UMaine men and women show strength in season openers

The University of Maine men’s and women’s teams made the trip this past weekend to Rhode Island for a meet against URI on friday, and Providence on saturday. The freshman class proved they could be one of the best recruiting classes the team has ever seen.

The women performed well against URI despite suffering a defeat 181.50 to 118.50. In the 200 freestyle freshman Chloe Adams, a Florida native, had a remarkable performance earning second place. Her time of 1:53.81 was a career best time and was just over a second off the UMaine record.

Freshman Summer Nickerson earned gold in the 100 backstroke at 59.35 for the black bear’s first victory of the meet. Senior Naja Harvey followed up with her own win in the 100 breaststroke at 1:05.67.

Freshman Emma Pontius, a Portland native, had an electrifying performance in the 200 butterfly. In a swim akin to fellow freshman Chloe Adams’ 200 freestyle, Pontius swam a career record time of 2:07.33 – only two seconds off the school record.

Adams returned to earn silver again in the 100 freestyle at 53.53. Nickerson also earned second in the 200 backstroke with a 2:12.66. Harvey earned her second win in the 200 breaststroke at 2:25.12.

The black bears lost traction in the 500 freestyle as URI placed first second and third. Sophomore Kailey Dowd earned fourth for UMaine at 5:21.14.

Pontius returned in the 100 butterfly to out touch URI’s Collette Aubin with a 58.13 only to return again in the 200 IM and earn her third gold of the meet with a time of 2:12.25 proving that her talents go beyond butterfly. Summer Nickerson earned silver in the individual medley just behind Pontius at 2:12.60.

The URI men’s club team was defeated as the black bears prepared for a close meet with Providence. Notable performances include:


-Freshman and UMass transfer Nick Sundquist’s 52.29 100 backstroke.

-Junior Cameron Dwyer’s 2:02.23 win in the 200 butterfly.

-Junior Matt England’s 21.64 freestyle relay split on the 200 medley relay.


At Providence the men’s and women’s teams defeated the Friars. The men scored 146 points to Providence’s 129 while the women won 163-115.

In the 200 SCM medley relay the team of Nickerson, Harvey, Sharp and Adams eclipsed Providence by two seconds. On the men’s side England, freshman Peter Tirabassi, Junior Eric Gaulin, and Sundquist teamed up to trounce the Friars by nearly three seconds.

In the men’s 800 SCM freestyle Senior Ryan Fahey was barely out touched by Zach Begnaud of Providence. Begnaud touched in 8:58.69 to Fahey’s 8:58.77.

Despite her loss at URI Chloe Adams returned to win the 200 SCM freestyle in 2:08.56. It was Sundquist  who won the 200 SCM on the men’s side in 1:57.32 by three full seconds.

Junior Matt England earned gold in the 100 SCM backstroke at 58.44 by a full five seconds. Teammate Connor Mayhew earned second in 1:03.56.

Harvey earned her third breaststroke title of the weekend in the 100 SCM breaststroke at 1:13.51. Junior Shane Kinnon earned breaststroke gold in the 100 with a 1:09.24 performance.

Freshman Emma Pontius continued her butterfly dominance by more than three seconds in the 200 SCM butterfly at 2:24.76. Freshman teammate Victoria Kingston garnered silver for the Black Bears.

Sophomore Kat Cardi won the 50 SCM freestyle in a cool 27.33 just ahead of Freshman Emily Borger.

Sophomore diver Hayli Weitz won the women’s 1 meter diving with a score of 202.50 while Freshman Nick Jensen earned second with 207.60.

Nick Sundquist dominated the 100 SCM freestyle by two full seconds with a 52.54.

The men’s 200 SCM backstroke saw the closest race of the meet when England out touched Providence’s John Fatigati 2:08.97 to 2:09.01. Fatigati won both the 200 IM and 200 butterfly.

Harvey ended the meet undefeated in the breaststroke as she cruised to a seven second win in the 200 SCM breaststroke at 2:42.21. Senior Ryan Fahey earned his win in the breaststroke at 2:30.54.

The men closed the meet with a two second win in the 200 SCM freestyle relay defeating the Friars handily after tying them just last year.

What a difference a year has made.


Swimmers to watch:


Chloe Adams – Freestyle

Summer Nickerson – Backstroke

Naja Harvey – Breaststroke

Emma Pontius – Butterfly


Nick Sundquist – Freestyle

Ryan Fahey – IM and distance freestyle

Matt England – Backstroke

Shane Kinnon – Breaststroke

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.