On paper, last Thursday’s swim meet between Greely and Falmouth was a mismatch. The Rangers are the four-time defending Class B state champions and had not lost to Falmouth in two decades.
But through an unusual set of circumstances that sidelined two senior standouts – Jonathan Dunnett was sick and Griffin Fluet miscalculated his distance during backstroke warm-ups and banged his head against the wall – Greely held a four-point lead heading into the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Falmouth’s A quartet of Connor Perron, Winslow Robinson, Logan Herodes and Jake Perron beat Greely’s A team by more than eight seconds, tying the meet. It would all come down to the B relay, where Falmouth and Greely were neck-and-neck throughout all 16 lengths of the pool.
“It was so exciting,” said Falmouth Coach Dave Cox, who, like his fellow Falmouth coaches, Steve Cox and Dan Edwards, are products of Greely Coach Rob Hale’s long-successful program. “He had new swimmers going and we did, too.”
In the end, Falmouth’s Dexter Desrosiers, Hyun Lee, Gage Tetreault and Spencer Funk – a sophomore followed by three freshmen – edged Greely by a quarter of a second to give the Yachtsmen a 79-77 victory.
“They didn’t know it at the time,” Cox said. “We pointed out that every point matters and every swim matters and those two points were the difference in the meet. It was great. It really sank that point home.”
At the state championship meets next month, Falmouth will compete in Class A and Greely in B. The latter meet, dominated by Greely and Mt. Desert Island for the past decade, is shaping up to be a five-team battle between Camden Hills, Ellsworth, Greely and two teams moving down from Class A, Morse and Cape Elizabeth.
“The movement of those two teams is going to make the Class B boys a dog fight,” Hale said. “We all have about the same amount of kids (qualified for) the meet. It will probably be decided by the consolation kids, the non-year-round swimmers. It may come down to who gets in (to the finals) or not.”
KENNEBUNK’S VICTORY over Waynflete last week at UNE’s pool in Biddeford had added meaning for the Rams. Jacob Gould, a popular 16-year-old student at Kennebunk, died last Monday afternoon after battling a form of muscular dystrophy.
“He was not specifically part of our swim program but he was just a huge personality in our school,” said Kennebunk Coach Susan Donaher. “Everybody knew him. He was always positive, always smiling and a huge sports fan.”
Kennebunk’s boys beat Waynflete 88-73 and the girls won 85-74. Sophomore Marshall Lowery broke the UNE pool record with a 1 minute, 2.05 seconds clocking in the 100-yard backstroke.
“The kids had dedicated that meet to Jacob and on top of it, it was also our last home meet for our seniors,” Donaher said. “A lot of these kids grew up with him as a classmate so it was a difficult experience losing him.”
THE SOUTHWESTERNS will run concurrently this winter instead of back-to-back weekends. In recent years, the South Southwesterns had been held in Cape Elizabeth and the North Southwesterns in Westbrook. This year the venues have changed, with Greater Portland schools (North) swimming at Cape Elizabeth.
Both boys’ meets start Feb. 7, a Friday, with both girls’ meets taking place the following afternoon. State meets get started the following weekend.
“The other conference meets are all one week out from the state championships,” said Hale of Greely. “Some coaches didn’t like (Southwesterns) two weeks out. Now they’re all one week out.”
THE YORK COUNTY INVITATIONAL DIVING meet will take place Saturday at the Northern York County YMCA in Biddeford. Organizer Kathy Leahy said it’s a unique opportunity for divers because they can choose between six- or 11-dive formats.
“For many divers, this meet is the first opportunity for them to perform an 11-dive format,” said Leahy.
Another feature is the use of five judges on the panel instead of the three used in a typical meet. With five judges, the high and low scores are thrown out, so the range of scores is likely to be “a very accurate assessment of that dive,” Leahy said.
Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: