Stunning times at Class A girls and America East championships

The Maine swimming championship season is in full swing as the class A girls competed saturday at the Wallace pool in Orono. While this marks the end of the high school season, club and college championships are only beginning.

Cheverus began the meet with a win in the 200 medley relay at 1:55.08. Abby Longstaff started the relay with a 28.37 taking the lead which was furthered by Sarah Nappo in the breaststroke leg. Bangor senior Emma Waddell brought the Rams back with the fastest butterfly split of the meet at 24.41. Cheverus out touched the Rams who earned second place (1:55.50).

In the 200 freestyle Bangor freshman Hannah Wood took home gold with an impressive 1:56.94. Coming in second place was Lynsie Russell from Brunswick.

In the 200 IM, Bangor’s Emma Waddell narrowly missed the state mark held by Jenny Roberts with a finals time of 2:04.83. Waddell’s win over second place Kristy Prelgovisk (2:11.97) put Bangor in a 74-74 tie with Messalonskee.

It was freshman Caitlin Tycz who garnered the 50 freestyle title with a 24.21 beating Biddeford’s Mariah Brady at 24.79. Cheverus High school managed to take a strong lead after placing three swimmers in the top eight in the 50 free.

The girl’s 1 meter diving saw Charlotte Janelle take first place in the state with 356.75 points beating out Bangor’s Emily Daub who scored 306.95. Cheverus’s two divers allowed the team to take a commanding lead.

The most excited race of the night was certainly the 100 butterfly. Two very talented swimmers of different ages went head to head in one of the fastest races in Maine swimming. Senior Emma Waddell smashed the state record previously held by Colby Harvey by almost 1.5 seconds with a 54.49. Waddell who is extremely talented with her turns and underwaters would normally be unopposed with a time like that. It was Caitlin Tycz of Brunswick, a freshman, who challenged Waddell the entire race. Tycz clocked a 54.78 to earn second place and the second fastest time in Maine high school swimming history.

Edward Little’s Olivia Paione won the 100 freestyle by two seconds at 54.52 ahead of Cheverus’s Abby Longstaff (56.51). Bangor fell from second to fourth after only placing one swimmer in the consolation finals as Cheverus soared above second place Deering.

Bangor’s Hannah Wood won her second event of the meet in the 500 freestyle with a 5:17.18 beating out Lynsie Russell of Brunswick at 5:20.52. Wood’s win brought Bangor within three points of the second place 157-157 Brunswick – Deering tie.

The 200 freestyle relay gave Brunswick an easy first place finish with a time of 1:42.56. Six seconds behind was Messalonskee at 1:48.59.

Cheverus held the overall standing’s lead through the 100 backstroke as Sarah Nappo won in an impressive time of 57.59. In second was Biddeford’s Mariah Brady at 59.69.

Messalonskee’s talented breaststroker Kristy Prelgovisk prevailed in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:06.16 while Edward Little’s Olivia Paione captured second at 1:08.34. Cheverus’s lack of breaststrokers allowed Brunwsick to close the gap 264 to 248.

It was Brunswick who won the 400 freestyle relay with a 3:43.37. Bangor was second at 3:45.66 and Cheverus placed fourth securing the state title with 294 points to runner up Brunswick’s 288.

Waddell was named the 2014 Performer of the Meet.


Black Bears at America East

The UMaine women’s team competed at WPI from friday to sunday despite the bad weather which caused the thursday evening session to be cancelled.

Seniors Lauren Dwyer and Shannon Bender placed 7th (2:07.19) and 8th (2:07.61) respectively in the 200 IM.

Junior standout Naja Harvey placed 5th in the 50 freestyle (23.80) after tying her own school record in prelims at 23.71.

Diving proved to be one of Maine’s best events as Senior Kara Capossela placed second in both the 1 meter and 3 meter events.

One of the most exciting races of the meet ended in disappointment as the 200 medley relay was disqualified. The relay would have broken the school record by a wide margin and earned Maine a second place, only barely behind the first place relay UMBC.

Senior Shannon Bender broke her own 400 IM school record saturday night with a time of 4:29.26. Bender earned fourth place for her efforts.

Two Maine swimmers medaled in the 100 butterfly. Senior Erica Smircina placed fourth with a 56.51 and sophomore Taylor Sharp placed 8th at 57.12.

Orono native Lauren Dwyer was the only swimmer from Maine to medal in the 200 freestyle, racing to a 1:53.56 for 8th place.

It was the prelims of the 100 breaststroke that proved to be the most exciting of the meet for UMO. Junior Naja Harvey broke her own school record in the event, set a new pool record, set a new conference record, and made the elusive NCAA-B cut with a time of 1:01.90. Harvey is likely the first UMaine swimmer in the past two decades to make an NCAA-B cut. Harvey added time in finals placing fourth at 1:03.64

The next event, the 100 backstroke, saw another team record broken. Former Dover-Foxcroft swimmer Amber Murray set the new mark at 57.84 and tied for 7th in finals.

Two Maine swimmers placed top eight in the 1650 freestyle. Freshman Kailey Dowd placed 6th with a 17:30.57 and sophomore Katie-Jean Hinckley placed 8th at 17:43.79.

Bender broke another of her own school records in finals with a 2:03.46 in the 200 backstroke placing 6th.

In the 200 breaststroke Maine’s Harvey again broke her own team record and placed 4th with a 2:18.53.

Taylor Sharp earned the 8th spot in the 200 butterfly to medal in finals with a 2:07.86. Despite missing top in after the prelims, Erica Smircina won the consolation heat with a 2:06.03.

The men’s championship begins Febuary 28th at the Naval Academy.

Matthew England

About Matthew England

Matt is a former Bangor High School swimmer and currently swims for coach Susan Lizzotte at the University of Maine. He holds team records for the Bangor Hurricanes, Bangor High, and the University of Maine. He is an exercise science major for the class of 2016.