The University of Maine’s swimmers and divers enter the season’s long-course (50-meter) training period this week at the 21-lane Jupiter Pool at the North County Aquatic Complex in Jupiter, Florida.
“As a group they like to train hard and lift hard regardless of the day,” said Susan Lizzotte, coach of the Black Bears.
At the Aquatic Complex, UMaine will swim two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. Daily periods of dryland and strength training have been scheduled as well. In addition to the benefits of long-course training, the experience affords an opportunity for team building, Lizzotte said.
Reflecting on the Black Bears first semester of training and competition, Lizzotte acknowledged the team’s physical and mental stamina.
“They can work through the mental and physical challenges of the season. Not all teams can do that. The performances of everybody have been pleasing,” Lizzotte said.
Juliana McDonald’s swimming has been extraordinary, the coach said.
“Right now there is nothing she cannot do. She worked extremely hard every day this summer broadening her training and event capacities,” Lizzotte said.
Named America East Performer of Week earlier this season, McDonald established school records during the first semester in the 50-yard freestyle (23.49) and the 100 free (50.52).
Former Cheverus High state champion Kevin Kane, a transfer from Marist College, has been a great addition to the Black Bears, according to Lizzotte. At the Maine State Meet in December, Kane swam a 2:02 in the 200 butterfly. Kane projects as an entry in the butterfly, 200 free and 500 free at the America East Championships in February.
“He is a hard worker and a good kid,” his coach said.
Another former Cheverus swimmer, Spencer Lindsley (22.8 50 free, 49.9 100 free), who swam for the Long Reach Swim Club in Bath, recorded his best times in multiple events during the first semester.
“He knows how to train,” UMaine’s coach said.
UMaine returns to dual meet competition Jan. 19 hosting Bowdoin College of Brunswick.
Lizzotte pointed out the academic performance of the women’s team during the first semester. The Black Bears finished with a 4.0 grade point average.
Future Black Bears
Old Town’s Emily Ketch, a sprint freestyler, and Bangor’s Rachel Hand, a backstroker, butterflyer and freestyler, are among seven Black Bear commitments for 2019-20.
Other commitments include Morgan Bui, a 1:14.8 long-course breaststroker and a sprint freestyler from Ottawa, Ontario, and Sarah Mansfield of Annandale, Virginia, who has raced a 1:08.6 short-course breaststroke and a 2:11.7 in the 200 individual medley.
Also committing are Jennifer Prior, a 56-second 100 yard freestyler from Mansfield, Massachusetts; Kevin Arpin of Worcester Academy, where he swam a 47-second, 100-yard free and a 1:45.5 200 free at the 2018 New England Prep Championships; and Riley Clark, a diver for Woodland Regional High in Beacon Falls, Connecticut.
Lizzotte expects additional commitments.
MMA names coach
Hayley Massi, a 2018 graduate of the University of Massachusetts, has assumed interim head swim coaching responsibilities at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine as the Mariners prepare for the opening dual meet of the second semester Jan. 12. against Gordon College.
Massi succeeds Malena Gatti, who was named MMA’s first varsity swimming coach in June 2018. Gatti previously was an assistant at Colby College in Waterville.
Massi, a captain at UMass, competed in the 50, 100, and 200 free events including clocking a 51.8 100 free at the 2018 Atlantic 10 Championships. She attended Long Branch High School in New Jersey where she established freestyle records.
College Swimming reports John Markillie of Richland, Washington, and Lennon LaBelle of Lewiston will attend MMA in 2019. Markillie’s events include the 500 free (4:45.7) and a 1,650 free (16:34). LaBelle swims backstroke (56.3), butterfly and freestyle.
State meet dates set
The Maine Principals’ Association has established dates and sites for Maine’s state championship meets.
The Class B boys meet is set for Feb. 16 at the University of Maine in Orono, followed by the Class B girls (Feb. 17, UMaine), the Class A boys (Feb. 18, Bowdoin) and the Class A girls (Feb. 19, Bowdoin).