Boy’s Class A state meet excites with close calls and new records

The 2013-14 high school season came to a close as the Cheverus boy’s team captured the state championship title Monday in a shootout with Bangor. Both teams were extremely close the entire meet and it came down to the 400 free relay, the last event, to decide the winners.

Bangor began the meet by winning the 200 medley relay missing the state record by only .62 seconds. Almost four seconds behind in second place was Cheverus.

Bangor’s talented senior David Smallwood handily won the 200 freestyle at 1:42.38 with Cheverus’s Michael O’Donovan coming in second.

The 200 IM gold medal went to breaststroke specialist Eric Delmonte of Deering. Delmonte dropped five seconds from prelims for a 1:54.58. In second was Liam Reading of Bangor at 1:58.99.

It was distance swimmer Jake Perron who took first place honors in the shortest event in swimming, the 50 freestyle. Perron won with a 22.35 edging out Tim Smith of Gorham (22.58). Though the 50 freestyle Cheverus was in first with 133 points to Bangor’s 130.

In the 1 meter diving, four Bangor divers placed in the top eight with junior Grant Lufkin winning the state title with 366.50 points. Earlier in the year Lufkin scored high enough for All-American consideration. In second was Cheverus senior Nicholas Jensen who scored 324.15.

Smallwood continued his electrifying performance as he cruised to a win in the 100 butterfly with a school record time of 50.94. In second was Monmouth junior Joe Manduca. Through the butterfly Bangor had a strong lead of 211 over 182 Cheverus.

The 100 freestyle was a close race between Brunswick’s Nate Samson, a sophomore, and junior Greg Violette of Westbrook. Samson out touched Violette with a 48.52 to Violette’s 48.83.

One of the closest races of the meet came unexpectedly in the 500 freestyle. Jake Perron of Falmouth won the event in 4:43.77. In the race for second Cheverus’s Michael O’Donovan (4:45.65) held out against Windham junior Joseph Paluso (4:46.64).

The 200 freestyle relay allowed Cheverus to significantly close the gap with Bangor as they won in a time of 1:32.90. Second was Massabesic in 1:33.36 while Bangor managed a fourth place finish.

Nate Samson of Brunswick won the 100 yard backstroke at 53.06 almost 1.5 seconds ahead of second place Greg Violette of Westbrook (54.49).

The 100 breaststroke saw a new state record be set as Deering senior Eric Delmonte dropped three seconds from prelims to finish in 57.61. Delmonte eclipsed Jerry Gravel’s record of 57.83 from 2013. Delmonte will continue his swimming career next year at Virginia Tech. In second, also breaking the 1:00 barrier was Bangor’s Liam Reading at 59.97.

As the breaststroke finished and the total scores were adjusted it became clear the meet would come down to the 400 freestyle relay. With Cheverus ahead of Bangor by four points (328-324) it was all or nothing. With no other competition in the field, Cheverus would win if they beat Bangor in the relay, and vice versa.

In lieu of senior Colton Markevich who had already swam the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays, Bangor swam freshman Sam Carlson off the front of the relay. Despite a personal best of 52.78, Carlson was woefully behind Jacob Griffin’s lead off of 50.82. Cheverus widened the gap through the second leg as Kevin Kane split a 48.85 to Louis Booysen’s 49.71. Liam Reading of Bangor gained some ground as he split a 49.59 catching John Devine of Cheverus who split a 50.37. As the anchors entered the water Bangor was behind Cheverus by 2.04 seconds. David Smallwood anchored the Bangor relay and attempted to catch Cheverus’s Michael O’Donovan. Despite a Jason Lezak-esq moment where Smallwood gained on O’Donovan and split a 46.49, possibly the fastest split in Maine High School swimming history, he was unable to pass O’Donovan and Cheverus won 3:18.30 to Bangor’s 3:18.57.

The final score was Cheverus – 368, Bangor – 358.

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.