Wheaton College swim coach Barrett Roberts says he knew Adrianne Madden would be just as fast despite missing her junior season after having surgery to reconstruct a chronically injured ankle.

“Because of her events as a sprinter I knew she’d still be fast and I had no concerns about her coming back grossly out of shape,” Roberts said.

Madden, a senior from Falmouth, wasn’t so sure. It had been almost a year with no swimming.

As a sophomore she’d been fast enough to set Wheaton records in both the 50-yard freestyle (23.70 seconds) and the 100-yard backstroke (59.69), and qualify for the NCAA Division III swimming and diving championships.

“At first it was a little intimidating. Part of it was I didn’t swim with last year’s freshmen and then there was a whole new group of freshmen,” Madden said. “The first couple days were tough. I felt sluggish. But once I got back up and raced, it felt like I was riding a bike, the same pool, the same water.”

The results also indicate Madden will be, if anything, even faster by season’s end.

Roberts said all of her times have been “untapered and unshaved.”

To taper means to gradually reduce the practice workload prior to championship meets. When done right it almost always produces faster times. Swimmers also routinely shave body hair to reduce drag.

In addition to her individual events, Madden is a stalwart on the 200- and 400-free relay teams, and the 200 medley relay. The 200 free relay is ranked in the top 20 nationally. The top 16 relay times will receive an invite, Roberts said.

“All of our relays are incredible and have the potential to qualify for the NCAAs,” Madden said, noting Roberts has built a much stronger all-around team in his three years as coach.

“The 200 free relay is a race that comes down to fingernails, it’s so close. To have four incredibly fast 50s is so great. We’ve won some meets due to that one race. To know we’re swimming those times and we weren’t tapered or shaved and had our old suits on puts a smile on our faces. We can be so much faster and have so much more potential.”

One of Madden’s relay teammates has been freshman Lindsey Thomsen of Gorham.

A former state champion swimmer at Deering High who became a multi-time All-American at Wheaton, Roberts is always on the lookout for Maine swimmers with untapped potential. Kelsey White of Bath (Morse) and Abby Washington of Brunswick are juniors on the Wheaton team.

Roberts cites Madden, a top field hockey player and track athlete at Falmouth, as an example of evolving from an athlete who swam to becoming a true swimmer.

Madden held the state record in the 50 free and was blessed with an exceptional start but had done little training. Madden admits she was “scared of the 100 freestyle,” in high school.

“And here we really train like sprinters, where in high school everybody is pretty much doing the same workout,” Roberts said. “Lindsey Thomsen has dropped close to a second off her high school time without shave or taper.”

Madden, 21, is double majoring in graduate studio art and art history, and is hoping to have a career in marketing or advertising.

Before she puts on a cap and gown, she hopes to wear a sleek tech suit at the NCAA championships in Indianapolis on March 19-22.

“Yes, I would love to. It was an experience my sophomore year. That time I went alone with Barrett,” Madden said. “I’d love to go back to the NCAAs with other people from my team.”

MEN’S BASKETBALL

Bentley sophomore Tyler McFarland of Rockport (Camden Hills) experienced something every player dreams of: a perfect shooting night.

Last Saturday in a 78-64 win at American International College in Springfield, Mass., McFarland made all 12 of his shots, breaking the school record of 11 of 11 set in 1968. McFarland made four 3-pointers. He was also 4 of 4 from the free-throw line in a 32-point outing.

McFarland was named the co-Player of the Week in the Northeast-10. He also had 19 points in a win against Adelphi. For the week he was 7 of 10 on 3-point attempts and 12 of 13 on 2-pointers. He leads the NE-10 in 3-point accuracy (.538), is third in free-throw percentage (.864) and fourth in scoring (19.5 ppg).

In Wednesday’s loss to New Haven, McFarland cooled off but Alex Furness of Wells went 7 of 8 from the floor and 3 of 3 on 3s for a game-high 23 points, and Keegan Hyland of South Portland was 6 of 8 en route to 15 points.

Southern Maine Community College Coach Matt Richards became the school’s leader in coaching wins Wednesday when the Seawolves beat University of Maine-Augusta, 114-89. It was Richards’ 200th win (against 125 losses) since taking the job prior to the 2003-04 season. Richards is also SMCC’s athletic director. He broke the old wins record of 199 set by John Dakin, who coached from 1968-79 and was the school’s athletic director from 1968-2002.

SWIMMING AND DIVING

Bentley sophomore diver Nicola Mancini of Falmouth was honored as the Northeast-10 Women’s Diver of the Week for the seventh time this season (and 14th in her career) after posting her second-best 3-meter score this season against Keene State.

Saint Michael’s College junior Nathan Paluso of Windham was part of the NE-10’s Men’s Relay Team of the Week as part of a winning 400-yard freestyle relay that helped Saint Michael’s come from behind to edge Saint Lawrence. Paluso was also named to the conference honor roll with individual wins in the 1,000 freestyle and 200 breast stroke, his sixth and seventh individual wins of the season.

INDOOR TRACK

Bentley sophomore Tom Dean of Portland (Deering) was fifth among 40 competitors in the 3,000 meters (9:05.60) at Sunday’s Greater Boston Track Club Invitational held at Harvard.

Bates senior Mark McCauley of Cumberland (Greely) captured the 800 meters in 1 minute, 58.32 seconds Saturday in a five-team meet won by Maine.

University of Maine junior Justin Gagne of Biddeford won the shot put at the Bates meet with a throw of 17.41 meters (just over 57 feet, 1 inch). Gagne set school records in the event in 2013. Maine freshman Tyler Martin of York won the high jump at 1.93 meters (approximately 6 feet, 4 inches). 

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at:

scraig@pressherald.com

Twitter: SteveCCraig