Junior Evan Willertz of Morse High wins the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 53.66 seconds at the Class B boys’ state swimming championship at Bowdoin College in Brunswick on Tuesday. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

BRUNSWICK — As the Mt. Desert Island High School assistant swimming coach for 16 years, David Blaney watched head coach Tony DeMuro build the Trojans into a state power. DeMuro moved on to Maine Maritime Academy, and Blaney took over at MDI, trying to continue the lofty achievements.

“I didn’t want to be the one to let them down,” said Blaney, in his first year as head coach.

No worries.

After the MDI girls won the Class B championship on Monday, the boys did the same on Tuesday. The Trojans captured their third straight state title at Bowdoin College’s LeRoy Greason Pool. The MDI boys, like the girls, clinched the championship before the last race. They finished with 336 points, followed by Cape Elizabeth (286) and Greely (230).

MDI had never won both boys’ and girls’ titles in the same year. Not a bad debut for Blaney.

“Not at all,” he said. “The kids were focused. They really knew what they had to do, and went out and did it.”


The Trojans did not win any events, but dominated the meet with their depth, often placing four swimmers in an event. MDI’s best finish was second in the 200-yard freestyle relay (Brendan Graves, Sam Mitchell, Jonathan Genrich and Amos Price).

Cape Elizabeth sophomore Keegan McKenney was named the Performer of the Meet. He set a meet record in the 200 freestyle (1:43.72), defended his 500 freestyle title by 18 seconds (4:42.12) and was part of the winning 200 medley relay (1:42.21).

Cape sophomore Ethan Smith also was involved with three victories. He swam on the medley relay, won the 50 freestyle (22.56) and defended his title in the 100 butterfly (51.80).

Morse junior Evan Willertz was another double individual winner, taking the 200 individual medley (1:59.27) and 100 backstroke (53.66). In the IM, he took a 3.5-second lead halfway through, then held off a charging Brady Fluet of Greely (1:59.79). Fluet also finished second in the 500 freestyle.

Willertz helped Morse to a sixth-place finish with 154 points.

Smith’s victory in the butterfly, the sixth event, had Cape in the lead, 168-163 over MDI. But the Trojans kept scoring and zipped past the Capers.


“The kids swam great,” Capers Coach Ben Raymond said. “We had a good day; a lot of best times and a lot of individual event winners.

“We scored pretty much where we wanted to be. We can’t control how fast someone else swims … (MDI) has a lot of depth and they swam really well.”

In the opening 200 medley relay, Cape trailed by 1.5 seconds after two legs until Smith jumped in for the butterfly. With a 23.44 split, Smith handed the Capers a 1-second lead, and Sam Whitney stayed ahead in freestyle, finishing in 1:42.21 – 0.7 seconds ahead of Ellsworth. McKenney swam the opening backstroke, and Rishi Yadav swam the breast stroke.

McKenney had little time to rest before he was on the blocks for the 200 freestyle. He was pushed the whole race by Ellsworth’s Sean Hill (0.78 seconds behind).

“It was exhausting. It’s always tough to double like that,” McKenney said of the back-to-back races. “It was good to (be pushed by Hill) – a good race.”

His 200 freestyle time beat the meet record of 1:44.44, set in 2009 by Ellsworth’s Brian Batson.


The 500 freestyle was not so close, as McKenney broke away early. He beat his winning time from last year by more than eight seconds, though he was five seconds off the meet record (by Scarborough’s Sean Flaherty in 2002) and nine seconds off the state record (by Bangor’s Jason Thomas in 1999).

“I’m only a sophomore, so maybe I can get them next year, or the year after,” McKenney said.

Even with McKenney’s victory in the 500 (and seventh-, 12th- and 16th-place finishes by teammates), the Capers lost ground to MDI, which placed fourth, fifth, ninth and 14th.

Ellsworth’s Hill won the 100 freestyle (47.98). Teammate Nick Partridge won the 100 breast stroke (58.51). Both were part of Ellsworth’s winning 400 freestyle relay (3:23.94), along with Henry Scheff and Lucas Fendl.

John Bapst junior Hayden O’Connell won diving with 288.6 points.

Lincoln Academy took the 200 freestyle relay with Zak Bhe, Andrew Nerv, Sam Richards and Braxton Farrin.


Eric Booth of Waterville/Winslow placed second in the 50 freestyle (22.96) and 100 breast stroke (58.51).

Willertz, Daniel Whitman, Andrew Leighton and Alex Gurney teamed up to finish fourth in the 200 medley relay. Whitman was 11th in the 200 IM and 11th in the 100 breaststroke, Gurney finished eighth in the 50 free and fifth in the 100 free, Leighton was eighth in the 100 fly and 13th in the 100 back, and the 200 free and 400 free relays were 10th and ninth, respectively.

Freeport, which 32 points for 14th, saw Brian Brogan take seventh in the 200 free and fourth in the 100 free, Chase Bradley was 16th in the 200 IM and Jeremy Brogan claimed 13th in the 100 breaststroke.

Nathan Gilliam of Wiscasset was 11th in the 200 free and sixth in the 500 free.

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