ORONO — After leading the Class B boys’ swimming and diving state championships through much of the early going, Cape Elizabeth dropped to second place, then third in consecutive races.

Coach Ben Raymond could not have been more pleased.

“That’s much higher than we should have been after both of those events,” Raymond said of the 100-yard butterfly and 100 freestyle. “We picked up huge points in both those events. We told them, Don’t worry about what the score is until after the 100 breaststroke. That’ll be when we know what’s happening.’ ”

Indeed, the Capers placed three breast strokers among the top nine in the meet’s penultimate event to secure their first state title since 1997 and seventh overall. The other six all came in Class A.

Harry Homans, a freshman, won two individual events Saturday and the Capers swam better than their seeds in six of eight individual events to pull away from favored Morse High of Bath, 275.5 to 241.

The Shipbuilders, runners-up for the second year in a row after dropping down with Cape Elizabeth to Class B, led by six points with four events remaining. A disqualification for leaving early in the 200 free relay cost Morse 26 points and any realistic chance at the title.

“I don’t think it deflated us too much, because we came back with four best times in the 100 backstroke,” said Morse Coach Todd Marco. “But you knew we were done.”

Mt. Desert Island was third of 24 schools with 229.5 points, followed by Ellsworth (215), Camden Hills (197), Old Town (191), Belfast (185) and Greely (162).

Homans won the 200 individual medley in 1 minute, 58.78 seconds and followed up with a 4:48.12 in the 500 freestyle, breaking a school record set by Scott Bowie in 1978.

“I’m just trying to race people,” said Homans, pushed to the record by runner-up Julian Abaldo of Camden Hills, who also broke five minutes. “That’s how I go fast.”

Homans also led off a 200 medley relay that finished second to Ellsworth. Camden Hills won both freestyle relays but did not have enough swimmers for the opening medley relay because of a last-minute absence.

Ellsworth junior Talor Hamilton set a meet record of 52.26 in the 100 backstroke and also won the 100 butterfly in 51.73. He was named Performer of the Meet.

MDI senior Will Greene won diving with 448.70 points, surpassing a meet record that had stood since 1984.

Other individual winners were Abaldo (200 free in 1:49.57), junior Kyle Crans (100 free in 48.34) and senior Mark McCluskey (50 free in 22.07) of Camden Hills, and junior Cooper Holmes (100 breast in 59.87) of Ellsworth.

Cape Elizabeth pecked away at Morse’s on-paper advantage by improving on its seeds in the 200 free (Stephen Bennett moved up two places to 14th), the 50 free (R.J. Sarka from 14th to seventh, Connor Thoreck from 28th to 15th), the 100 butterfly (Elliot McGinn from 26th to 13th), the 100 free (Sarka up two to 12th, Owen Thoreck from 20th to 13th) and the 500 free (Alex Mukai from fourth to third).

In the breast stroke, Tommy Brett moved up from 13th to ninth, Reese McFarlane from fifth to second, and Sam Loring tied for fourth.

“I can’t even describe how amazing this is right now,” said Mukai after emerging from a celebratory team plunge into the pool. “I had a thought coming into this year that with all the guys coming in and the talent we have all the way down, we would have a shot. But to actually win is just awesome.”

“We have some great swimmers who swim year-round,” said Raymond, mentioning Homans, Mukai, Loring and Long. “And then we add in there our seasonal swimmers, who train really hard. We did a lot more in the weight room this year.”

All the work paid off.