Conference titles, wrestling regionals up for grabs Saturday
Let’s hit the pool!
The Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Swimming Championships are scheduled to be held Saturday (9:30 a.m.) at the Bath Area Family YMCA.
Last year, the Morse boys edged Brunswick 250.50- 235.50 and the Morse girls bested Messalonskee 275-227 for the team titles.
“Messalonskee should win the girls and Morse and Brunswick will battle for second,” said Morse coach Todd Marco. “The boys meet will come down to Morse and Brunswick, but because Brunswick has three divers, who are the only divers in the meet, they are the favorites.”
“Brunswick is scoring a lot of points in diving, 41 for the boys and 29 points for the girls, while every other team doesn't have divers and will be scoring zero points. This will determine first place for the boys and second place for the girls.”
Also, Mt. Ararat’s Celia Ouellette won the 50 free (24.66) and 100 free (55.55), while Brunswick diver Kayla Purinton picked up a win.
This winter, Brunswick junior Jessica Russell has produced numerous top-level times and ranks high among state leaders.
Russell has the best State Class A times in the 200 free (1:56.09), and 500 free (5:09.92), is second in the 200 IM (2:14.36), 100 butterfly (59.76) and 100 backstroke (1:00.53), and is third in the 100 free (54.83) and sixth in the 50 free (25.50).
Mt. Ararat’s Ouellette has the state’s best time in the 50 free (24.42), is sixth in the 200 free (2:04.72), ninth in the 200 IM (2:21.20), sixth in the 100 free (56.21) and 12th in the 100 back (1:05.24).
Brunswick’s Paige Tetu ranks 11th in the 100 breaststroke (1:13.38).
Mt. Ararat’s Abby Parker, Carrie Smith, Hannah Kincaid, CeliaOuellette and Libby Ouellette have teamed up to produce good relays times in the 200 free (1:50.61), 200 medley (2:01.18) and 400 free (4:12.42).
Brunswick’s Russell, Sydney Escoe, Tetu, Madeline Cowan and Taylor Godbout have produced strong times in the 200 free (1:48.43), 200 medley ( 2: 00.23) and 400 free (4:03.12).
For Morse, look for Allison Plummer, Bronwyn Morissette, Catie Luedee, Guerin Morissette and Casey Bonnett in the 200 free (1:52.48), 200 medley (2:03.14) and 400 free (4:12.45) relays.
“And, Catie Luedee is very close to a team record in the 100 breast, which is currently held by Karen Dionne from 1984,” added Marco.
“I would say that Messalonskee is the clear ( girls) favorite,” said Brunswick coach David Bright. “Morse seems to be ahead of a fairly evenly-matched group of teams contending for the runner-up spot — Cony, Edward Little, Brunswick and Mt. Ararat. Each of the teams has individuals capable of winning events. The final places and team scoring may be determined by relays and lower seeded swimmers moving up in the top-12 scoring positions.”
Brunswick’s top seeded swimmers are Russell (first in individual medley and butterfly), Tetu (fourth in breaststroke, fifth in IM) and Cowan (third in backstroke and fourth in 100 free). Brunswick finished the season with a 5-4 record. Russell has already set school records this year in the butterfly and the 500 freestyle.
“For the boys, it looks like Brunswick and Morse will be at the top of the field,” added Bright. “Morse is defending champion and lost no seniors from last year’s winning team. Morse defeated the Dragons in a close dual meet earlier in the season.”
Swimmers with number-one seeds from Brunswick are Joey Blair (individual medley, butterfly), Eric Wiese (100 free) and Charlie Nau (100 breaststroke). Others ranked in the top-three going in are Henry Ditzel, Dan Jacques and Jacob Cost.
“The boys finished the dual meet portion of the season with a 7- 2 record,” said Bright. “ Blair has established a new school record in the butterfly, and the medley relay record has been lowered twice thus far.”
On the boys side, last year’s KVAC “Swimmer of the Meet” Jake Olsen of Morse won the 100 butterfly (55.69), teammate Albin Werwaiss captured the 100 free (54.9) and Ryan Banger copped the 100 breaststroke (1:08.86).
Also, Brunswick’s Blair and Olsen tied in the 50 free ( 23.49), while Brunswick won the 200 medley and 400 free relays. Mt. Ararat’s Greg Kritzman won the diving with 163.55 points.
Top Morse times this winter include Olsen in the 200 free (1;54.83) and 200 IM (2:09.81), 50 free (22.71), 100 butterfly ( 55.30) and 100 free (52.12). Banger, who is out after having emergency appendectomy surgery, had some strong times in the 200 IM (2:08.65) and 100 breast (1:07.18)
In the relays, Morse participants have been Albin Werwaiss, Kyle Bauer, Banger and Olsen in the 200 free (1:38.19), 200 medley (1:47.41) and 400 free (3:38.24).
Brunswick’s top times included Blair in the 50 free (22.98), 100 butterfly (54.37), 100 free (51.38), 500 free (5;14.40), 100 back (56.82) and 100 breast (1:06.52).
Brunswick relay swimmers are Jacob Cost, Ditzel, Eric Wiese, Blair and Nau in the 200 free (1:37.53), 200 medley ( 1: 46.33) and 400 free (3:36.47).
Mt. Ararat’s relay swimmers have been Ben Wade, Tim Prindall, Zach Ormsby, Jameson Bryant, Ben Davis and Joe Ashouwak in the 200 free (1:44.99), 200 medley (2:01.81) and 400 free (4:20.56).
“I favor Morse girls, but my money is on Messalonskee,” said Mt. Ararat coach Mike Smith. “ The Brunswick boys are tough. And, it should be a fun meet. It’s all about the kids improving and we expect that to happen regularly.”
The KVAC Indoor Track and Field Championships are set to be held Saturday at Bowdoin College’s Farley Field House.
“I think the girls meet will come down to Mt. Ararat and us,” said Brunswick coach David DeLois. “I don’t think there’s anybody else out there to challenge. And, I think we match up pretty well, although we have a lot of girls going to the KVACs.”
TheBrunswick4x200relayteam of Alexis Dickinson, Bridget Horan, Cassandra Murano and Anna Turner have the third-best time in the KVAC (1:50.53) and is closing in on the school record of 1:49.96.
Other Brunswick girls to look for include Dickinson, who has the top times in the 200 (26.39) and the 55 dash (7.31).
Allison Hill has impressed in the 100 (28.04), 55 hurdles (8.84), long jump ( 15- 11) and triple jump ( 34- 00.75).
Other individuals include Murano in the 400 (1:02.47), Judd in the 400 (1:03.24) and pole vault (7-06), Turner in the 400 (1:04.27), Murphy in the 800 ( 2: 30.28) and mile ( 5: 23.91), Cowan in the 800 (2:29.28) and mile ( 5: 36.90), McMahon in the mile ( 5: 33.77) and two- mile ( 11: 45.75), Brooke Escoe in the pole vault (7-06) and Michele Richards in the shot put (30-08).
AlsoforBrunswick,the4x800 relay team of Jasmine Boyle, Cowan, McMahon and Murphy is seeded second (10:15.53).
For the Mt. Ararat girls look for Nicole Ross in the 200 (28.13), 400 (second-seeded, 1:01.54), 800 (2:31.93) and long jump ( 15- 06), Maddison Prescott in the 55 dash (7.60), long jump ( second- seeded, 16- 02), and triple jump (33-04.50), Kelly Lynch in the 800 (2:26.11), mile (second-seeded, 5: 20.96) and two- mile ( 11: 52.73), Lizzie O’Neal in the 55 hurdles (9.30), Lauren McNett in the mile (5:40.75) and two-mile (12:31.69), and Katie Frizzle in the shot put (27- 02.50).
TheMt.Araratgirls4x200relay has posted a 1:52.37 time (fourthbest) andthe4x800relaya10:43.81 clocking, third best in the conference.
“I see the A girls as Brunswick and B girls Waterville,” sad Mt. Ararat coach Diane Fournier.
Boys wide open
The boys Class A meet could be a four-horse race.
“A boys could be Brunswick, Lewiston, Edward Little, Mt. Ararat, and B to Waterville,” said Fournier.
In the Mt. Ararat cause look for Mackenzie Gary in the 200 (secondseeded 23.47), 400 (second-seeded 51.20), 55 dash (top time of 6.74) and long jump (top seed, 20-10.50), Will Hirnak in the 200 (29.88), 800 (second seed 2:3.74) and mile (4:48.92), Ryan Smith in the 800 ( 2: 04.31), Nathan Bryant in the 800 (2:07.53) and mile (4:46.30), Seth Bryant in the 800 (2:08.42), Nick Oram in the 55 hurdles (9.22), Andy Reifman-Packett in the mile ( 4: 45.25), Andrew McCracken in the pole vault (9-06) and Robert Cornelison in the shot put (40-08).
TheMt.Ararat4x200relayhas the third-best time (1:38.58), as does the4x800relay(8:41.33).
Among some Brunswick tracksters to look forward to include Alex Nichols in the 200 (23.69), high jump (5-08) and 400 (top seed, 51:06), Dylan Walton in the 55 dash (6.93) and long jump (20-02), Jamie Ross in the 800 (2:06.98), mile (4:36.12) and two-mile (10:29.82), Walter Martin in the 800 (2:07.65), Mitchell Black in the 800 (2:68.54) and triple jump (40-03), Don Benbow in the high jump (5-08), Benson Worthington in the mile (4:49.57) and two- mile ( 10: 09.78), Wilder Nicholson in the mile (4:50.01) and two-mile (10:37.27), and Kyle Milbourn in the pole vault (10-06).
Although the relay runners aren’t setinstone,the4x800(toptime, 8: 39.93) could be Martin, Black, Nicholson and Worthington.
The 4x200 relay has posted a time of 1:41.75.
The boys meet will be a thriller with four teams all having a shot to win,” said Brunswick coach Dan Dearing. “ Edward Little is the returning championship team and has strength at the top of several events. Mt. Ararat has a lot of depth and top end talent as well. Lewiston has been improving every week and also has a lot of qualifiers. Brunswick has many qualifiers and I believe we have a lot of room for improvement as we go forward into the championships.
“At the beginning of the season I was thinking we had a shot at a topfour spot and a long shot at the team title,” added Dearing.
“Our kids have worked so hard this season and performed with a lot of passion and determination. I think our best meets are ahead, so that feels good going into this meet.
“We are undefeated for the season, but that is deceiving due to teams missing kids from week to week with injuries, college visits and other activities preventing them from going to all the meets. All the teams will be ready and deserving of the overall title.”
Wrestling on tap
Wrestling enters the regional stage with Class A East (Mt. Ararat, Brunswick) in Westbrook, Class B West (Morse) at York and Class C West (Lisbon) at Bucksport.
The top four wrestlers in each region advance to the state meet, to be held Feb. 18 with Class A at Windham and Class B- C at Fryeburg Academy.
GEORGE ALMASI is the Times Record sports editor. He can be reached at email@example.com