ORONO — In the middle of each February, Greely High swim coach Rob Hale looks at his lineup, assesses the probable seedings for the state meet and tries to figure a way to maximize his team’s scoring potential.

“Most years,” he said, “if you can get to 300 points you’ve got a state championship.”

The Greely girls inched over that threshold by a half-point Monday – and found themselves so far behind Cape Elizabeth that, “we weren’t even in the rear-view mirror,” Hale said.

The Capers won their third straight Class B swimming and diving state championship by amassing 487 points. They squeezed at least two and up to four finishers among the 10 in every individual event and broke their own state records in both freestyle relays, capping the meet by lopping two full seconds off the 400-yard freestyle relay mark with a time of 3 minutes, 30.27 seconds that left anchor Caroline Mahoney with a 20-second waiting period before runner-up Greely arrived.

“Half our team, it’s their last year,” Mahoney said of Cape’s dozen seniors, three of them recruited to swim in college next winter. “So we really wanted to go out with a bang. Last one, fast one. That was our main motivation.”

Duke-bound Olivia Tighe earned Performer of the Meet for the second straight year. She broke the state record in the 200 free set two years ago by Caitlin Tycz of Morse by a quarter- second with a time of 1 minute, 50.21 seconds and anchored Cape’s 200 free relay to victory in 1:35.20, shaving nearly a full second off the time the same quartet of Mahoney, Tighe, Alicia Lawrence and Hope Campbell established last winter.

Tighe, who also won the 100 free in 50.79 to fall a half-second shy of her own state mark, swam the 200 against Olivia Harper of Morse, the two-time defending state champion in the backstroke and butterfly. Harper made it three straight in the fly with a 54.98 clocking but eschewed the backstroke in favor of racing against Tigue.

“Swimmers push each other more when you race each other in bigger meets, so I love racing Olivia,” Harper said. “I wasn’t really going for winning, I was going for getting a best time, which I did.”

Harper set a 50 free state and University of Maine pool record of 23.33 on her opening leg of Morse’s 200 free relay, which placed second by 4 seconds to Cape. Her twin sister, Haily Harper, was an individual double winner, in the 200 individual medley (2:10.31) and 100 breast stroke (1:07.11).

Mahoney led a 1-3-4-16 Cape Elizabeth surge in the 50 free (23.58) that put her team in front to stay after Morse and Greely each held a brief lead. With the state record-holder, Olivia Harper, not entered in the 100 backstroke, Mahoney nonetheless set a pool record of 55.12 to win by more than 6 seconds.

Jade Lindenau and Ali Bragg of Cape Elizabeth went a close 1-2 in the 500 free, separated by only .14. Julia Bisson of Greely won diving for the second straight year, with 389.25 points.

All told, 17 Capers scored points in individual events, including eight seniors (Tighe, Lindenau, Lawrence, Campbell, Maddy McCormick, Corinne Wight, Casey Concannon, Avery Palma), three juniors (Mahoney, Isabella Eremita, Christiana Pinette), three sophomores (Emma Frothingham, Zoe Evans, Hannah Liess) and three freshmen (Bragg, Abbie Wolf, Stephanie te Boekhorst).

“It may be the best team ever,” Cape Coach Ben Raymond said. “I don’t know if we’ll ever have a group of girls as quality as this – in the pool, out of the pool, the time they spend together, the relationships they’ve made with each other – they’ve just been really, really special.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

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