ORONO — Call it a corollary to that old bromide about not entering the water until at least half an hour after a meal. The advice from Kennebunk Coach Andrew Coulombe to the four swimmers before the concluding 400-yard freestyle relay late Monday afternoon was simple if not literal.

“Coach specifically told us to eat a sandwich on the blocks,” said senior Ella Yentsch, the Rams’ anchor, after emerging from a celebratory dip in Wallace Pool on the campus of the University of Maine, “which means basically to take your time.”

Nursing a lead of 1.5 points over a squad from Cony High in Augusta seeking a third title in four years, Kennebunk needed mostly to avoid disqualification but also to finish ahead of Cony.

Ever so cautiously, Yentsch followed freshmen Chloe Matthews and Annalise Cowing and fellow senior Grace Girard into the water and earned a second-place finish to a victorious South Portland quartet. It was enough to clinch the first Class A girls’ swimming & diving state championship for Kennebunk.

“It was extremely relieving,” Yentsch said. “On top of that, we broke a school record (3 minutes, 53.07 seconds in the 400 free relay), which added to the excitement.”

Kennebunk finished with 235.5 points. South Portland, with only four swimmers qualified in individual events, used its 400 free relay victory (3:50.45) to leapfrog Cony and defending champ Bangor and grab second at 218.


Bangor was third at 213, a point ahead of Cony (which won both short relays but dropped to 11th in the 400 free relay) at 212. Gorham was fifth at 164 followed by Falmouth (163), Cheverus (153.5), Lewiston (137) and 15 other schools.

Mt. Ararat claimed 12th place on the strength of second-place finish by Cora Spelke in the 100 backstroke. She finished behind Scarborough’s Morgan Porter, who touched in 1:00.77, with Spelke just behind in 1:01.16.

Other Eagles earning points on the day were the 200 medley relay team (tie for 10th), Madigan Saunders (seventh, 50 free and the 100 free), the 200 free relay (16th) and the 400 free relay (sixth).

Brunswick’s top finisher on the day was Sarah Palmer. She finished fifth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:10.78, helping the Dragons to 63 points and 15th place.

The 200 medley relay (tie for 10th), Ella Tycz (15th, 200 IM; 12th, 100 fly), Palmer (12th, 50 free), the 200 free relay (ninth) and the 400 free relay (14th).

Cony senior Cecilia Guadalupi was named Performer of the Meet after winning her two individual events (100 breast in 1:04.53) and (200 individual medley in 2:05.45) as well as taking part in Cony’s victorious 200 medley relay (1:53.36) and 200 free relay (1:44.46).

Guadalupi wasn’t the only individual double winner. Porter, a junior, also won the 500 free (5:20.05).

Other individual winners were Cony sophomore Emma Thomas in the 200 free (1:58.83), South Portland senior Margie Jones in the 100 butterfly (58.75), Biddeford sophomore Ella Leonard in the 100 free (55.89) and Falmouth seniors Mae Causey in the 50 free (24.87) and Lilly Smith in 1-meter diving (397.00 points).

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