CAPE ELIZABETH — After the first few events at the Class A boys’ swimming state championship Monday, it was obvious that it was going to be tough to beat Scarborough.

By halfway through the meet, a Scarborough victory was a formality.

The Red Storm dominated the field at Cape Elizabeth High’s Don Richards Community Pool, placing in the top three in each of the 12 events to roll to the championship with 348 points, well ahead of Falmouth (263 points), Bangor (200 points) and South Portland (195).

“At the beginning of the season, I knew we had some pretty good pieces. We knew we had some top talent. It was a matter of putting it all together. These guys worked hard all season long,” Scarborough Coach Eric French said. “That was our goal, to outduel these guys. We knew Falmouth and Bangor and South Portland would go after us. We just had to try to go top three in a lot of events.”

Cheverus, which had won the previous eight Class A titles, finished 12th.

It’s the first boys’ swimming state title for Scarborough, which won four individual events as well as the 200-yard freestyle relay, with Brennan Fravert, Yandy Placeres, Jack Pillsbury and Ethan Schulz finishing in a time of 1 minute, 29.78 seconds.

Advertisement

“We’re a knit tight group of people. We had a good last preseason race, and now it’s keeping everyone going, keeping everyone hyped. It’s been something special this year, for sure,” said Schulz, who took individual wins in both the 200 and 100 freestyle.

With his victories in the 200 individual medley (2:00.12) and 100 breast stroke (1:00.07), Pillsbury was named Performer of the Meet. Pillsbury took control of the IM during the third leg in his strongest stroke, the breast stroke, and beat South Portland’s Calvin Comeau by nearly three and a half seconds.

Pillsbury said his plan for the race was simple.

“Swim fast, you win,” Pillsbury said.

Schulz’s 1:42.83 in the 200 free was a pool record, and the Red Storm went 1-2 in the event, with Placeres taking second. In the 100 free, Schulz was even with Falmouth’s Patrick Gill at the midpoint before pulling ahead over the final 25 yards to take the win in 46.85 seconds.

Schulz couldn’t say which of the events he won is his favorite.

Advertisement

“Right now, I kind of go back and forth between the (200) free and the (100) free. I’d say a year earlier, it would be the (200) free, but the 100 free is coming on strong for me right now,” Schulz said. “I knew (Gill) was going to be out fast, so I kind of hung back just a little bit, and had to finish as hard as I could, which is what I like to do in all my races.”

The events not won by Scarborough were won by Falmouth. Will Porter took first in the 500 free with a time of 4:56.91. Cole Gorsuch earned a pair of wins – the 100 butterfly (51.92) and 100 backstroke (52.52). A sophomore, Gorsuch said the backstroke is his better event.

“I was nervous at the 50, because at my turn the pad slipped off the wall and I lost my speed going in and out of the wall. I had to keep my tempo up and I felt good at the last 75-yard wall,” Gorsuch said of his 100 backstroke win.

Gill took the 50 free in 21.24 seconds, edging Bangor’s Connor Prouty (21.60) and Scarborough’s Fravert (22.58).

“You’ve just got to have a mentality. You’ve got to come in, you’ve got to be focused,” Gill said. “I knew Prouty was going to give me a run for my money and I had to go all out.”

Unlike every other winter sport, which welcomed fans back to events this season, swimmers still competed without fans at the pool. Only competitors, coaches and meet officials were allowed in. Gill said his parents were watching the livestream at home, no doubt cheering on the entire Falmouth team.

“It’s unfortunate to not have spectators here, but to have states this year and have the team all together, our team is excited to be here,” Gill said.

“It’s different, but it’s something we’ve unfortunately grown to be used to by now. (We’re) going on two years in this lockdown now,” said Schulz, a junior. “I think that will be one of the best meets we ever have, when fans are back in full capacity.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.