GIRLS

1. Cape Elizabeth: The defending Class B state champions suffered a few losses to club swimming (Emily Ecker, Jade Lindenau) so another 175-point margin of victory probably isn’t in the cards. But the return of juniors Olivia Tighe (Class B performer of the meet), Hope Campbell, Alicia Lawrence, Casey Concannon and Corinne Wight, and sophomores Caroline Mahoney and Bella Eremita – all of whom scored points at the state meet – mean the Capers have depth to go with top-shelf talent. An influx of seven freshmen will help.

2. Morse: Runners-up in Class B last February, the Shipbuilders lost Ann Tolan and Brittany Kaler to graduation, but return the stellar trio of junior Ella Martin and sophomore sisters Olivia and Haily Harper. Senior Leah Totman, junior Emma Warner and sophomore Emily Martin all contributed points in last winter’s state meet and will be important to holding off Greely for second place in Class B behind Cape Elizabeth.

3. Cheverus: Despite the departure to graduation of Abby Longstaff and Nina Greenwood, Cheverus again will be competitive in Class A and could challenge defending champ Cony. Juniors Caroline Arpin and Tholia Hallett finished among the top eight in two individual events last season, and classmates Patsy Ciampi and Rosie Train also scored. Sophomore Grace Shimansky leads a quartet of divers. Senior Sophia Kruse (sixth in 50 and 100 free as a sophomore) returns after a year off.

4. Greely: After consecutive Class B state titles (the school’s fourth in seven years), the Rangers dropped to third last February. Seniors Lily Black (distance free) and Maddy Rawnsley (200 free), and juniors Courtney Rog (breast, IM) and Julia Bisson (diving) each placed among the top five. Jaehee Park (1:57 200 free, 1:01 backstroke) leads a bountiful crop of 14 freshmen. Athletes switching from another sport to swimming bump up the roster to 46, so depth is a decided strength.

5. Kennebunk: Sixth in Class B last winter and winners of the South Southwesterns, the Rams are looking to make a splash in Class A this season. Seven point-scorers return in swimming events and Kennebunk has four divers, including seniors Emma Patterson (two-time state champion) and Maggie Nguyen (fourth). The addition of senior Isabel Harms (top three in two events as a sophomore) and junior Grace Soucy, a transfer from Thornton Academy, bolster the lineup.

BOYS

1. Cheverus: A sixth consecutive Class A state title will be challenging, considering heavy graduation losses, and Bangor’s depth and talent. Still, the Stags are bolstered by impressive freshmen Brim Peabody and John Hight, sophomore transfer Jack Martin from Portland and senior Ben Adams from a two-year absence. Leading the return group are junior Phineas Underwood, and sophomores Chase Cameron and Quinton Hastings – each of whom placed among the top eight in individual events – and junior Jeremy Baker.

2. Cape Elizabeth: The Capers placed fourth in Class B last winter and second the year before. Senior Sam Loring, and juniors Oliver Kraft, Matthew Yim and Rohan Freedman are all top-six swimmers who lead a cast of 23. Senior Andrew Herrera, who scored in the state meet as a sophomore, is back after missing a year due to injury. Classmates Ben Carroll and Dan Howard are solid contributors from a senior class of 10. Rishi Yadav is tops among a contingent of six freshmen.

3. Morse: Third by two points in Class B last February, the Shipbuilders are looking to challenge Old Town and Ellsworth for supremacy this winter. Senior Ben Willertz, and juniors Dominic Marco and Brandon Johnson lead a solid returning group. All three placed among the top eight in individual events at the state meet. Freshman Evan Willertz will help. A dearth of divers will not. Depth (the roster stands at 14) could be an issue as well.

4. Brunswick: Senior Brian Hess and junior Matt Yost, both individual champions in the KVAC, lead the way for the Dragons, who finished a close (five points) third to runner-up Bangor in Class A last winter. Sophomore Nicco Bartone was fourth in the 200 IM and eighth in the 100 butterfly. A strong supporting cast includes state-meet qualifiers Sam Washington, Adam Thacker, Nolan Deck and Jeremy Vuong, all seniors.

5. Thornton Academy: The defending South Southwestern champion Trojans are coming off a fourth-place finish in Class A with a senior core of Eli Steward (bound for Wheaton College), Joshua Roberts, Nolan Eisenhaur and Joe Vail. Junior Felix Machacek is another veteran who scored at the state meet. Qualifier Andrew Cote, another junior, will help. With only 10 on the roster, depth could be a problem.

– Glenn Jordan

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