Bangor—The boys and girls varsity swim teams finished a respectable seventh for the girls and ninth for the boys out of 15 high schools competing at the Penobscot Valley Conference meet at Husson College on February 6 and 7.
While the team scores landed them in the middle of the scoring pack, “about 90 percent of our swimmers [did] their best time,” said Coach Don Driscoll. “That was pretty amazing.”
Freshman Ava Sealander missed a first-place finish in the 200 individual medley by less than 1.5 seconds and placed third in the 100 butterfly. Sophomore Maya Pelletier placed second in the 500 freestyle, three seconds behind the winner, and nabbed the fourth spot in the 200 freestyle. Emma Larson-Whittaker placed seventh in the 100 freestyle. All three will compete at the state championships at the University of Maine at Orono next week.
The relay teams of Ellie Gellerson, Sealander, Pelletier and Larson-Whittaker placed fifth in the 200 freestyle and, with a switch of Hanna Jordan for Gellerson, grabbed sixth in the 400 freestyle. In the 200 medley relay, Madison Cole, Karina Steenberg, Emma Richardson and Cedar Slagle placed 11th. With relay teams not required to qualify to compete at the state championships, Driscoll will bring all three teams to the states.
The boys, with a smaller team by nearly half, competed best in the relays, grabbing a seventh in the 200 medley and a sixth in the 200 freestyle. Garrison Looke, Lucas Theoharidis, Alex Taylor-Lash and Alexciy Prokopov swam in the medley, with Evan Soukup replacing Taylor-Lash in the freestyle.
Junior Alexciy Prokopov, the only state qualifier on the boys team, will race in the 50 and 100 freestyle.
“The boys have continually improved the whole season,” said Driscoll, who is bringing three of their relay teams to Orono.
Training for the state meet is more about the mind and less about pushing the body, according to Driscoll.
“We train extremely hard throughout the season and, when we get to this point, it’s all about rest and eating properly and a minimum amount of yardage….[We] get kind of really mentally prepared to swim fast. It usually works,” he said.