Bangor High senior Carson Prouty was named Performer of the Meet for the second straight year at the Class A swimming meet. He won the 100 backstroke and butterfly, while swimming on the winning 200 medley and freestyle relays. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Carson Prouty is going out on top.

A senior at Bangor High, Prouty won a pair of individual state championships last month – in the 100-yard backstroke and 100 butterfly – and for the second year in a row was named Class A Performer of the Meet.

His last meet, as it turns out. A dedicated swimmer since the age of 7, Prouty decided to turn down an offer from Penn State to continue in the pool and concentrate instead on baseball.

Carson Prouty celebrates as his Bangor High 200-yard medley relay team wins the event at the Class A boys’ swimming state championship. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

“They almost had me,” Prouty said of the Nittany Lions, whom he visited in Pennsylvania in the fall. “Instead, I went home, took some time, talked it over and we decided it would be best if I stopped swimming and pursued baseball, because I truly have a passion for that sport.”

Prouty is our repeat selection as Varsity Maine Swimmer of the Year. As a junior, he set a state record in the most demanding event, the 200 individual medley, of 1 minute, 51.19 seconds, as well as in the 100 freestyle (45.99).

As a senior, he posted the season’s fastest times in the 50 free (21.16, sixth-fastest in state history), the backstroke (he already owns Maine’s third-fastest time, of 51.03) and the 200 IM (1:58.48). In addition to his individual titles, he swam on Bangor’s winning 200 medley and free relays.

He said he didn’t swim the 200 IM at the state meet because, “the past six times I swam that race, I puked. So we decided to play it safe.”

Carson’s older brother, Colby, was our 2018 Swimmer of the Year. He spent a year at the University of Connecticut before transferring to Orono and plans to swim for the University of Maine next season.

A younger brother, Connor, is a sophomore at Bangor High who finished second in the Class A  50 and 100 free and swam on the winning 200 medley relay.

Carson and Colby made up half of the Bangor 200 medley relay teams that posted the two fastest times in state history, in 2017 and 2018 (1:37.33).

“Bangor has a rich history of being strong in medley relays,” said the Rams’ second-year head coach, Jameson Ploch, “and he understands the tradition and value of that.”

Ploch said Prouty grew into a leadership role this season, working with swimmers at all grade levels and setting a good example. An excellent math student, Prouty has a knack for numbers and could rattle off split times for most of the state’s top swimmers.

“When I was putting together the state meet lineup, I’d say ‘What do you think this kid’s going to do?'” Ploch said, “and he would tell me pretty much to the tenth of a second what they had done in the past.”

Prouty described Ploch as a master motivator. “I owe a lot of my times last year to him,” he said.

A left-handed pitcher and outfielder, Prouty said he plans to study either business or electrical engineering in college while also playing baseball. He has options both in and out of state but has yet to decide where.

As for swimming, he said he will miss those times as a youngster when he would watch older kids go fast, and he would dream of achieving similar times. His favorite moments this winter came at the state meet, with big time drops for his teammates, if not for himself.

What won’t he miss?

“The day-in and day-out practices, the 5:45 (morning sessions), how cold the pool is,” he said. “I think out of all sports, swimming has some of the least fun practices. During basketball practices, you can chat with your friends. During swim practices, you’re mostly underwater. It’s basically just you and your head.”

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