Former Orono freestyle star among Maine Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame honorees

Stock image | Pixabay
Stock image | Pixabay
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Kate Kovenock, who dominated the freestyle during her career at Orono High School and was an NCAA champion at Connecticut College, is among three people selected for induction into the Maine Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame.
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Kate Kovenock, who dominated the freestyle during her career at Orono High School and was an NCAA champion at Connecticut College, is among three people selected for induction into the Maine Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame.

Kovenock will be joined among this year’s inductees by longtime Greely High School coach Rob Hale and veteran USA Swimming official Fran Fox.

The trio will be honored Sunday, March 8 during the annual induction ceremony scheduled at the Augusta Civic Center.

Kovenock won eight individual state titles at Orono and finished her career in 2001 undefeated in 32 dual meets. She was a four-time winner in the 100-yard freestyle and won the 50 free three times, along with a 200 free crown as a freshman.

Kovenock was named Class B Swimmer of the Meet at the state championships all four years, a feat no other Maine female swimmer has achieved.

At Connecticut College, Kovenock won the NCAA Division lll 50 free gold medal in 2004 and collected 11 New England Small College Athletic Conference individual championships. She was an 11-time NCAA Division lll All-American and twice was named an ESPN All-American.

In 2004 she won the NCAA Division III championship in the 50 free, becoming the only female swimmer from Maine to win an individual collegiate national title.

Kovenock went on to serve as an assistant coach at Kenyon University and Notre Dame before becoming the head women’s coach at Brown University in 2014.

Hale, a member of four state championship teams at Greely High School of Cumberland Center and a prep school All-American at Phillips Exeter Academy, has coached Greely since the 1992-1993 season.

He has guided the Rangers to six girls state championships and six boys state crowns. Prior to coaching at Greely, Hale led Westbrook to two state championships.

In 1996, Hale coached the United States Paralympic Team and he served as the head coach of the National Blind team in 1994, 1995, and 1996. He is a 20-year member of the Maine Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Executive Board and us the assistant swim coach for the Seacoast Swim Club.

Fox has officiated nearly 30 Maine high school swimming and diving championships and served in a variety of capacities at collegiate and USA meets.

As a swimmer for Holy Cross, Fox set the school record in the 500 free. He remains a member of Cheverus High’s school-record 160-yard freestyle relay team.

Fox is a three-time qualifier for the National Senior Games and he has served on the board of the Westbrook Seals, Coastal Maine Aquatics and The Bulls Eye Swim Team. He was recognized in 2010 by the Maine Principals’ Association for his outstanding service to Maine’s swimming and diving community.

 

Correction: An earlier version of this story listed the incorrect distance for Cheverus High School’s record-setting relay. Fox swam on the Stags’ 160-yard freestyle relay team.

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