Cora Spelke dives in her for portion of the 200 yard medley relay during Saturday’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference meet at the Wiscasset Community Center. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

WISCASSET — Saturday’s virtual swim meet at the Wiscasset Community Center looked no different than other meets that took place this season for the Mt. Ararat swim team.

An almost empty pool, a limited amount of timers and judges, and no locker rooms available for use before and after the meet. There was, however, a different feel with much more at stake this time around than any other meet this season, as it was for the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship meet.

“This is what we have been working towards through the entirety of the season,” said senior Cora Spelke, who will swim next winter at Amherst College in Massachusetts. “I really didn’t think that we were going to have any meets leading up to the season, so to get to this point is an awesome feeling.”

The Eagles had until March 12 to complete their portion of the KVAC meet, but had Saturday penciled in all season. 

Spelke saved her best for last, breaking three of her own records in Saturday’s virtual meet. 

It was a pleasant surprise to have a full season for freshman Keegan Rowe, and he didn’t take it for granted. 

“I didn’t think we’d have this meet, I thought the season was going to go downhill,” Rowe said. “With all of that being said, the season went very well and it was a nice boost of confidence to experience something like this to wrap it up.”

Rowe is hoping to use that experience and confidence to grow. 

“This year showed me what I can do as a swimmer,” added Rowe. “Hopefully, each year now I can continue to grow and improve my times.”

Co-head coach Steve Butts hopes that this season as a whole — along with Saturday’s postseason meet — resembled a slice of some normalcy for his swimmers and fellow coaches. 

The Mt. Ararat swim team held their portion of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference meet on Saturday at the Wiscasset Community Center. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

“With what the kids have been through, we just wanted to make this season as normal as we could with what we had to work with,” said Butts. “Today (Saturday) was a great opportunity for that, and for the kids to be competitive and just have some fun.”

The biggest difference for the swimmers when it came to the ‘virtual’ swim meets was the fact that their competition wasn’t in the lane next to them. Mt. Ararat senior Sam Wright still hasn’t fully adjusted to his teammates racing next to him opposed to a swimmer from a different school.

“I would say I have and I haven’t gotten used to it,” said Wright, who is the lone senior boy on the Eagles squad this season. “I look at it like a really hard practice. You have to focus on and compete with yourself rather than the people around you.”

While it was a profound way for Spelke to round out her spectacular high school career, it was also the last time she would be representing her school in the pool. 

“I just think about how it felt to represent the school and how exciting it was to be an Eagle,” added Spelke. “I’ll miss having that school pride and spirit here.”

Out of the 13 total swimmers, eight are seniors, including seven out of the nine girls. For Mt. Ararat co-head coach Tracy Boucher, it was a bittersweet moment.

“While I am so happy that we are at this point, I’m going to miss the seniors on this team,” said Boucher. “They all worked hard and represented this team the right way throughout their four years in the program.”

The Eagles will be waiting a couple weeks for the results from other schools around the conference. Butts expects the results to be released on March 13 or 14.

For both the swimmers and the coaches, it’s going to be a long wait until the final results are posted. 

“I don’t know what I’m going to do for these two weeks,” said Spelke. “I’m just going to be waiting and waiting for them to come out.”

“Oh yeah, I’ll definitely be checking my email every day, even though I know it won’t be there for a couple weeks.,” Wright said

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