Brunswick boys KVAC champions
Mt. Ararat High School swimming coach Mike Smith felt Saturday’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference meet at the Bath Area Family YMCA lacked the late-day excitement that often has fans on their edge of the their seats as the teams make a last push for victory.
With Messalonskee easily swimming away with the girls title and the Brunswick boys winning eight of 12 events to take the boys crown by more than 70 points, the top spots were a forgone conclusion as the meet neared an end.
However, the excitement level increased once the Swimmers of the Meet were announced, especially from the Dragons as Jessica Russell captured the girls honor, while teammate Joey Blair, with four victories on the day, earned the top swimmer nod for the boys.
“The 200 individual medley usually says who the best all-around swimmer is, and Joey won the event by more than 12 seconds, while Jess had a seven-second edge in the event,” said Brunswick coach David Bright.
Still, Brunswick had enough to win even without diving, earning 336 points to outdistance rival and defending KVAC champion Morse, which finished second with 260.5 points. Messalonskee was third (168 points), followed by Lewiston (148), Cony (145.5), Mt. Ararat (108), Edward Little (46) and Lawrence (24).
“ We knew diving gave us an advantage, but we won by a bigger margin than I thought we would and set five school records (three boys, two girls),” said Bright.
Blair’s 53.40 in the 100 butterfly set a Dragons record. Dan Jacques, Charlie Nau, Blair and Eric Wiese teamed up to set the mark in the 200 medley relay in 1: 45.14, with Jacques, Jacob Cost, Henry Ditzel and Blair winning the 200 free relay in 1:35.86 for another mark.
Other Brunswick winners were Cost in the 100 backstroke (57.58) and Nau in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.76). Ditzel finished second to Messalonskee’s Arthur Conover in both the 200 free and 500 free events.
Meanwhile, Russell was rolling in the girls meet. She cruised to a KVAC/school mark in the 200 IM in 2:10.68 and pulled away in the 100 butterfly, touching in 58.12 to set another KVAC and school record.
“Jessica not only won the 200 IM and 100 butterfly, but she had significant drops in her times in those events,” said Bright. “ She had a great day.”
Russell helped Brunswick to a second- place showing in the 200 medley relay along with teammates Taylor Godbout, Paige Tetu and Madeline Cowan, while the Dragons were third in the 200 free relay (Sydney Escoe, Tetu, Cowan, Russell).
Still, no team came close to the favorite Messalonskee girls on this day. The Eagles racked up a dominating 328 points, with Morse in second ( 180), Brunswick third (177.5) and Cony fourth (148). Mt. Ararat (141), EL (138.5), Lewiston (85) and Lawrence (50) rounded out the field.
“ We knew Messalonskee was really stacked this year, still we are very pleased with the girls finishing in second,” said Morse coach Todd Marco. “ Many of the girls had season-best times.”
Guerin Morissette was third in the 50 free (25.98) and second in the 100 backstroke ( 1: 05.56), while Catie Luedee gained third in the 100 breaststroke ( 1: 10.28), and Casey Bonnett fourth in the 200 free (2:09.74) and 500 free (5:50.39).
In the relays, the 200 medley Shipbuilder squad ( Bronwyn Morissette, Luedee, Bonnett, Guerin Morissette, 2:02.50) and the 200 free (Luedee, Bronwyn Morissette, Allison Plummer, Guerin Morissette, 1: 51.21), were both fourth.
The Shipbuilder boys picked up a pair of wins as Jake Olsen captured the 50 free in 22.87 and Albin Werwaiss the 100 free in 53.70.
Also, the Shipbuilders were the runners- up to Brunswick in the three relays. The 200 medley squad of Albin Werwaiss, Kyle Bauer, Otto Werwaiss and Olsen touched in 1: 49.61, the 200 free ( Bauer, Paden Stanton, Drew Ceglinski, Blair) finished at 1: 43.87, and Olsen, Ceglinski, Josh Valentine and Albin Werwaiss came in at 3:39.28 in the 400 free.
Bauer took fourth in the 200 free (2:02.75) and third in the 100 breaststroke (1:12.23), Ceglinski third in the 200 IM (2:23.98), Olsen second in the 100 butterfly (55.04), Albin Werwaiss second in the 100 backstroke ( 1: 02.04) and Valentine a fourth in the 500 free (5:30.77)
“Brunswick swam well, and we were hurt by not having Ryan Banger ( emergency appendectomy),” said Marco. “Paden Stanton qualified for states in the 50 free (26.48), and the last relay (400 free) picked up a solid second.”
Celia Ouellette, fighting a cold, led Mt. Ararat with a pair of victories.
She held off hard-charging Victoria Weber of Cony to win the closest race of the meet in the 100 free, finishing in 54.26, with Weber touching at 54.28.
“Celia led the 100 all the way, with Victoria coming on strong in the last 10 yards,” said Smith, who also watched Ouellette capture the 50 free in 24.29.
The 200-medley relay team of Celia Ouellette, Hannah Kincaid, Abby Parker and Libby Ouellette finished third in 2:01.75. Parker was fourth in the 100 butterfly (1:06.55), and the 400 free relay of Parker, Libby Ouellette, Kincaid and Celia Ouellette took third (4:04.96).
The story on the boys side for Mt. Ararat was Howard Lin.
“For four years, Howard practiced every day, both with his high school team and with Long Reach, with the goal to make it to states, and he finally did it on Saturday in two events,” said Smith, who watched Lin qualify in both the 100 backstroke (1:11.02) and 100 butterfly (1:10.06). “He qualified by three or four seconds in each event. I am so proud of him.”
Ben Wade earned fifth in the 200 free (2:07.40) and fourth in the 50 free (25.03).
The Class A State Championships are scheduled to be held at the University of Maine-Orono, with the girls on Feb. 20 and the boys Feb. 21.