CAPE ELIZABETH — The boys of Cape Elizabeth High won the North Southwesterns swimming and diving championship Friday night for the second year in a row.
This time, however, they earned it.
Senior Kyle Long and sophomore Oliver Kraft each won two individual events, and Long teamed up with junior Sam Loring and sophomores Matt Yim and Rohan Freedman to secure the title at Richards Pool with a nearly seven-second victory in the concluding 400-yard freestyle relay.
That gave the Capers 278 points to 254 for Cheverus, which led the meet through five events. The Stags saw their three-year reign end last winter when a snowstorm affected travel for a meet that already had been postponed once, and officials decided to go ahead with the event despite only three schools showing up.
“With everything that happened last year, we were all pretty upset,” Cheverus senior Shane Moore said, “so there was a lot of energy there, a lot to draw from.”
Moore was one of four individual double winners Friday night and earned the Outstanding Performer trophy after setting pool and meet records in the 200 individual medley (1 minute, 56.31 seconds) and 100 breast stroke (58.68).
His margin of victory in the IM was more than 12 seconds. He also broke Robert Ley’s school record that had stood since 1991.
“The school record was something I’ve been shooting for for a long time,” he said. “I wasn’t even sure of the Southwesterns record until I got here.”
Moore won the breast stroke by nearly seven seconds over teammate Gustav Anderson. He also swam that leg on the Stags’ winning medley relay.
To encourage more participants, swimmers are limited to three events, one fewer than at the upcoming state meets.
“It’s a fun meet,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond said. “You get a lot of kids scoring points who may not score at the state meet, so they get to experience a championship meet. I think that’s the nice thing about it, that you can involve so many more people, and so many more people can score. Everybody can say they contributed to the championship.”
Long won the 50 free in 23.04 and the 100 in 51.10, barely touching out Loring (51.19). Kraft, seeded second in both the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, wound up winning both – 56.16 for the fly and 56.30 for the back.
The other double winner was Falmouth senior Connor Perron, who swept the distance events. He swam the 200 free in 1:47.92 and the 500 free in 4:49.28, winning both by wide margins.
“I love Southwesterns,” Perron said, “and since last year we didn’t get to compete because of the whole snowstorm thing, I’m very excited to be here.”
The other individual winner was Falmouth junior Griffin Conley, the top scorer among three divers, with 343.25 points. He also won Southwesterns as a freshman and led last year’s competition through the eight-dive prelims, only to be disqualified because Falmouth didn’t make it to the finals.
Scarborough finished third with 216 points, followed by South Portland (161) and Westbrook (123). Greely and Falmouth tied for sixth at 117 and Deering (76) was eighth.
In addition to eardrum-rattling volume for nearly every heat involving a close race, the meet included inspired outfits from girls’ teams that will compete Saturday. Falmouth wore tutus. Deering went with sashes and dresses. Just as Moore won hardware as the meet’s outstanding performer, Greely freshman Will Nicholson won similar honors for his team by dropping nearly a second in the 100 back to finish 11th in 1:13.57 and qualify for the state meet.
His reward? An oversized turd emoji.
“I’m definitely proud,” Moore said, “of how everybody performed.”
Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or: