Carson Prouty of Bangor High School has for the second consecutive time been named Maine’s boys swimmer of the year by the Maine Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association.
The senior won the 100-yard butterfly at the Class A state championship meet. Prouty also became the first racer in Maine high school swimming to eclipse 46 seconds in the 100-yard free when he swam a 45.9-second leadoff leg in the 400 freestyle relay.
During his four years competing for the Rams, Prouty won four Class A championship gold medals in the 100 backstroke, set a state record in the 200 individual medley (1 minute, 51.1 seconds) and joined three teammates on the state-record 200 medley relay.
“It all starts with the Bangor team. We train really hard and we all respect one another,” said Prouty, a two-year team captain. “The BHS swim team trumps all other swim teams I have been on. There isn’t anything we wouldn’t do for one another.”
Prouty also credits the swimming influence of his older brother Colby, who in 2018 set the state record in the 100 breaststroke (56.1).
“My brother got me into going to swim practice with him when we were young. It was a place to go,” Carson said. “I started to see my times improve and I wanted to be faster than the fastest swimmers in my brother’s age group in their events. Then, as I developed as a swimmer, I wanted to be Carson.”
Prouty, the 2020 Penobscot Valley Conference Swimmer of the Year, ranks among the top five in Maine interscholastic swimming history in four individual events. That includes two No. 1 rankings, two spots on Bangor’s
top-ranked 200 medley relay and 200 free relay, and a pair of top-20 individual efforts.
In spite of his success, he is uncertain about whether he will pursue swimming in college.
Earlier this year, Penn State University offered Prouty a swim scholarship. Content with his swim career, at least for the time being, Prouty decided not to accept the offer and not to extend his swimming.
His athletic interests in college remain undecided.
“I may play baseball or maybe I will not participate in any sports. I do not know yet,” said Prouty, who is a left-handed pitcher for the Bangor High baseball team.
Bangor swim coach Jameson Ploch said Prouty’s leadership skills, in addition to his extraordinary swim achievements, have profoundly impacted the program.
“He came to practice every day during his career at Bangor focused on being the best he could be and the best he could be for the team,” Ploch said. “The more I see Carson, I am so impressed with what he does for the team outside the pool.”
It was obvious in his efforts as a team captain.
“He is one of those irreplaceable leaders that you hope you can replace by committee,” Ploch said.
He said Prouty’s influence on the other members of the relays on which he competed was notable.
“In whatever relay we entered Carson, the other relay swimmers would swim great. They did not want to swim other than their best for the captain,” Ploch said.
Prouty recalls his state record swim in the 200 individual medley his junior year as the highlight of his swimming career.
“I walked over to my school principal Mr. [Paul] Butler before the race and said, “‘the record is going down.’”
Butler became one of a select few to know Prouty’s intent.
Two records fell with Prouty’s swim, the meet record and the state record. The meet record was held previously by his brother Colby and the state record had belonged to Bruswick’s Nate Samson. Carson had chased both as a younger swimmer.
“After the race [former longtime Bangor] coach [Phil] Emery told me it was the most incredible race he had seen in high school swimming,” Prouty said.
Several North region swimmers earned membership on the Maine Interscholastic All State Swim Teams.
They included Carson’s younger brother, Bangor sophomore Connor Prouty in the 50 free (21.6), 100 free (48.3) and 200 free relay, as well as Ellsworth junior Sean Hill in the 200 free (1:44.5), 100 free (47.9) and 400 free relay.
Sophomore Nick Partridge of Ellsworth was an honoree in the 100 breaststroke (58.5) and the 200 medley relay, sophomore Nathanie Pierce of Lawrence in Fairfield won in the 100 backstroke (54.2) and 400 free relay, and Messalonskee of Oakland senior Martin Gaurnieri (100 breaststroke, 1:01.7).
Bangor sophomore McKayla Kendall is among the all-state girls honorees with wins in the 100 butterfly (59.6) and the 200 medley relay, along with Brewer senior Sydney Bain (400 free relay) and Ellsworth sophomore Kristy Barry (100 backstroke, 59.6).
Also recognized were Hampden Academy freshman Lauryn Cowing in the 200 medley relay, the 200 free relay and the 50 free (25.0), and senior Ruby Brown of Mount Desert Island in Bar Harbor in the 200 free relay.