February 6

High school swimming notebook: It’s not just the best who celebrate

Some swimmers are happy with personal goals.

By Glenn Jordan gjordan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

The championship season is fast approaching the world of high school swimming and diving. Conference meets and the Southwesterns are scheduled for next weekend. State meets begin the following weekend.

Top performers

GIRLS

Sonia Lin, North Yarmouth Academy sophomore: Broke the Greely pool record Friday night formerly held by Sarah Easterling with a 1:08.56 clocking in the 100 breast stroke. Also won the 200 intermediate medley in 2:18.23

HONORABLE MENTION

Colby Harvey, Waynflete senior: Won the 100 butterfly in 1:00.30 and the 100 freestyle in 55.82 in a meet with Gorham on Friday.

Charlotte Janelle, Falmouth sophomore: Scored a season-high 176.60 points in six dives Friday at Riverton Pool in a meet with Deering and won the six-dive portion of the South Portland Invitational on Saturday.

Ana Neff-Jendrasko, McAuley freshman: Won the 100 backstroke in a time of 1:04.27 in a Friday meet with Cape Elizabeth.

BOYS

Jonathan Dunnett, Greely senior: Won the 200 IM in 2:04.24 on Friday in a meet with Cheverus. His time is the fastest (by more than 2 seconds) in Class B this winter. He also won the 100 backstroke in 56.77.

HONORABLE MENTION

Collin Chamberlain, Massabesic senior: Won the 50 and 100 freestyle Friday night in a meet with Biddeford to remain unbeaten in individual events this season.

Logan Herodes, Falmouth sophomore: In his first attempt, qualified for the state meet in the 200 free Friday by nearly 4 seconds.

Nick Jensen, Cheverus senior: Won the South Portland Invitational over a field of seven with an 11-dive score of 348 points – more than 115 better than second place.

The focus will be on scoring and winning and maybe even breaking a record or two. And haircuts, of course, the uglier the better.

Few moments in a coaching life are more satisfying than seeing a swimmer improve in technique and training, of having poolside teammates yelling themselves hoarse to help reach a qualifying standard, a hand reaching out for the wall, all heads snapping toward the scoreboard and … yes!

“You would have thought he won the Olympics,” said Cheverus Coach Kevin Haley of senior Christian Cilley, who gained entrance to his first state meet Friday by two-hundredths of a second when he swam the 50-yard freestyle in 26.48 in a meet at Greely. “He has been trying for four years to qualify in the 50 free. … Awesome kid.”

Similarly, Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond said freshman Connor Thoreck “couldn’t swim breast stroke legally five weeks ago” but dropped 3 seconds in each of his past two meets, including a 1:13.70 clocking Thursday that ranked 27th in the state in Class B.

Sophomore R.J. Sarka has lopped 6 seconds off his 100 free time, to 57.59.

Swimming “is not either one’s No. 1 sport,” Raymond said. “They are both just trying to stay fit and be ready for a great lacrosse season.”

ERIC DELMONTE of Deering set school and pool records in a Jan. 17 home meet with Greely. Delmonte won the 200 individual medley in 1:58.25 and the 100 breast stroke in 59.48.

Delmonte has accepted a scholarship to swim at Virginia Tech, where his best event is projected to be the 200 breast.

Delmonte was involved in another notable meet Friday with Falmouth at Riverton Pool, which is laid out in meters. He and Jake Perron of Falmouth led off their 400 free relays with a neck-and-neck battle that produced, after conversion from meters to yards, two of the three fastest 100 free times in the state this winter.

Perron touched the wall first, by two-tenths of a second, but Delmonte’s teammates pulled away to a comfortable victory.

In the 100-meter butterfly, Perron pushed the pace and achieved his best time by more than a second (1:03.79), but Alex Tucci of Deering used an impressive third turn to come back and win the race in 1:03.52.

The other notable head-to-head race came in the 400-meter free, where Lucas Adair of Deering and Falmouth freshman Connor Perron traded the lead through 150 meters, when Adair took control. Perron mounted a comeback and pulled within three-tenths of Adair’s winning time of 4:35.39.

The Rams wound up winning the meet, 82-79.

“They swam great,” Falmouth Coach Dave Cox said, “and look very well-prepared to do well in both Southwesterns and states.”

FALMOUTH SENIOR Erin McBrady is a first-year swimmer who has dropped 10 seconds in the 100 breast stroke and posted the fastest 50 breast split on the team. In her first three years in high school, McBrady played soccer and did indoor track.

“Her senior project is to try a new sport each season this year,” Cox said. “So she took on swimming and soon found her determination and strong work ethic put her among the fastest breast strokers on the team.”

(Continued on page 2)

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