Cape Elizabeth senior David Steinbrick won two individual events at the Class B state championships and holds the second-fastest time in state history in the 500 freestyle (4:36.73). Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Two state records fell during the Maine high school swimming and diving season this winter.

One of them came courtesy of Falmouth junior diver Jillian James, who at Southwesterns last month became the first girl in Maine to break through the 500-point barrier.

The other, oddly enough, came in the opening event of a dual meet in late December between Kennebunk and host Cape Elizabeth.

Cape junior Graham Plourde teamed up with seniors Jack McCormick, Cormac McKenney and David Steinbrick to swim the 200-yard medley relay in 1 minutes, 37.19 seconds. That beat the existing mark of 1:37.33 set by Bangor at the 2018 Class A state meet.

The fab four wasn’t done. Later in the meet, they combined on a 200 freestyle relay and set a school record of 1:30.63.

In between relays, Steinbrick swam the 500 free in 4:36.73 – the second-fastest time in state history. Only four Maine high school swimmers have ever broken 4:40, and their marks came at season-ending state meets in February.


Despite his early peak, Steinbrick went on to win two individual events (100 backstroke and 200 free) at the North Southwesterns and two more at the Class B state meet (200 and 500 free), leading the Capers to decisive victories in both instances.

He is our choice as the 2024 Varsity Maine Boys’ Swimmer of the Year.

“David is a good leader and a good motivator, both by what he says and what he does,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Ben Raymond. “He has a really good personality and has a lot of fun with the kids on deck.”

Steinbrick’s mom swam at the University of Maine and his dad played water polo at UConn, so his DNA may include a bit of chlorine.

“It’s kind of a big water family,” he said. “Growing up in Cape and Maine in general, the ocean’s a big part of everything we do around here. I think it was just a natural progression to swimming.”

He joined a club team at age 5 and stayed with it, although he dabbled in football, cross country and lacrosse. He plans to give Ultimate frisbee a whirl this spring, upholding his end of a recruiting bargain made with classmates Joe McDonald and Grant Kelley, who joined the swim team this winter.


They, along with McKenney, lifeguard together in the summer and often tossed a disc on the beach. Other senior recruits included divers Seamus Jennings and Brian Lane. They helped swell Cape’s roster to 24 boys.

“He’s worked hard at making the team better now than when he came in as a freshman,” Raymond said. “He’s really taken pride in keeping this program growing and getting better.”

Steinbrick will continue his swimming career at the U.S. Naval Academy. He leaves behind school records in all three relays, plus the 100 backstroke (53.69), 200 freestyle (1:42.99, set last year) and 500 free.

In the fall of his sophomore year, while mountain biking in Falmouth with fellow swimmer Cole Gorsuch, Steinbrick took a spill and broke his arm in two places. He returned to the pool, at first only to kick, but soon after resumed swimming and helped Cape Elizabeth win the first of three straight state titles.

As for peaking so early this season, Steinbrick explained that he and his relay mates had just come off an important club meet for which they had shaved and tapered. Raymond was happy to reduce their yardage leading to the December dual meet, which also saw McKenney lower his school record in the 100 breast stroke.

“Everybody stepped up their game for that one,” Steinbrick said. “It was definitely a team effort, as relays are. I was really proud of everybody.”

When not in the pool. Steinbrick can be found tinkering on a 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis that once belonged to his grandmother. He’s already replaced its vinyl top and will work on its suspension this spring. He has learned how to weld and has another project going: fashioning a barbecue grill from a 55-gallon barrel.

At Annapolis, he plans to pursue an engineering degree, whether it be mechanical or chemical. Graduates serve at least five years in the Navy or Marine Corps.

“He’s just got an excellent attitude toward swimming,” Raymond said. “He works really hard at it and he has a good group of kids to train with. They want to do well in all aspects of life, but they also have a side where they can be a little bit goofy and enjoy themselves.”

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