Farewell to a special winter sports season-Portland edition

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Brim Peabody and his Cheverus boys’ swim teammates once again left the Class A field in their wake this winter.

Emily Demers and her Portland/Deering teammates got to a girls’ hockey regional final for the first time.

Portland’s Zack Elowitch was a state finalist this winter.

(Ed. Note: The basketball season was recapped last week)

The winter sports season had its share of memorable performances by local athletes.

Cheverus’ boys’ swim team won another Class A state title and other schools produced strong showings.

Cheverus’ girls’ indoor track team won (actually shared) its first championship and the Stags weren’t alone in turning heads.

Both Cheverus and Portland/Deering boys’ and girls’ hockey teams advanced deep into the playoffs.

Skiing and wrestling also had local standouts make noise.

Here’s one last look at the winter sports season that was:

Winter team state champions

Cheverus Stags boys’ swimming, Class A
Cheverus Stags girls’ indoor track, Class A

Winter regional champion

Cheverus Stags girls’ hockey, North Region

Winter individual state champions

Annesley Black, Cheverus, Class A girls’ Alpine giant slalom
Annesley Black, Cheverus, Class A girls’ Alpine slalom

Brim Peabody, Cheverus, Class A boys’ 200 freestyle
Brim Peabody, Cheverus, Class A boys’ 500 freestyle

Emma Gallant, Cheverus, Class A girls’ 200
Emma Gallant, Cheverus, Class A girls’ 400 

Michael’s Top Five Stories

5) Skiers turn heads again

Portland schools aren’t generally synonymous with skiing, but once again this winter, Alpine and Nordic skiers from the city made their mark at the state level. Cheverus’ Annesley Black had the most success, winning the Class A girls’ Alpine slalom and giant slalom. In Nordic competition, Deering’s Grace Tumavicus was second in Class A in the classical and teammate Sierra Aponte-Clarke and Portland’s Elizabeth Thomas also enjoyed top 10 finishes. On the boys’ Nordic side, Portland’s Liam Niles was runner-up in Class A in the classical and fourth in the skate. Teammate Ezra Flint placed fifth in the freestyle. Deering’s Peter Jordan and William Jordan each had a pair of top 10 finishes. In Class C Nordic action, Waynflete’s Nicholas Werner and Clara Sandberg both placed in the top 10.

4) Cheverus boys’ hockey returns to regional final

Cheverus’ boys’ hockey team lost to Falmouth in the Class A South Final in 2016-17 and this winter, the Stags were even better, earning the top seed in the region for the playoffs and after earning a bye into the semifinals, downing Thornton Academy to return to the regional final. There, against Biddeford, Cheverus erased four different one-goal deficits before taking a late lead, but the Tigers tied it in the final minute and forced overtime, where they ended the Stags’ season in painful fashion, 6-5.

3) Girls’ hockey teams make deep runs

The girls’ hockey story featured even more success, as two teams got to the regional final, one for the first time, and one squad played for a state title. The Cheverus/Kennebunk co-op team was clearly the best in the South Region from the get-go, as it lost just one game all season. Portland/Deering, meanwhile, enjoyed a season of resurgence, earning the No. 2 seed in the South. After each team won its semifinal, they did battle in the regional final, where Cheverus/Kennebunk ended the finest season in Portland/Deering history, 8-2. Cheverus/Kennebunk wasn’t able to complete its title dream, however, losing to Greely/Gray-New Gloucester, 3-1, in the state final.

2) Cheverus girls’ track makes history

Cheverus’ girls indoor track team had never won a state championship prior to this winter and while the Stags ended up sharing the top spot with Scarborough, they’ll gladly take it. Cheverus, paced by record-setting standout Emma Gallant (who scored 28 points on her own in winning the 200 and 400 and placing second in the 55), also got key contributions from Victoria Bossong (22 points) and Emma White (17 points). Deering’s boys’ team also turned heads, coming in second behind Scarborough while producing state championship 4×200 and 4×800 relay squads.

1) Cheverus boys’ swim team does it again

Another winter, another state title for Cheverus’ boys’ swim team. The Stags made it six consecutive Class A crowns last month, leaving runner-up Bangor 78 points in their wake. Brim Peabody won a pair of individual titles, the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle, and he also helped the 200 free relay team come in first. From there, Cheverus rode its depth to glory and while some of the names will be different in 2018-19, don’t be surprised if the Stags finish atop the heap for a seventh straight season.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.