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- The Forecaster
While the basketball tournament (see story) will get the lion’s share of attention the rest of the month, the postseason is in full swing in other sports as well and early results are promising for local athletes.
Last weekend, indoor track and swimming held their Southwestern championship meets and wrestling’s regionals were also contested. The skiing conference races are up next and even boys’ hockey is wrapping up its regular season.
Here’s a glimpse at what’s occurred and what’s to come:
Cheverus’ powerhouse swim program once again turned heads at the North Division Southwesterns in Westbrook last weekend. The Stags boys lapped the field with 335 points, which was 114 better than runner-up Cape Elizabeth. Deering (60 points) came in eighth.
Cheverus got wins from Michael O’Donovan, who broke his existing record in the 500 freestyle (4 minutes, 42.76 seconds), Jacob Griffin the 50 freestyle (22.81 seconds), Kevin Kane in the 100 butterfly (54.53) and the 100 breaststroke (1:05.38) and its 200 freestyle (Kane, Shane Moore, Booway Bikales and Griffin, who set a new record in 1:31.28) and 400 freestyle (O’Donovan, Bikales, Ben Tompkins and Tony Penk, 3:26.71) relay teams. Deering’s top finisher was Adam Roland, who placed sixth in the 500 free (5:24.88) and sixth in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.14).
“I thought that the weekend was a huge success,” said Stags coach Kevin Haley. “The swimmers and divers did a great job and it was a total team effort and represented Cheverus High School at its best. The true sportsmanship on the deck and the effort in the water and on board was fantastic.”
In the girls’ meet, Cheverus (224) finished second to Greely (286). Deering (161) was fourth and McAuley (62) placed ninth. The Stags were led by Abby Longstaff, who won the 100 backstroke (58.88) and the 100 free (55.07), and was named Performer of the Meet.
“It was a great second-place finish,” Haley said. “I thought that the girls came out very strong, winning the 200 medley relay and setting the tone for the meet. I was very pleased with the performances, setting us up for next week’s state meet.”
The Lions got a win from Ana Neff-Jendrasko in the 200 individual medley (2:13.28). The Rams’ 400 freestyle relay team (Mary Cala, Sofie deOliveira, Wyeth Spike and Kate Pontius) came in first with a time of 3:54.49.
At the South division Southwesterns, held in Cape Elizabeth, in the boys’ meet, Portland was seventh with 90 points and Waynflete placed 10th with 67 (Massabesic won with 218). The Bulldogs were paced by Reed Foehl, who was third in the breatstroke (1:09.14). Eric Worden finished fourth in both the 100 fly (59.16) and the 500 free (5:38.89). The top Flyer was Caleb Lavine, who was runner-up in the 100 fly (56.08).
In the girls’ meet, won by Kennebunk (283), Waynflete (69) came in eighth and Portland (41) finished 10th. The Flyers were led by Kiera MacWhinnie, who finished third in the fly (1:05.05). The Bulldogs got sixth-place finishes from Olivia Gilbert in the 100 free (1:05.34) and the 200 free (2:22.97) and a sixth-place performance from Emily Couture in the 200 IM (2:36.96).
The Class B boys’ state final is Saturday at the University of Maine in Orono. The Class B girls compete for state glory Monday in Orono, while the Class A boys’ state meet will be held at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. The Class A girls’ state meet is Tuesday, also in Brunswick.
The Southwestern Maine Activities Association indoor track championship meet was held Saturday at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.
In the boys’ meet, won easily by juggernaut Scarborough with 219 points, Deering placed third with 87, Cheverus was sixth with 55 and Portland (5) came in 13th.
The Rams got a stellar effort from Hany Ramadan, who was given the George Vinall Trophy as the meet’s top performer in open events after winning the open 600 in 1 minute, 14.17 seconds, lowering his league record. Ramadan was also given the Henry L. “Hank” LaVallee Trophy for setting a new league record in the senior 200 (22.85 seconds). Ramadan took home one more piece of hardware, the Jim Daly Trophy, as the league’s outstanding performer during the regular season. Teammate Yahya Hussein repeated as the winner of the Frederick T. Jeffrey Jr. Trophy, as he won the open mile in 4:32.52. Ezra Chapola took the junior triple jump with a top jump of 38 feet, 4.5 inches. The Stags got wins from Jake Schott in the senior high jump (6-2), as he earned the Clayton Ellis Trophy, and from Jake Dixon in the senior 400 (50.7), as he captured the Daniel J. Murphy Trophy. Dixon was also a narrow runner-up to Ramadan in the senior 200 (22.87), breaking the existing league record in the process. The Bulldogs’ points came from Alex Frank, who was fourth in the junior 55 (7.11) and sixth in the junior 200 (25.31).
On the girls’ side, Scarborough was first with139 points. Cheverus (67) came in fifth, Deering (33) was ninth, Portland (30) tied Massabesic for 10th and McAuley (4) was 15th.
The Stags featured wins from Gordon Williams Trophy winner Caroline Ford in the junior 55 (7.71), Katelyn Gendron in the junior long jump (15-8.25) and junior triple jump (31-11.5) and their open 4×800 relay team (10:20.20). The Rams were paced by Caitlin Lally, who was runner-up in the junior 400 (1:01.64). The league’s coaches voted Lally the SMAA’s Most Improved Junior Division Athlete. Deering’s junior 4×200 relay was runner-up in 1:54.86. The Bulldogs top scorer was Madison Bolduc, who was runner-up in the triple jump (35-00.25) and fourth in the long jump (15-4.25). Maggie Hosmer was second in the junior 800 (2:37.16). Ella Altidor was third in the junior 200 (28.06) and fourth in the junior 55 (7.78). The Lions’ points came from Akech Allolding, who finished fourth in the senior shot put (31-2).
The state meets are Monday, with Class A being contested at USM and Class B at Bates College in Lewiston.
The Western A wrestling regional championship meet was held Saturday at Marshwood High School. Deering had 78 points to tie Sanford for fifth. Portland (63) was eighth and Cheverus (25) finished 10th (Marshwood was first with 242).
Deering’s Michael Darling won the heavyweight division, pinning Eric Pilcher of Noble in 4 minutes, 32 seconds. Teammate Matthew Krusiec lost in the final at 182 pounds, as he was pinned in 1:14 by Marshwood’s Brett Gerry. Cheverus’ Aidan Whitis reached the final at 132 pounds, but was pinned in 30 seconds by Noble’s Bailey Coull.
In the consolation round, at 160 pounds, Portland’s Clautel Buba defeated Massabesic’s Noah Schneider, 4-2. Deering’s Nickolay Todorov beat Portland’s Greg Cassella by injury default at 170 pounds. Portland’s Josh Hunnewell won by injury default over Noble’s Jamal Durrani at 182 pounds. Portland’s Jeremiah Israel Copeland beat Deering’s Jonah Rogers, 12-9, at 220 pounds.
The Class A state meet is Saturday at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham.
Waynflete’s Nordic ski team took part in the Western Maine Conference championships last week.
In the skate race, the boys were paced by Zander Martin, who finished 18th in 14 minutes, 50.8 seconds. The girls were led by Marijke Rowse, who was 22nd (17:46.2).
In the classic, the boys featured Willson Moore’s eighth-place showing (20:44.7). Ellie Chidsey was the top girl (29th, 26:27.4).
The state championship meets for Alpine and Nordic are next week.
With the boys’ hockey regular season down to its final days, Cheverus and the Portland/Deering co-op team are eyeing the playoffs.
The Stags missed an opportunity to move up in the standings last week when they lost at home to two-time defending Class A champion Falmouth (5-1) and tied host Scarborough (1-1). Quinton Farr scored with time winding down to forge the deadlock versus the Red Storm. Cheverus (9-4-2 and third behind Falmouth and Scarborough in the Western Class A Heal Points standings) hosts Biddeford Wednesday, welcomes Portland/Deering Saturday and closes at home versus Scarborough a week from Thursday.
Portland/Deering snapped a four-game skid last Thursday, downing visiting South Portland, 4-1 to improve to 6-8 and sixth in Western A. Early goals from Brent Rickett and Phil McCallum made it 2-0. After the Red Riots cut the lead in half, they went on a 5-on-3 power play and hit the post, but Portland/Deering held on and put it away behind goals from Dominic Tocci and Mason Martell.
“We got the ‘W,’ that was really important,” said Portland/Deering coach Chad Hart. “The second period was tough for us, but luckily, our guys showed mental toughness in the third and fought back. It was nice to see us battle back.”
Portland/Deering was home against Brunswick Monday, visits Thornton Academy Thursday, plays at Cheverus Saturday and closes at Biddeford Feb. 19.
“We definitely have talent on our team,” Rickett said. “We’re working on chemistry now, seeing who works best with who. We need a few more ‘Ws,’ that would help us out. We don’t care who we play. We just want to get in the playoffs and have a chance.”
The girls’ hockey playoffs are down to the final four, but neither city squad qualified this season. Cheverus wound up 5-13, while Portland/Deering finished 2-15-1 after a 4-0 loss at Biddeford last Tuesday.
Portland/Deering sophomore Brent Rickett (7) is congratulated by his teammates after his goal during last week’s 4-1 win over South Portland.
The Cheverus boys’ swim team raises the trophy and celebrates after winning the North Division Southwesterns championship last weekend. The Stags look to defend their Class A state title next week.