Maine looks to improve America East seed times

The dual-meet season concludes for the University of Maine swimmers at 4 p.m. Friday when the Black Bear women will host the University of New Hampshire Wildcats.

“They are strong. One more time we have the chance to race at home against a strong team and improve our America East seed times,” Maine coach Susan Lizzotte said.

Last week the Maine women defeated Boston College.

“They are becoming a team,” said Lizzotte of her Black Bears. “Some great things happened in the BC meet. When the team comes the swims follow.”

Against BC, the Maine women won the four relays, an indication that Lizzotte’s training emphasis on building a team that is versatile in strokes and events has spawned depth. Freestylers Grace Barnett (54.4 seconds) and Helaina Sacco (53.7) drew commendation from Lizzotte for their relay swims. Teammate Lauren Dwyer continued her quality racing as well.

In the 200 backstroke, a new event for Dwyer this year, the Orono High graduate swam a 2:10.8, the second fastest time for the Black Bears this year.

Shannon Bender, who has recorded the fastest 200 back for Maine this year, displayed her versatility with a sharply impressive 10:38 1000 free.

“She has been on a mission this year,” Lizzotte said of Bender.

Captain Lauren Thornborough’s  2:09 200 butterfly also pleased Lizzotte.

“We are seeing all sorts of good things from her,” she said.

Meanwhile for the men, idle until the America East Championships, Brewer’s Andy Meehan continued his hot swimming with a 52.8 100 butterfly, a personal record for dual-meet swim.

“There are a lot of good things in his swimming. His quickness is really starting to come,” Lizzotte observed.

Yuri Chornobil’s approach to his races, (200 free 1:47.5, 500 free 4:53.3) particularly the back half of the race where he “never backed off,”  also impressed Lizzotte. And, freshman Ryan Fahey swam a personal record in the 200 free 1:47.5.

“No one stops him. He is on a mission,” the coach added.

The Black Bears, despite numerous front-line performances, lost to the Eagles.

College notebook

• Former Bangor High star Erin Thomas and her 20th-ranked Penn Sate Nittany Lion teammates defeated Villanova last weekend. Thomas finished second in the 100 free (52.2), third behind her teammates in the 50 (24.3) and split 23.7 on the PSU 1:34.2 200 free relay.

• The number one ranked Arizona Wildcats defeated the number two ranked Texas Longhorns, the team of Mount Desert Island standout Ian Carbone.

• And, Louisville, 14th ranked, defeated Indiana (12th). IU’s James Wells finished second in the 100 back (48.5) and third in the 200 back (1:50.5). The Morse High of Bath graduate split 20.2 on the Hoosiers’ second place 1:21.4 200 free relay.

• Bowdoin’s Nate Mecray was named the NESCAC male swimmer of the week following his speedy 58.6 100 breaststroke against Trinity College and Wesleyan University. The Greely High of Cumberland Center graduate also won the 100 free (47.5).

Swimmers prep for state meets

With the conference championships and state meets scheduled for this month, area swimmers continue to lead in the state rankings.

Ellsworth’s Keith Chandler leads the Class B 200 freestylers at 1:51.4.
Foxcroft’s Cam Fadley heads the backstrokers (56.3) and in Class B Leila Johnston of MDI is the fastest 100 butterflyer at 58.8.

Bangor’s Emma Waddell retains the No. 1 time in the 200 individual medley in Class A (2:10.5) and in the 100 free (53.8). The Bangor High boys continue to lead the field in the 200 medley relay 1:44.2, seven-tenths ahead of Cheverus of Portland. And, in the 400 free relay Bangor’s performance of 3:29.4, swum in the opening competition of the season, the PVC relay carnival, remains the fastest in Class A.