BRUNSWICK — Heavily favored to win the Class A boys’ swimming and diving state championship, the Cheverus team members received a simple mesage from Coach Kevin Haley before the title meet Monday.

“Coach said to just swim hard. We’re going in with zero (points),” Quinton Hastings of the Stags said.

That zero turned into a dominating 318 points at Bowdoin College as Cheverus won its seventh straight state title. South Portland was the runner-up with 227.

Cheverus became the first Class A boys’ team to win seven consecutive championships. Bangor preceded Cheverus with six straight from 2007-12.

“Everyone stepped up and did their role,” Haley said. “We just needed to stay focused … South Portland is an excellent team and back on the map. We had a job to do.”

The Stags’ title came with no individual victories – but with five second places and wins in all three relays.

Nathan Berry of Cony was named the Outstanding Performer of the Meet. He set a state record (20.70 seconds) in the 50-yard freestyle and won the 100 freestyle (47.43).

Carson Prouty of Bangor set two state records – 1:51.19 in the 200 individual medley and 45.99 for the 100 freestyle while leading off the 400 freestyle relay. Prouty’s second individual win was in the 200 backstroke (51.03).

Owen McLaughlin of Deering was another double winner, taking the 200 freestyle (1:43.01) and 100 butterfly (51.65).

Other top individuals included Gavin McLeod of Scarborough, who edged Brim Peabody of Cheverus in the 500 free by .04 seconds (4:45.51), and Cameron LaBree of Hampden Academy, who won the 100 breast stroke (1:00.64)

Mt. Ararat freshmen Anibal Berry-Gaviria (352.35 points) and Nathaniel Smith (337.35) placed 1-3 in diving. Jakob Lynham of Westbrook (344.55) was second.

Cheverus received second-place finishes from Peabody (200 and 500 freestyle), Hastings (50 and 100 freestyle) and Jack Martin (200 individual medley). Martin also placed fourth in the 100 backstroke. All three swam on two of the relays, as did Phineas Underwood and John Hight. Jeremy Baker and Owen Gallo-Wagoner also scored in individual races and a relay.

“We had the depth with all those kids,” Haley said. “We had 11 guys qualify with seven scoring. Not too shabby.”

South Portland, paced by Momchil Dagorov’s two third-places (200 IM, 500 freestyle), enjoyed its best finish since 1998, when it also finished second.

“We had a great group of seniors come through and a great group of (underclassmen) come in at the same time,” Coach Ryan Green said. “Every now and then a program like ours has it come together like this.”

Berry had his senior season fall into place. His record came in the 50 freestyle, but Berry was just as pleased with his victory in the 100, holding off Hastings for a second time (by 0.78 seconds).

“I’ve really become more of a 100 free person,” said Berry, who will swim for Bates College next year. “I had to get over my fear and go out (strong). I started doing that and I became a lot better.

“That was a fun race. Hastings is a great swimmer to go against.”

The meet’s best race came in the 500 freestyle, with Peabody, the defending champion, and McLeod breaking from the pack, swimming side-by-side.

“It was pretty even the whole time,” McLeod said. “The last turn is when I got a little bit ahead. I didn’t know who won until I looked up at the clock.”

McLeod dropped 14 seconds from his best time this year.

Peabody was also the defending champion in the 200 freestyle, which McLaughlin won by 4.14 seconds.

Peabody, who bettered his times from last year, helped the Stags collect 114 points, counting the relay wins.

“It’s really good to be part of the team,” Peabody said. “It’s different than club swimming because it’s not just about me and trying to get my best times. (I’m just) trying to get points for my team.”

Bangor finished third in the team standings (168 points), followed by Scarborough (157), Portland (155) and Kennebunk (153.5).

The Stags’ seven straight titles is still dwarfed by the Old Town boys’ 14 straight championships in Class B (1985-98).

Cheverus may already be the early favorite for next year because only two of its scorers are seniors.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-7411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH

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