On land, Caitlin Tycz admits, she can be a bit clumsy. But, oh, how she loves the water.

“And it’s always kind of loved me,” she said. “I know it sounds crazy, but when I get in the water, everything works out for me. Somehow, my arms and legs do the right thing.”

A junior at Brunswick High, Tycz set a state record of 53.32 seconds in winning the Class A 100-yard butterfly – lopping a full second off the record and beating the winning 100 freestyle time by half a second. She also won the 200 individual medley in 2:06.23. Her winning margin in each race was seven seconds.

Tycz also anchored the winning 200 freestyle relay and meet-record-setting 400 free relay to help Brunswick repeat as Class A champion. In addition to her times in the butterfly and 200 IM, she also swam the state’s fastest time in the 200 free (1:52.36 at the KVAC meet).

Her times were second in Maine in the 100 free and 100 backstroke and third in the 50 and 500 free.

Tycz is our choice as Maine Sunday Telegram girls’ Swimmer of the Year.

“She’s been a good swimmer for a long time,” said Brunswick Coach David Bright. “Sometimes kids like that who are very good when they’re young plateau and stop developing, but she seems to be able to keep turning it up a notch.”

Tycz took up the sport at age 7 and dabbled briefly in soccer, gymnastics and ballet.

“I couldn’t bear to spend another day out of the water,” she said. “By third grade it was all swimming, all the time.”

An added benefit of swimming for Brunswick High is the presence of Nate Samson, the two-time Telegram Boys’ Swimmer of the Year. They share a personal trainer and push each other in practice.

“I’m always trying to keep up,” Tycz said, “and he’s always trying to make sure I don’t.”

For the third straight year, Tycz earned All-America status (top 100 times nationally) in the 100 butterfly. At a national meet in Indianapolis last summer, Tycz won the 50-meter fly and tied for second in the 100 fly.

The qualifying standard for the Olympic trials 100-meter fly is 1:01.19. Tycz, who also competes for Long Reach Swim Club out of the Bath YMCA, swam 1:01.35 in a January meet in New Jersey.

She’ll have another chance at qualifying early next month at the YMCA Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina. If successful, she will compete in the Olympic trials in Omaha, Nebraska, in June.

Ranked among the top 10 in her class, Tycz sports a 4.0 GPA and is considering studying genetics or rocket science in college. She plans to visit Yale, Princeton and the University of Virginia this spring.

“The whole recruiting process is crazy,” she said. “I have a lot of decisions to make, but I’m excited to see where I’ll go.”


Lydia DaCorte, Mt. Desert Island junior: Set a Class B meet record of 5:05.68 in winning the 500-yard freestyle for a third straight year. She also successfully defended her title in the 100 butterfly with the second-fastest time in the state (57.55).

Elaine Dudley, Massabesic senior: Won her second straight Class A 200 freestyle title, in 1:56.49. Also won the 100 freestyle in 53.80 and swam on two relays to help the Mustangs place sixth. Holds the South Southwesterns 200 freestyle record of 1:56:30.

Charlotte Janelle, Falmouth senior: A four-time state champion diver who scored 417.40 points in the Class A meet – more than 100 beyond her closest competitor – to break a record that had stood since 1989. Plans to continue career at Bates.

Sonia Lin, North Yarmouth Academy senior: Established a Class B meet record in the 100 breast stroke of 1:06.15, lowering by half a second the mark she set as a freshman. Also placed second in the 50 free. As the only NYA swimmer, she trained with Greely.

Abby Longstaff, Cheverus junior: Won the 100 backstroke in 57.88 and 50 free in 24.40 to help Cheverus place third in the Class A state meet. Also led off the winning 200 medley relay and anchored the fourth-place 400 free relay.

Marshall Lowery, Kennebunk senior: Won the Class A 200 individual medley in 2:09.42 (after winning the same race in Class B last year), edging two-time defending champ Ana Neff-Jendrasko of McAuley. Lowery also won the 100 backstroke in 56.91, fastest in the state.

Lynsie Russell, Brunswick senior: Won the Class A 500 freestyle for the second straight year, in 5:17.74, and placed second in the 200 free. Also swam on the winning 200 free relay and state record-setting 400 free relay as the Dragons won Class A for a second straight year.

Olivia Tighe, Cape Elizabeth freshman: Won the Class B 200 freestyle in 1:55.48 and placed second in the 500 free. Also swam the butterfly leg on the winning 200 medley relay and led off the winning 400 free relay to help the Capers finish within seven points of state champion Greely.

Ann Tolan, Morse junior: Named Performer of the Meet in Class B after winning her second straight 50 freestyle title (in a state-record time of 23.39) and her first 100 freestyle title (in 51.49, fastest in the state by more than a second). Her best 200 and 500 free times were second in the state.

Caitlin Tycz, Brunswick junior: Named Performer of the Meet in Class A after setting a state record of 53.32 in the 100 butterfly, winning the 200 individual medley in 2:06.23 (she won each race by seven seconds) and anchoring both the winning 200 free relay and state record-setting 400 free relay.

Coach of the Year

Rob Hale, Greely: After finishing second to Cape Elizabeth by five points in the North Southwesterns, the Greely girls came out on top at the Class B state meet, beating Cape by seven points for the Rangers’ second straight title and fourth in seven years. In a testament to team depth, Greely’s only state meet victory in its last two titles came in this year’s 200 freestyle relay.