Scarborough's record-setting boys win swim Southwesterns
In dominant and record-setting fashion, the Scarborough boys' swim team ended Greely's three-year stranglehold on the north division Southwesterns championship last Friday night at Davan Pool in Westbrook.
Thanks to five combined individual wins from the dynamic Gravel brothers and a 200 medley relay team that rewrote the record books, the Red Storm finished with 287 points, 41 better than the runner-up Rangers. Cape Elizabeth placed fifth with 183 points. South Portland (99) was seventh.
Junior Kip Gravel, senior Robby Gravel, junior Arthur Hamill and junior Mark Endrizzi set the tone when they won the 200 medley relay, the first event of the competition with a dazzling time of 1 minute, 41.50 seconds, which broke the previous record which had stood for almost 30 years.
Kip Gravel took the 100 freestyle (48.73 seconds) and the 200 free (1:48.77). Robby Gravel was tops in the 200 individual medley (1:57.97) and the 100 butterfly (52.43), setting new records in both events and earning Outstanding Performer of the Meet honors. Freshman Jerry Gravel was first in the 100 backstroke (57.88) and placed fifth in the IM (2:10.60).
Senior Adam Saltz came in third in the 100 backstroke (1:00.35). Endrizzi placed fourth in the 50 free (23.52) and sixth in the 100 free (52.50).
Scarborough also finished third in the 200 free relay (junior John Breggia, sophomore Andrew Doran, junior Daniel Friedman and junior Martin Schelasin; 1:41.19) and third in the 400 free relay (Friedman, Jerry Gravel, Saltz and junior Jack Clark; 3:43.33).
"The boys swam great," said Red Storm first-year coach Sean Flaherty, whose name still graces the records wall at Davan Pool from his high school days. "It's easy to point to our event winners as the key to victory, but if you really look at the meet, I think it was our depth that carried the day. All three of our 'A' relays finished in the top three, something that is really hard to do, and our 'B' relays were tops, scoring valuable eighth and ninth place points in all three relay events. More importantly, I think our performance sent a message to the rest of the state, that we are going to be tough to beat at the state meet."
Cape Elizabeth's effort was paced by a win from its 200 free relay squad. Freshman Evan Long, senior Chris Makrides, junior Paul Wennberg and sophomore Marcus Cloutier had a time of 1:33.86.
Individually, Cloutier was runner-up in both the 50 free (23.38) and the 100 free (50.38). Long came in third in the 200 free (1:54.52) and fourth in the 500 free (5:20.91). Senior Zach Gavin finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.70). Sophomore Kevin Flathers had the third-best diving score (257.30). Makrides was fifth in the 100 fly (58.58).
South Portland's top finisher was senior diver Travis Wibby (285.70). Sophomore Chad MacWhinnie came in sixth in the 200 free (1:57.16) and sixth in the 500 free (5:26.74). The Red Riots' top relay squad was the 400 free (senior Chris Harle, MacWhinnie, junior Lucas Ashbaugh and senior Nick Brown; 3:48.06).
In the girls' meet, won by Greely with 309 points, Scarborough placed third with 200, defending Class A state champion Cape Elizabeth came in fifth with 176 and South Portland (64 points) was eighth.
Red Storm junior Laura Flewelling was named the Female Swimmer of the Meet after winning the 200 free (1:56.21) and the 100 fly (59,72).
Sophomore Samantha Couillard was tops in the IM (2:19.83) and the breaststroke (1:09.14).
Scarborough's 400 relay squad (sophomore Dayna Ankermann, junior Maya Glab, Flewelling and Couillard) was second to Greely (3:52.60).
"The girls also had a great meet," said Flaherty. "Greely dominated the day, as they swam out of their minds all afternoon. More importantly, our girls are very well positioned heading into the state meet. In fact, we have a stronger state meet lineup because girls swim four events at states instead of three at Southwesterns."
Cape Elizabeth's 200 free relay team was second to Falmouth. Sophomore Madeline Kraft, junior Abby Armstrong, junior Lindsay Rand and senior Lexi Bass had a time of 1:49.64. The top individual finisher for the Capers was sophomore Noelle Webster, who was fourth in the 500 free (5:55.24).
For South Portland, senior diver Courtney Perruzzi finished fourth (246.90). The Red Riots' 400 free relay squad (senior Kate Lagios, freshman Abby Onos, sophomore Nicole Fogg and junior Maureen Blanchard) finished fifth (4:22.53).
Does state glory await?
The Class A boys' state meet is Monday, Feb. 15 at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. Scarborough has a great shot at winning the program's first title (the Red Storm were runner-up in 2000 and 2006), while Cape Elizabeth and South Portland will also be heard from.
The girls' Class A championship is the following day at the same location.
"I think we're right where we want to be heading into states," Flaherty said. "None of our swimmers have swum their fastest yet and I'm excited to see what kind of performances we turn in at Bowdoin's pool. The girls' meet is wide open, with any one of three teams capable of winning, with another three teams that could prove to be spoilers. When I got back on the bus after the meet, I said one word to our boys' team: 'Bangor.' I don't know who the favorite truly is, but they've won a few in a row, and we intend on breaking their state championship streak just like we broke Greely's Southwestern championship streak."
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com