Orono — The winter championships for Maine U.S. Swimming, Inc. was recently held at the University of Maine at Orono. The Long Reach Swim Club of the Bath Area Family YMCA reclaimed the MESI state team title by narrowly beating the Mount Desert Island YMCA, 3014 to 2897.

After falling to the Portland Porpoise Swim Club a year ago by 91.5 points, LRSC recaptured the title. MDI provided the greatest challenge.

“Having the swim meet in Orono provided lots of challenges for not only us, but a majority of the teams attending,” coach Jay Morissette said. “Relays are the real key to being competitive in this meet and it is difficult to get relay only swimmers to commit to the 3 ½ day meet.   

“LRSC managed to get enough of those swimmers to the meet and the extra relays were monumental to our team success.”

Some LRSC highlights — Charley Carleton finished ninth in the 10-and-under girls division. In the boys 10- and-under division, Brady Chubbuck finished eighth. In the 13-14 boys division Aidan Saunders placed seventh, while Keegan Rowe finished ninth. 

In the senior girls division Morse High School standout Olivia Harper was the high point winner, Alexandra Morse finished third, Mt. Ararat’s Cora Spelke finished fourth, Morse’s Haily Harper and Ella Martin place sixth and seventh, respectively. 

In the senior boys division Shipbuilder Evan Willertz swan to a second-place finish, while Brunswick’s Matthew Yost (seventh), Nicco Bartone (eighth) and Morse’s Dominic Marco (ninth) followed.

“While the LRSC younger swimmers showed a marked improvement on last years team, the senior swimmers really carried the team and provided a lot of exciting racing.,” Morissette said. 

Olivia Harper set team, pool and state records in the 100 and 200 backstrokes with times of 53.57 and 1:56.87.  she also set a team and state record in the 400 IM with a time of 4:27.07.   

“Olivia is swimming times that would make her competitive at the NCAA division 1 level.  She is a lot of fun to watch race,” Morissette added.

James Wells has returned to train with LRSC after a brief “retirement” after graduating from Indiana University three years ago.

“James realized 14 months ago that he still had a desire to swim at a high level and set a goal of qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Trials meet,” the coach said. “He is training at a fraction of his collegiate work load and has modified his dryland training and is just off of some of his college times.”   

Wells set a state and pool record in the 50 free swimming, a lifetime best time of 20.12. Wells also set a state and pool record in the 200 backstroke swimming a time of 145.17.   

The senior boy 400 freestyle relay team of Wells, Spencer Lindsley, Yost and Brandon Johnson set a state record with a time of 307.88.

LRSC also received new Y-National qualifying times from Yost in the 100 and 200 butterfly, Johnson (100 fly), Spelke (100 and 200 backstroke), Martin (100 backstroke) and Evan Willertz in the 100 fly and 100 backstroke.

“We have expanded our training for most of these kids with a dryland program designed in part by James Wells, Emily Buczkoswki and Sponge Savage.  I think we are seeing the results of a seasons worth of work that we didn’t have in the past,” Morissette said. 

Next up for the Bath Y swim team is YMCA national championships being held at the Greensboro Aquatics Center in North Carolina on April 1-5.  The Y team this year is made up of Margie McLeod of Durham, Spelke of Topsham, Martin of Bath and twins Olivia and Haily Harper of Woolwich. For the boys, Johnson of Woolwich, Marco of Bath, Bartone of Georgetown, Evan Willertz of Bath and Yost of Brunswick.  The meet will be live streamed on the internet.

The LRSC swim team season ending banquet will be held April 9 at 6 p.m. at the Bath Area Family YMCA.

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