Scarborough teams finish second at Class A swim meet
A dominant season came to an impressive conclusion for the Scarborough swim teams last week at the Class A state championship meet in Brunswick.
The record-setting Red Storm boys came in second for the just the second time ever in Class A, scoring 270 points (Bangor won with 319.5). Cape Elizabeth (201) placed fifth, while South Portland (52) came in 13th.
In the girls' meet, won by Morse with 255 points, Scarborough was second with 210, defending champion Cape Elizabeth placed seventh with 117.5 and South Portland finished 23rd with 17.
The biggest Scarborough highlight in the boys' meet came in the 200 individual medley, where senior Robby Gravel not only won, but in the process, set a new state record with a time of 1 minute, 55.08 seconds. That time was just .21 seconds better than the runner-up time of Morse senior standout James Wells, but more importantly broke the eight-year old mark held by Sean Flaherty, who just happens to be the Red Storm's first-year coach.
"I have to say that the 200IM was one of the most exciting races I've ever seen," Flaherty said. "To witness your own state record being broken and then to have your own athlete be the one to hit the wall first and keep that record in Scarborough's name was surreal. Robby swam the exact race we had prepared and planned for all season long. I told him for months he needs to be on James' hip after the fly, on his ankles after the backstroke, and ahead after the breaststroke. That is exactly what he did. And he held off the best swimmer in the state in the last 50 free to hit the wall first. So while James may be the fastest swimmer in the state, Robby proved he was probably the most versatile swimmer in the state by winning swimming's toughest event, because you cannot have a weak stroke to break a state record in that event."
That was just the beginning of Gravel domination. Robby also won the breaststroke (59.63 seconds) and teamed with brothers junior Kip and freshman Jerry, along with junior Mark Endrizzi, to win the 200 medley relay in 1:40.27. The foursome was runner-up in the 200 free relay (1:31.39). Kip Gravel captured the 100 free (48.95) and was third in the 200 free (1:47.68). Jerry Gravel placed fifth in the backstroke (57.18) and sixth in the IM (2:08.18).
Endrizzi finished seventh in the 100 free (51.68) and eighth in the 50 free (23.40). Junior Jack Clark placed eighth in the 500 free (5:20.49) and 10th in the 200 free (1:57.04). Senior Adam Saltz was eighth in the backstroke (1:00.67) and 15th in the 500 free (5:33.53). Junior Arthur Hamill came in 13th in the 200 free (2:00.90) and 14th in the 100 butterfly (1:00.96). Junior John Breggia tied for 14th in the breaststroke (1:10.33). Junior Tasean Lewis placed 14th in diving (177.80 points). Sophomore Andrew Doran finished 16th in the fly (1:04.97).
Scarborough's 400 free relay team (junior Martin Schelasin, Jerry Gravel, Hamill and Clark) placed eighth (3:41.17).
"We swam terrific," Flaherty said. "We knew catching Bangor would be next to impossible, but I wanted our boys to really go after it. And they did. We had great swims and best times out of almost every single member of the team. We had huge swims out of two emerging athletes; John Breggia and Drew Doran. John dropped an amazing four seconds off his best time in the morning to leapfrog over lots of swimmers and finish 14th. At night, he went another second faster, to finish 11th. This was a swimmer who dropped a ridiculous five seconds in the course of the day, truly great. Drew, who finished last in the 100 fly last year, also dropped a full four seconds to finish 16th in the event this year. It's easy to point to our event winners, but it's swims like these two who really are incredible."
The Red Storm figure to be a powerhouse again next winter and will make a run at a first state title.
"While we will lose Robby and Adam Saltz next season to graduation, we are bringing everyone else back," Flaherty said. "Bangor graduates a lot of seniors, and I hope to have two divers at the state meet next season scoring for us. We have a tremendous opportunity to make a another run at the championship next season. It's too early to tell who the favorites will be, but we will certainly be among them."
Cape Elizabeth's boys' effort was keyed by its 400 free relay team (freshman Evan Long, senior Chris Makrides, junior Paul Wennberg and sophomore Marcus Cloutier), which tied Cheverus for second behind Windham (3:23.79).
Cloutier was third in the 50 free (22.94) and the 100 free (49.52). Sophomore Kevin Flathers had the third-best diving score (274.60). The Capers 200 free relay team (Long, Makrides, junior Paul Wennberg and Cloutier) was also third (1:31.99).
Senior Zach Gavin came in fifth in the IM (2:06.32) and seventh in the breaststroke (1:06.58). Long was sixth in the 200 free (1:55.06) and sixth in the 500 free (5:14.20). Makrides placed seventh in the fly (57.65) and 12th in the IM (2:13.88). Wennberg finished ninth in the 100 free (51.77) and 11th in the 50 free (23.91). Sophomore Tom Robinson placed 13th in the 500 free (5:32.43).
For South Portland, senior Travis Wibby had the fourth-best diving score (268.15). Senior Chris Carter was 15th in diving (175.25). Sophomore Chad MacWhinnie placed 16th in the 500 free (5:36.66).
In the relays, the Red Riots were 10th in the medley (MacWhinnie, junior Adam Sellick, senior Kevin O'Connor and senior Chris Harle, 1:55.19), 11th in the 200 free (junior Lucas Ashbaugh, senior Nick Brown, Sellick and Harle, 1:41.81) and 13th in the 400 free (Harle, Brown, Ashbaugh and MacWhinnie, 3:46.53).
Red Storm girls dazzle
At the girls' meet, Scarborough had its share of first-place finishes as well.
The Red Storm's medley relay team, featuring sophomore Dayna Ankermann, sophomore Samantha Couillard, junior Laura Flewelling and freshman Lucy Iselborn, won its race in 1:56.15. The 400 free relay squad (Flewelling, junior Maya Glab, Ankermann and Couillard) was first in 3:53.15.
Individually, Flewelling won the 200 free (1:53.56) and the 500 free (5:17.23).
Couillard was runner-up in the breaststroke (1:08.00) and placed seventh in the IM (2:18.76). Ankermann was sixth in the 100 free (58.37) and sixth in the backstroke (1:05.45). Glab finished 10th in the 500 free (5:54.82) and 11th in the 200 free (2:11.48). Junior Alison Reynolds finished 11th in the breaststroke (1:16.56) and 13th in the fly (1:10.51). Junior Hannah Yerxa was 15th in diving (183.25).
In the 200 free relay, Glab, junior Felicia Brimigion, Iselborn and Reynolds placed 12th (1:53.23).
"We really swam great," Flaherty said. "Morse has a deeper team. We have a slew of young girls who are just on the verge of breaking out and making state cut times, so we had a real small, but talented young field of girls. Laura swam great. She's the only swimmer in the state to claim four titles. What is amazing is that Laura's best event is the 100 breaststroke, but we kept her out of that event to score more points. Had it been a closer meet, that would have been a major turning point for us, and it shows her incredible maturity to give up her best event in the best interest for the team.
"We didn't have the depth to move up swimmers in the morning and Morse did, but we did swim fast. We graduate no senior scorers and while Morse is young too, we are bringing back a very potent team next season. I'll be looking for our slew of freshmen and sophomore swimmers to really improve next season and be positioned to make yet another run for a state title."
Cape Elizabeth had a fifth-place 200 free relay team (sophomore Madeline Kraft, senior Lexi Bass, junior Lindsay Rand and junior Abby Armstrong, 1:49.35). The Capers came in sixth in the 400 free relay (Armstrong, Rand, sophomore Lindsey Tanabe and Kraft, 4:04.27) and were 12th in the medley relay (sophomore Lindsay Stephen, freshman Maddy Gears, Bass and Tanabe, 2:09.96).
Individually, Armstrong led the way with an eighth-place showing in the 100 free (59.16). She was also 12th in the 50 free (27.10). Kraft finished ninth in the backstroke (1:13.98) and 13th in the 50 free (27.14). Gears placed 10th in the breaststroke (1:16.78) and 12th in the IM (2:27.73). Sophomore Catherine Tierney finished 11th in the 500 free (5:55.12). Rand was 15th in the 200 free (2:14.54). Bass tied for 15th in the 50 free (27.83) and had 15th place all to her own in the 100 free (1:01.40). Sophomore Tara Pinette was 16th in diving (180.55).
For South Portland, senior Courtney Perruzzi placed eighth in diving (249.65). The Red Riots were 15th in the 200 free relay (junior Maureen Blanchard, freshman Abby Onos, freshman Lauren Halvorsen and sophomore Nicole Fogg, 1:55.35) and 16th in the 400 free relay (senior Kate Lagios, Onos, Halvorsen and Fogg, 4:21.32).
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com