LONG REACH SWIM CLUB members and coaches show off their championship plaques during a Tuesday practice at the Bath Area Family YMCA.

LONG REACH SWIM CLUB members and coaches show off their championship plaques during a Tuesday practice at the Bath Area Family YMCA.

ORONO — The Long Reach Swim Club of the Bath Area Family YMCA reached the 30th championship plateau over the weekend as the Snaildarters captured the Maine State Swim Championship at the University of Maine.

It was the 22nd straight state title and 30th overall for Long Reach.

Long Reach compiled a whopping 3,045.50 points to outdistance Penobscot Bay (1,919), Mount Desert Island (1,869.50), Down East (1,642.50) and Mid-Maine (1,637) to round out the top five.

 

 

Casco Bay of Freeport improved its 10th-place showing of last year by taking sixth overall with 1,547 points, followed by Bangor (1,417), Pine Tree (1,313), Kennebec Valley (1,306.50), Waldo County (1,184.50), Twin Cites (1,117), Northern York (1,060), Sanford (1,031.50), Canoe City (726), Boothbay (399) and Piscataquis (397).

Long Reach won the Senior girls (530-292 over Mid-Maine), Senior boys ( 395- 250 over Bangor), 11- 12 girls (324-262 over Kennebec Valley), 11-12 boys (358-222 over Bangor), 13- 14 girls (337-241 over Pen Bay) and 13-14 boys (353-242 over Pen Bay).

THE CASCO BAY YMCA’S 9-10 girls (top photo): front row, Hannah Fishman, Ayanna Hatton, Tholia Hallet, Quinn Chicoine and Clare Lane. Back row, Mae Causey, Allie Perrotta, Gabby Colby-George, Emma McCrea, Natalie Bourassa, Alex Morse and Dan St. Pierre. Missing coach Tom Green, coach Mary Estabrook and Margie McLeod. In the bottom photo, the Casco Bay 8-and-unders: front row, Abby Hill, Sophie Harrington, Cassie Watt, Olivia Marsanskis and Amelia Watt. Back row, coach Mary Estabrook, Allie Perrotta, Margaret McNeil, Zoe Siegle, Elli Sterling and coach Dan St. Pierre. Missing Green.

THE CASCO BAY YMCA’S 9-10 girls (top photo): front row, Hannah Fishman, Ayanna Hatton, Tholia Hallet, Quinn Chicoine and Clare Lane. Back row, Mae Causey, Allie Perrotta, Gabby Colby-George, Emma McCrea, Natalie Bourassa, Alex Morse and Dan St. Pierre. Missing coach Tom Green, coach Mary Estabrook and Margie McLeod. In the bottom photo, the Casco Bay 8-and-unders: front row, Abby Hill, Sophie Harrington, Cassie Watt, Olivia Marsanskis and Amelia Watt. Back row, coach Mary Estabrook, Allie Perrotta, Margaret McNeil, Zoe Siegle, Elli Sterling and coach Dan St. Pierre. Missing Green.

Combined age-groups champs were MDI for 8-and-under (474-441 over Pen Bay with LRSC third and Casco Bay fifth); Downeast for 9-10 (513-408 over Casco Bay with Long Reach third); Long Reach for 11-12 (682-394 over MDI with Casco Bay sixth); Long Reach for 13-14 (690-483 over Pen Bay with Casco Bay 14th); and Long Reach for Seniors (925-520 over Mid-Maine with Casco Bay fifth).

A double winner was Caitlin Tycz in 11-12 girls (100 IM and 50 fly with meet-record time).

Triple winners included Sonia Lin in 13-14 girls (200 medley relay, 200 IM, 100 back), Nate Samson in 13- 14 boys ( 100 back with meet record, 200 IM, 200 free relay), Celia Ouellette in Senior girls (200 medley relay with meet record, 50 free, medley relay, 100 free), Jessica Russell in Senior girls (200 medley relay, 200 free with team, meet and state record, 500 free with team, meet and state record).

Also, the Senior girls 200 medley relay of Celia Ouellette, Luedee, Russell and Tessa Lindsley set a meet record.

Process, not outcome

Morissette said this year he really didn’t dwell too much on the eventual outcome of the meet.

“The old Jay used to think a lot about the score, but new Jay tries to focus on each individual race and each swimmer trying to achieve a best time at the meet and the score will be what it will be,” said Morissette. “It is more about the process than the outcome. But with that said the final results surely showed me that the kids on the whole swam pretty well!

“The 8-and-under girls swam well, finishing second, and the 8- andunder boys, with just seven boys, had a good result. We disqualified a relay which would have given us enough points to finish third against the top-two teams that had some 20-plus boys on them.

“The 9-10 girls did well. That proved to be the toughest division with seven teams finishing within 100 points of the top team. Our 9-10 boys had a good meet finishing third, and the rest of our divisions all finished first. We just got faster as the ages got older. To win this meet, a team needs to have balance and no other team can match our balance yet. Some teams have been showing some real growth and success in the younger age groups over the last season, so down the road things could get a lot more exciting. Our older swimmers were fast and exciting to watch. They made some meet and state records and national cut times. Our relays really helped to generate the mood for our team by going fast and getting the team pumped for racing.”

What sets this LRSC group apart from the others?

“Luckily, our team has been able to stay the same year after year with only the names being different,” said Morissette. “Personalities, as always, add spice to the team. We are fortunate that on the whole there is good dynamics and just about everyone gets along really well.”

Does the championship thing ever get old?

“Every year is a new challenge, so it isn’t like I have this all figured out,” said Morissette. “New swimmers have to be trained and veteran swimmers motivated to succeed, and with the infinite variations that place challenges on each swimmer to raise their bar it is always quite a feeling of accomplishment when we pull out a victory. Every team wants to reach the top of the ladder but only a few realize what it takes to get there not only once but repeatedly.”

This LRSC squad had good chemistry.

“We have a few younger swimmers that have managed to keep the older group in stitches for most of the season,” said Morissette. “We have kids who set amazing examples of work ethic and dedication for the others and a great group of kids that fit the ‘supporting’ cast roll as it were, but that is the group that is vital to winning it all. Every team has some star swimmers, but stars cannot win championships. It takes the army of runners-up and kids sneaking into the top-16 for scoring, they are the true stars in the final analysis of a victory.

“I am very proud to be associated with this team. The parent support is amazing, and the Bath YMCA continues to believe that what my staff and I do is important to the children of the Bath community. Reg Smart, Cameron Lindsley, Guerin Morissette and Sponge Savage helped with the team this year and have done an amazing job for the kids this season.

“We graduate out a lot of swimmers this season. Cassandra Bonnett, Guerin Morissette, Abby Parker, Ryan Banger, Joey Blair, Dan Jacques, Nate Leonard, Howard Lin, Patrick Lynch, Jake Olsen, Lukas Temple, Albin Werwaiss and Eric Wiese comprise our graduating team. They will all be missed and their impact remembered!”

This is the list of new England qualifiers (not necessarily meaning they are going to attend), with the event to kick off March 23 at Harvard University: 8-under-girl Margaret Dwinal; 8- and- under boys, Evan Willertz and Nicholas Holland; 9-10 girls Ella Martin and Mae Winglass; 9-10 boy Dominic Marco; 11-12 girls Ann Tolan and Caitlin Tycz; 11- 12 boys Brian Hess, Patrick McKenna, Henry Raker and Andrew Samson; 13-14 girls Emma Blair, Emilie Burrill, Sonia Lin and Lynsie Russell; 13-14 boys Tucker Banger, Drew Ceglinski, Spencer Lindsley, Nate Samson and Bradford Tibbetts; Senior girls Anna Cowan, Madeline Cowan, Tessa Lindsley, Hope Logan, Catie Luedee, Guerin Morissette, Celia Ouellette, Libby Ouellette, Abby Parker, Jessica Russell, Paige Tetu, Heidi Ziegra; Senior boys Joey Blair, Jacob Cost, Henry Ditzel, Dan Jacques, Nate Leonard, Jake Olsen, Lukas Temple, Albin Werwaiss and Eric Wiese.

Freeport shines as well

Casco Bay had some sterling moments over the weekend and set two team records. “This was an awesome year for us,” said head coach Dan St. Pierre. “We knew with the 8-and-unders we had it if everything went right, but with the 9-10s we thought we were going to be in a tight points chase with two other teams.” Abby Belisle Haley broke her own record in the Senior girls 200 freestyle, her time of 2:01.63 bettering the old mark of 2:02.02. Also, Ben Cox-Faxon eclipsed his old mark in the boys 9-10 50 breaststroke, his time of 40.77 shattering the old time of 41.36 and good for second place overall. Highlights included the girls 9-10 200 medley relay Grace Battarbee, Meg Perrotta, Alex Morse and Hannah Fishman winning in 2:29.44. “We missed the team record by .20 with our backup backstroker,” lauded St. Pierre.

Also in relay action, the 8-and-under 100 medley relay of Zoe Siegel, Abby Hill, Sophie Harrington and Margaret McNeil took third in 1:29.44; the Senior boys 200 free of Travis Libsack, Ethan Nightingale, Connor LaJoie and Luca Seid placed second in 1:34.19; and the Senior girls 200 free of Eleanor O’Gorman, Teagan Snyder, Haley Estabrook and Belisle Haley placed third in 1:47.60.

Also, Harrington won the girls 8-and-under backstroke in 20.82; Eliza Lunt captured the girls 11- 12 50 breaststroke in 34.46 and she was third in the 100 individual medley (1:10.70); McNeil took third in the 8- and-under 25 free (17.55); Libsack was third in the Senior boys 200 free (1:51.84); Morse placed second in the 9-10 girls 50 butterfly (34:01) and the 50 back (36.75); Perrotta was third in the 9-10 50 breast (41.55); Seid second in the Senior boys 100 free (51.01); and Siegel third in the 8-and-under 25 butterfly (19.21).

“Here is another interesting fact … three years in a row now at YMCA States the 8-and-under girls 25 backstroke state champion has come from CBRY: Sophie Harrington of Falmouth in 2012; Margie McLeod of Durham in 2011; and Alex Morse of Brunswick in 2010,” offered St. Pierre.

“And, we won both the 8 & Under Girls and 9-10 girls Championships. This was the first time Casco Bay won two age group championships in one year,” said St. Pierre.

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