CAPE ELIZABETH — Cape Elizabeth sophomore Caroline Mahoney reached for the wall at the end of the 100-yard backstroke, raised her head above the surface of the water and turned to face the large black scoreboard clock.

As the bright red numbers – 56.40 – registered in her brain, her mouth became an oval. Involuntarily, she brought a hand to cover it.

“I was so surprised when I looked up,” said Mahoney, whose only other sub-57 backstroke had come in a club meet while wearing a high-tech suit. “So happy. It was unbelievable.”

Mahoney’s time not only lowered her own school record by more than a second, it also surpassed a Richards Pool record set eight years ago by Sanford’s Jenny Roberts and a North Southwesterns record established in 2014 by Sarah Nappo of Cheverus.

Mahoney also won the 200 freestyle Saturday and led off Cape Elizabeth’s winning 200 medley relay to help the Capers take the North Southwesterns swimming and diving championship for the third year in a row.

Cape Elizabeth led from start to finish and held off a persistent Greely squad, 304-274, with Scarborough a distant third at 189. Falmouth was fourth at 174, followed by Cheverus (136), South Portland (95), Westbrook (89), Maine Girls’ Academy (67) and Deering (64).

“This meet is so fun,” said Mahoney, the third Cape Elizabeth girl in three years to be named performer of the meet, following Emily Ecker and Olivia Tighe, both freshmen when they won. “There’s so much energy, positive energy, in the air. It’s magical. It’s unlike any other meet.”

Tighe, now a junior, won the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly by margins of six seconds each. Her butterfly time of 57.65 lowered the pool mark set by Waynflete’s Ellen Silk in 2013 but fell 12 hundredths shy of Kerry Goodman’s 14-year-old meet record.

Tighe won the IM in 2:09.35 and led off the clinching 400 freestyle relay as the Capers capped their crown with a victory by more than five seconds over Greely, which overcame Scarborough on the final leg for second place.

Cape juniors Alicia Lawrence and Hope Campbell finished 1-2 in both the 50 and 100 freestyle and each anchored a winning relay.

Cape Elizabeth also had the fastest B relays in both the medley and 400 freestyle. Greely won both the A and B races in the 200 freestyle relay.

“That support from the swimmers who might not necessarily come in 1-2 in all the races is really, really important,” Tighe said. “They play a huge role on our team.”

Indeed, the Capers had multiple scorers in eight of the nine individual events, with Mahoney’s 200 freestyle victory the lone exception. Twenty-one swimmers and divers contributed to the final score.

“It was a good mixture (of depth and talent),” Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond said. “Not just our girls who won events, but all the other girls swam really well as well.”

Greely freshman Jaehee Park, seeded third, won the 500 freestyle, and junior teammate Julia Bisson set a meet record in diving with 406.70 points.

“Seeing teammates on the side of the pool cheering for you is one of the best feelings in the world, because you know you’re doing it for them,” said Park, who was also runner-up to Tighe in the 200 IM. “It was an overall great meet and I’m looking forward to states next week.”

The only other individual winner was Maine Girls’ Academy freshman Blake Wescott, who rose from fourth seed to win the 100 breast stroke in 1:12.10.

SOUTH SOUTHWESTERNS: Isabel Harms won the 200 and 500 freestyle and anchored one of Kennebunk’s three winning relays to lead the Rams to a decisive victory in Cape Elizabeth.

Kennebunk finished with 351.5 points to 212 for Yarmouth. Gorham was third at 178.

Sanford junior Delaney Tanguay (50 and 100 freestyle) and Yarmouth freshman Zoe Siegel (200 individual medley and 100 butterfly) also won two individual events.

Gorham junior Caelyn Smith won the 100 backstroke and Kennebunk junior Grace Soucy won the 100 breast stroke. Taylor Nguyen, also a Kennebunk junior, won diving with 339.45 points.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

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