BRUNSWICK — The Brunswick and Mt. Ararat high school swim teams jumped into the pool Friday night. When looking at the program before the meet, you see two teams competing in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference meet.

Margaret Chingos of Brunswick does the backstroke during the girls 200 IM Friday night at Greason Pool at Bowdoin College. She placed first with a time of 2:36.51. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

But as it became more and more evident throughout the event, it was two rosters full of swimmers that either have swam together in local programs or have known each other through other venues from the two neighboring schools.

“Last year I got into (swimming) with a friend and fell in love with it,” said senior Dan Pratt, in his second year of swimming at Mt. Ararat. “I’m not the greatest swimmer, but the people here are just awesome. Everyone is cheering on everyone.”

“That’s what I love about this sport and swimming in general,” Brunswick senior Katherine Hartnett said. “It’s such a team sport and everyone always works together. Mt. Ararat is our biggest rival, but once you’re in the pool, it doesn’t matter which school you’re from.”

With “everyone cheering on everyone,” Brunswick walked away with the most points for both boys and girls teams on Senior Night at Greason Pool at Bowdoin College.

The boys from Brunswick amassed 98 points, while Mt. Ararat turned in 63. On the girls side, the Dragons totaled 103 points with the Eagles tallying 63.

Cora Spelke set a Mt. Ararat school record in the 100-yard backstroke, turning in a time of 1:02.17,

Brunswick’s Elinore Kosak performs a dive on Friday night at Greason Pool at Bowdoin College. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

breaking the 2012 mark set by Celia Ouellette (1:02.64). The sophomore swimmer also took the 200 freestyle.

“I’ve been working hard, putting in a lot time lately, but I feel good,” Spelke said. “But overall, we’re all improving as a team and we’re all very supportive and it’s been a lot of fun this season.”

While the teams are preparing for the upcoming KVAC and state meets, the swimmers were looking to use Friday night as a chance to get healthy and start tuning up for final push.

“We’ve had some sickness and one thing or another, so we haven’t had the team all together, we got closer today,” Brunswick coach Dave Bright said. “We’re looking to get some rest after having three meets in the last nine days.”

“They have consistently improved throughout the year which is fantastic,” Mt. Ararat coach Steve Butts said. “These kids give us such great effort day in and day out.”

The first half of the program saw athletes from both schools take tops in their respective events. Both boys and girls relay teams from Brunswick captured the 200 medley races to open the evening. The girls team of Hartnett, Emma White, Alex Morse and Anna Kousky outswam the Mt. Ararat team of Isabelle Gardner, Meara Stockford, Trinity Versey and Gwendolyn Martin, but it was the excitement of watching the B and C teams, primarily made up of underclassmen, racing behind the A teams that placed ahead of them.

Mt. Ararat’s Caleb Williams swims during the boys 100 freestyle Friday night at Greason Pool at Bowdoin College. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)MtaBrunsSwim (2)

“We’ve created a great team dynamic with the upperclassmen working with the younger swimmers,” Hartnett said.

Brunswick’s Cam Ashby, Chris Tucker, Matt Yost and Casey Holt placed first, beating out the team of Dan Pratt, Robert Hyde, Caleb Williams and Sterling Kloberdans of Mt. Ararat in the 200 medley relay.

Individual winners followed — Brunswick’s Margaret Chingos (200 IM) and Morse (50 freestyle) captured girls events, while on the boys side, Nicco Bartone won the 200 freestyle for the Dragons, and Eagles Williams (200 IM) and Hyde (50 freestyle) took their events.

Once all seven 50 boys and girls freestyle heat races were completed, all the athletes took a seat and watched five rounds of Mt. Ararat’s Anibal Berry-Gaviria and Nathaniel Smith dive for the boys team, while Brunswick’s Elinore Kosak was the lone female diver.

Second act

After the entertaining dives from the divers and both squads honoring their seniors with their families, action swiftly began again with the girls 100 butterfly.

Dragon Chingos (1:11.06) placed ahead of Mt. Ararat’s Riley Robertson (1:26.15) and Jaimey Weidner (1:37.29). Yost won the 100 butterfly with time of 55:33, followed by Mt. Ararat’s Hyde and Brunswick Bradley Vuong.

“We have been getting better throughout the year, we’ve been swimming good and we’re happy to be progressing,” Yost said.

Brunswick’s Morse and Mt. Ararat’s Madigan Saunders placed 1-2 in the girls 100 freestyle and Bartone (51.26) edged out

Riley Robertson of Mt. Ararat swims a lap during the girls 100 butterfly Friday night at Greason Pool at Bowdoin College. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

Mt. Ararat’s Williams (55:75) in the boys race.

Brunswick’s Laura Chavoustie (500 freestyle) and Ella Tycz (100 breaststroke) earned first-place points for the girls team, while Yost (100 breaststroke) and  Ashby (100 backstroke) on the boys.

Brunswick took three of the final four relay races, with the Eagles’ 400 freestyle boys team of Williams, Bickford, Sam Wright and Hyde winning the evening’s final event with a 3:42.34 time.

But again it was atmosphere of all the swimmers rooting for one another, right down to the final C team races.

“Some of my favorites races are the C relays,” added Bright.

Swimmers, a.k.a. loud cheering spectators, were heard rooting for swimmers from both schools.

“I’ve mostly only played on team sports my whole life, and to play a sport where it’s individual competition and everyone is always happy and just cheering all the time, that atmosphere is just awesome,” Pratt said.

“These kids all grew up together and to have a chance to compete and have a good time, and it’s always special on Senior Night,” said Butts.

The night concluded with the traditional shaking of hands as the teams circled the pools while the officials tallied the scores.

“I swim with people on the other team, so we all know each other and cheer one another on, it was a fun night,” Spelke said afterwards.

“I’ve been on the team for four years and it was good to have all the team here on Senior Night and to have the last four years come down to all of this,” added Yost.

It’s on to the final weeks of the season, with most swimmers already turning in their qualifying times. Now it’s all about staying healthy.

“I think every meet there are a couple of more kids that score points for the KVAC’s or qualify for the states, we’re looking forward to it,” Bright added.

The KVAC’s, hosted by Morse High School at the Bath Family YMCA, will be held on Feb. 9, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

The Class A State Championships will be held at Bowdoin College, with the boys on Feb. 18, and the girls following on Feb. 19.

See full results on B3.

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