 29.2 final 50 to finish in 55.3.
Teammate Talia Jorgensen won the 100 free at 54.8 and mates Amanda Jorgensen and Haley Gagne also scored. The Rams moved nine points ahead as the field assembled for the 500 free.
In the 500 free, Cony sophomore Guadalupi, pacing 19 strokes per length, cruised to a 5:12.4 and won by 10 seconds. The win pulled Cony into a tie with Scarborough.
Despite the Rams’ success in the preceding three events, Millett made an adjustment in his lineup as Cony prepared for the pointworthy 200 free relay.
“It was not what I had planned. I changed it up. I felt we needed a shot in the arm. I rolled the dice,” he explained.
The Rams responded to Millett’s move as Talia Jorgensen (25.4,) Amanda Jorgenson (26.6), Low (24.3) and Guadalupi (24.1) raced to another win nipping Scarborough by three-tenths of a second in 1:40.6.
Low won her second event and established a meet record in the 100 backstroke at 56.2. As she did in the 100 butterfly, Low dominated the field leading by an impressive three seconds at the halfway mark and pushing the lead to six seconds at the finish.
“She had an amazing meet,” Millett said. “She has worked really hard.”
Lowe’s win pushed the Ram lead to a commanding 242-219 over Scarborough.
Neither Cony or Scarborough scored in the finals of the 100 breaststroke as Molly Mawhinney of South Portland (1:09.1) finished a touch ahead of Brooke Cloutier of Lewiston (1:09.3).
Scarborough won the 400 free relay at 3:44.3, Falmouth was the runner-up at 3:52.3 and Cony finished third at 3:52.3. The Red Storum’s 400 free relay anchor swimmer, Hannah Griffin (54.6), won the 200 individual medley at 2:11.5.
In the diving, Bangor’s Ella Stone tallied 415.5 points, only two points off the meet record, to win the competition.
“This was one of her best meets ever,” noted Bangor diving coach Nick Jensen.
“She has prepared for this meet and she really got excited about it,” he added.
Commenting on the 11-dive competition the junior said, “I was pleased with my diving, my teammates’ diving, and all the divers.”
Kenzie Burton of Messalonskee High in Oakland won the 200 free (1:58.5).