March 18, 2012

Boys' Swimming: Stags thankful to have Lawton back in their program

After a year away from the team, Trebor Lawton rejoined the Cheverus squad and prospered.

By Glenn Jordan
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - Seeing Trebor Lawton on the deck at the Class A state championship meet last season, Cheverus Coach Kevin Haley knew something was amiss.

click image to enlarge

Cheverus junior Trebor Lawton won Class A titles in the 200-yard individual medley and 100 backstroke, and also helped the Stags with the 200 medley relay.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer


Keith Chandler, Ellsworth senior

Class B state champion for the second year in a row in the 100-yard butterfly, in 52.59 seconds, fastest of either state meet. He also won the 100 backstroke (53.97) after winning the 100 breast as a junior.

Arthur Conover, Messalonskee junior

Class A champion in the 500 freestyle (4:40.37) for the second year in a row, with a time 16 seconds faster than that of the Class B champion. Also placed second (by .06 seconds) to Trebor Lawton in the 200 IM and posted four top-four times.

Eric Delmonte, Deering sophomore

Class A champion in the 100 breast stroke with the fastest time (1:00.31) of both state meets. Also placed third in the 200 IM, just over half a second behind Trebor Lawton. Only swimmer besides Harry Conover to break 4:50 in the 500 free.

Cameron Fadley, Foxcroft Academy junior

Class B champion in both the 200 individual medley (1:57.39) and 100 breast (1:01:01). The IM title was his second in succession. Posted times among the state's 16 fastest in six events.

Tyler Goulden, Thornton Academy senior

Two-time Class A diving champion who amassed a total of 395.75 points for 11 dives in the state meet, scoring higher than any other diver in either class. Only male diver to surpass 400 points this season.

Trebor Lawton, Cheverus junior

Class A champion in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke. He also swam backstroke to lead off the winning 200 medley relay. At the North Southwesterns, he posted the season's fastest butterfly time (52.15).

Evan Long, Cape Elizabeth junior

Two-time Class A champion in the 50 free, with the fastest time (22.13) of either class meet. Also placed third in the 100 breast and swam on Cape Elizabeth's winning 200 free relay.

David Smallwood, Bangor sophomore

Class A champion in the 200 freestyle in a time (1:44.76) faster than any other swimmer in either class meet. Also placed second in the 100 butterfly and anchored the winning 400 free relay.

Dan Spencer, Greely senior

Three-time Class B state champion in the 100 freestyle who also won the 50 free to help Greely win the state title. Also anchored the winning 400 free relay and a 200 medley relay that set a meet record (1:40.84).

Nick Sundquist, Windham junior

Class A champion in the 100 freestyle with the fastest time (47.69) in either class. Also finished second in the 200 free in a time faster by three seconds than that of the Class B champion.

Coach of the Year

Kevin Haley, Cheverus

The Stags made the North Southwesterns and the Class A state meet competitive affairs by threatening favored Greely and Bangor before settling for second in both meets. Credit Haley's patience, dedication and eternal optimism for getting the most out of his athletes. In 24 years of coaching, the Portland police officer has done more than improve stroke technique. "My outlook is, you've got a great opportunity to teach these kids life lessons," he said. "I try to make them better people and certainly better people for others, which is what a Cheverian is."

Lawton wore street clothes, having opted to concentrate on club swimming, and longed for the camaraderie and companionship of high school competition.

A junior, Lawton returned to the Stags this winter, when a smile rarely left his face.

"He had a blast," Haley said. "He knew he made a great choice to come back."

Coming back is something Lawton rarely had to do in individual races this season. He was named performer of the meet at both the North Southwesterns -- where he posted the winter's fastest time in the 100-yard butterfly (52.15 seconds, a meet record) -- and the Class A state championships, where he won the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke and led off the winning 200 medley relay.

His times ranked among the state's top three in four events, along with the fifth-best time in the 50 free and 13th-best in the 100 free.

He is our Maine Sunday Telegram boys' swimmer of the year.

"He's just an all-around talented (swimmer) who can do anything for the team," Haley said.

Haley said Lawton leads by example and never climbs from the pool until every competitor has reached the wall.

"You can even see him clapping in the pool at the end of his lane, waiting for everybody to finish," Haley said. "He makes sure he shakes everybody's hand."

At practices, Lawton passes along drills and techniques to teammates with less experience.

"I can go to him with anything and have him show the newer kids," Haley said. "He is all about helping the next generation that is coming in."

Oh, and about that name? It's his father's spelled backwards.

"It's a pretty unusual name," said Lawton, who lives in Gorham. "I guess I've accepted it."

At 4, Lawton tagged along with his sister Sophie, now a freshman at Mt. Holyoke, when she started swimming lessons. He took to the water immediately and has been immersed in it ever since.

"When I was younger, I tried a bunch of other sports, just trying out everything," he said. "I decided that swimming was the one I really liked. I'm not even really sure (why). I just can't imagine myself stopping."

Lawton continues to swim with Coastal Maine Aquatics and will compete next weekend in a sectional meet in Ohio. His down time comes in August, when he returns to a family camp in Skowhegan and grows squash (butternut and buttercup). He plants it in May and sells it in autumn.

When he was home-schooled in junior high, his mother had him draw up a business plan. His initial idea was to grow pumpkins, but they required too much attention.

"I've tried to grow corn, too," he said. "But that hasn't really worked out."

The swimming, though? That seems to be working quite well.

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

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH


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