CAPE ELIZABETH — The Camden Hills girls’ swimming team did not win any individual titles Tuesday at the Class A state championship meet. It turned out the Windjammers didn’t have to.

The Windjammers opened the meet with a victory in the 200-yard medley relay and ended it by winning the 400 freestyle relay. In between, Camden Hills put enough swimmers on the podium to pile up 287 points, more than enough to take the championship at Cape Elizabeth High’s Don Richards Community Pool.

“We have a lot of depth on our team, and everyone really wants to be the best swimmer and best person they can be. We all really felt that positive energy,” said Gail Curtis, a Camden Hills senior.

It was the Windjammers’ first girls’ swimming state title since 1981, when they were in Class B. Thornton Academy finished second with 196 points, and Cheverus was third at 191.

By accumulating points in every event, Camden Hills never relinquished the lead it took in the 200 medley relay. Sarah Van Lonkhuyzen placed second in the 200 individual medley, while teammate Sadie Woodruff placed fourth. Karla Upham took fourth in 50 freestyle and fifth in the 100 fly. Lilly Mott was third in the 100 backstroke, and Woodruff placed fourth in the 100 breast stroke.

“We just have unbelievable depth. In every single race, we had somebody in that top heat. They are great about staying on top of each other and pushing each other,” said Camden Hills Coach Mark McCluskey. “Yeah, we might not have that superstar, but they know putting it all together, they can get the win.”


Added Woodruff: “With Mark coming on as head coach, something just clicked as a team. We just had a great year.”

Kennebunk sophomore Campbell Maurer was named Performer of the Meet after taking wins in the 200 and 100 freestyle. In each race, Maurer eked out a close win over Cony’s Emily Kennard, a freshman. In the 200, Maurer and Kennard separated themselves from the field by the 50-yard mark and were neck and neck the rest of the race. Maurer finished in 1:58.38, just ahead of Kennard’s 1:59.52.

In the 100 free, the two were close again, with Maurer swimming 54.12 seconds to Kennard’s 54.49. The races reminded Maurer of racing Kennard as a member of the Manta Rays YMCA team, when they would take turns beating each other. Both were glad to continue their rivalry in the high school pool.

“(In) the 200, I have a tendency to psyche myself our because it’s longer, but both of them felt really great today. It definitely helped having Emily next to me in both my races,” Maurer said. “I made a definite choice to breathe to her side so I could see her and make sure I was keeping up with her.”

“At the end, I was just really proud that I gave it the best I could,” Kennard said.

Taylor Belanger of Cheverus won the 100 breast stroke and 50 free. Belanger hit her face against the pool wall as she got out of the water, leaving herself to celebrate her breast stroke win with a bloody nose. Belanger’s winning time was 1:08.09, just ahead of Brunswick’s Sarah Palmer (1:08.21). She won the 50 free in 25.49 seconds.


“On my third 25, I knew I could pull ahead,” Belanger said of her breast stroke victory. “(The) 50 is just all or nothing. I just knew if I wanted it, I had to go.”

Maria DelMonte of Deering/Portland earned wins in the 500 free (5:09.60) and 100 backstroke (58.27 seconds). Despite the backstroke being her favorite event, DelMonte said she felt better Tuesday in the 500 free.

“The stroke felt smooth, and I felt consistent throughout it,” she said.

McKayla Kendall of Bangor took first in the 200 IM (2:16.24) and 100 butterfly (1:00.02). Winning the fly was special, Kendall said, because she swam alongside her friend and teammate Ginny Hunt, who placed second.

“Ginny and I have been swimming together for about 12 years. We swam on the same club team. One-two in the 100 fly is definitely a fantastic way to end our high school career,” Kendall said.

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