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December 5, 2013

Class A girls' swimming: It's Cape in the clutch

Charlotte Sawyer has 'the swim of her life' to make the difference for Cape Elizabeth in a showdown for the title.

By Glenn Jordan
Staff Writer

BRUNSWICK — All night long, the Class A swimming and diving championships teetered between Brunswick and Cape Elizabeth.

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Celia Ouellette of Mt. Ararat shows her emotions after setting a state record in the 50-yard freestyle at the Class A girls’ swimming championships at Bowdoin College, Ouellette was timed in 23.84 seconds. “I’m so happy,” she said.

Photos by Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

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The Cape Elizabeth girls hold a team victory swim in the Bowdoin College pool in Brunswick after capturing the Class A state championship. Brunswick was second and Deering third, followed by Bangor and Cheverus.

Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

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Through 10 of 12 events, only a half-point separated the talented Dragons against a Capers squad that relied on depth.

A decisive showdown in the 400-yard freestyle relay seemed imminent until an unheralded Cape Elizabeth senior won the consolations of the 100 breast stroke from Lane 1.

Charlotte Sawyer, who needed a time drop of three seconds in the morning trials just to swim again Tuesday night, cut three more seconds to make the final relay moot.

"She had the swim of her life," Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond said.

The Capers ended a two-year Bangor title run with a 282-268.5 victory over Brunswick. Deering (248) held off Bangor (245.5) for third in the 22-school meet at Bowdoin College.

Fifteen girls scored for Cape Elizabeth, which set a state record of 1 minute, 50.17 seconds in the opening 200 medley relay and didn't win another event.

Hannah Homans, Sadie Stiles, Sydney Wright and Caroline Herriman combined on the record swim. Wight went on to take a pair of seconds (200 free and 100 butterfly), Homans had a third-place finish (backstroke), Stiles had a fifth (breast) and a sixth (200 individual medley), and Herriman had a seventh (100 free).

The only other Cape Elizabeth individual scorers who placed among the eight championship finalists were three sophomores. Michaela Pinette took sixth in diving, Sarah Loring was eighth in the IM, and Sierra Bates was eighth in the butterfly.

Arden Wing (IM, fly), Katie Schonewolf (fly) and Elle Richards (100 free) contributed to the scoring, along with the quartet of Shannon Howard, Gabby Lawrence, Jane Vaughan and Lexi Bakke in the 500 free.

"We're all in it together," Wight said. "Every little point counts."

The nine points contributed by Sawyer in the breast stroke meant a little bit more, however. After all, 19 girls had faster times entering the meet, including six of the eight swimmers in her consolation final.

When she dropped from 1:23 to 1:20 in the morning, she was thrilled. When she dropped from 1:20 to 1:17.84 to win her heat, she was dumbfounded.

"When I got to the wall and I saw my time, that was enough for me," she said. "Then I saw that I got first and thought, 'That can't be right.' "

Sawyer's points – combined with those from the third-place Homans – allowed Cape's 400 relay team of Howard, Loring, Bates and Richards the comfort of knowing they only needed to avoid disqualification.

The Capers finished sixth to Brunswick's third. Deering, anchored by Genna Worthley, the outstanding performer of the meet, won the race.

Worthley capped her career with a fourth straight breast stroke title (in a state-record time of 1:03.72) and a third straight victory in the individual medley (2:05.46).

So which race was her favorite?

"Actually my favorite race wasn't mine," she said. "It was my sister's."

Her twin sister, Lillian, dropped seven seconds from her previous best time to make the consolation finals in the 200 freestyle and placed 13th.

"It makes me want to cry," said Genna, choking up a bit. "I'm so proud of her."

Another double winner, Celia Ouellette of Mt. Ararat, sprinted to victory in the 50 free in 23.84 seconds, taking down a pair of 10-year-old standards, the state mark set by Gina Mancini of Falmouth (23.88) and the meet record set by Abbie King of Brunswick (24.20).

King swam for the Long Reach club, as does Ouellette.

"This was my first Abbie King record," Ouellette said. "I'm so happy."

Ouellette also captured the 100 free in 53.29.

Other individual winners included Sarah Nappo of Cheverus, who set a meet record in the 100 backstroke with a time of 57.40; Emma Waddell of Bangor (100 butterfly in 56.74); and Tori Leonard of Kennebunk, who defended her diving state title with a score of 343.30 points.

Brunswick sisters Jessica and Lynsie Russell each won an event. Jessica, a senior, captured the 200 free in 1:56.49. Lynsie, a freshman, was the 500 free winner in 5:25.64.

"We haven't been up near the top in a long, long time," said Brunswick Coach Dave Bright. "I'm real happy with how we swam.


Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH


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Additional Photos

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Genna Worthley is cheered on by her Deering High supporters. Worthley won the 200 individual medley and 100 breast stroke. She also was on the 200 medley relay team that placed second.

Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

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Off they go, straight into the pool for the start of the 500-yard freestyle in the Class A state championships. The race is so long that more than 36 seconds separated the winner from the eighth-place finisher.

Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

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Lynsie Russell of Brunswick heads to the finish while competing in the grueling 500-yard freestyle. Russell, a freshman, won the event in 5 minutes, 25.64 seconds – exactly 13 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Alyssa Reardon of Bangor.

Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

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