Locals swim well at Southwesterns
The swimming postseason began last weekend with the north division Southwesterns at Davan Pool in Westbrook.
Cheverus had the best showing of city teams, finishing runner-up to Greely in the girls' competition and third on the boys' side. Deering placed fourth in the boys' meet and sixth on the girls' side. McAuley was seventh in the girls' meet, while a strong individual performer allowed the Waynflete girls to come in 10th.
In the boys' meet, Scarborough came in first with 287 points. Cheverus (226) finished third behind Greely (246), while Deering had 189 points to place fourth.
The Stags were paced by senior Cameron Lindsley's win in the 50 free (23.27 seconds) and sophomore Cal Rhode's triumph in the 500 free (4 minutes, 58.68 seconds).
"Cal had great swims both in the 200 and 500 free," said Cheverus coach Kevin Haley. "Cameron was the top seed in the 50 and ended up winning that event against a fierce heat. Freshman Trebor Lawton was incredible in the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly and a huge anchor in the back of the 200 medley relay. Freshman Michael Gordon carried diving for the team and placed eighth overall in his first Soutwesterns.
"We hope to be in the top three at states. Scarborough and Bangor are loaded all the way through and don't count out Cape."
The Rams got a victory from standout Brian McRae in diving, as he easily took first place with 347.85 points.
"I believed going into Southwesterns that catching Scarborough would be next to impossible," said Deering coach Geoff Hadam. "After that I wasn't quite sure where the points would fall for Cheverus, Greely, Cape and Deering. Our team is lucky to have the assistance of Brian McRae, David Wells, and Dylan Farber on diving to score us some valuable points. Combine diving with an impressively swum 200 free relay by Erik Thomas, Josh Bennett, Tom Beaudoin, and David Tauwala and a great race and finish by the all-senior 400 free relay of Jacob Powers, Noah Major, Max Holden and Djordje Mandic and we were able to get fourth.
"Going into states, a similar theme will be in effect. We will have a large group of senior swimmers who know it will be their last swim. The guys are putting in some impressive swims and I'm glad to say we haven't seen the best yet."
Greely easily came in first in the girls' meet with 309 points. Cheverus squeaked past Scarborough for second (201-200). Deering (120 points) was sixth and McAuley (118) placed seventh. Waynflete (8) was 10th.
The Stags were led by their 200 medley relay squad (freshmen Tessa Lindsley, Samantha Savaun and Nicole Chambers and senior Janna Libby), who won the event with a time of 2:01.72. Senior Amelia Lundkvist finished second in the breaststroke (1:10.55) and third in the fly (1:05.56).
"The girls are very strong," Haley said. "The result gave the girls a huge confidence boost. I'm very proud of the team how they handled themselves. They went up against huge powerhouses Greely, Scarborough and Falmouth and they held their own.
"Last year we were 15th at states. This year, we hope to be in the top three. Scarborough and Cape are very strong. We'll be able to load all three relays and have a strong showing in each event."
The Rams got a runner-up finish from freshman Genevieve Worthely in the IM (2:20.41). Deering was also second in the 200 medley relay (senior Dali Tauwala, senior Kristen Grandonico, Worthely and senior Jami LeRoy, 2:03.22).
"The girls swam well," said Deering coach Angie Chessey. "Despite our small team size, we managed to earn sixth place without any divers. We had best swims by several athletes, despite being tired, sore and not tapered. The girls swam smart and looked strong. One big highlight was earning four of the five SMSOA scholarships, awarded to Emily Kelsey, Dayna Kazilionis, Kristen Grandonico & Jami LeRoy.
"Looking at states in a few weeks, I think we'll have fast swims by everyone. The seniors will be looking to finish their high school swimming careers strong and the newest qualifiers are feeling out the experience of their first swimming state championship and eager to earn points for the team. The best is yet to come."
The Lions got a win from Aoife Ryle in the 500 free (5:36.79).
The Flyers' points came from senior Lindsey Macleod, who was ninth in both the IM (2:35.95) and the 500 free (6:14.23).
To wrap up the regular season, Cheverus and McAuley go to Deering Saturday.
The Class A boys' state meet is Monday, Feb. 15 at Bates College in Lewiston. The Class A girls swim and dive in the same location the following day. McAuley competes in the Class B girls' state meet Feb. 15 at the University of Maine in Orono.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com