Blue Hill—The George Stevens Academy varsity swim team opened its 2015-16 season against Ellsworth on December 4.
Now three years old as a competitive team, this is the first year the team is competing independently, instead of with Ellsworth at dual meets.
“We figured it was about time. Ellsworth has been just terrific in guiding us and helping us along the way,” Coach Don Driscoll said.
While neither the boys nor girls team was able to beat Ellsworth—one of the best teams in the state, Driscoll said—top GSA swimmers Maya Pelletier and Ava Sealander, and the 200 yard freestyle relay team of Pelletier, Ellie Gellerson, Emma Larson-Whittaker and Karina Steenberg placed first in a total of five events.
As a team, the girls lost 95-65.
Pelletier, a junior, won the 200 yard freestyle event by a slice over two seconds, in 2:19.03. She followed up with an easy 500 yard freestyle win, at 6:11.75, nearly 12 seconds ahead of the crowd.
In the 200 yard individual medley, sophomore Sealander claimed the win with a 2:25.19 time. In the 100 yard butterfly, she won at 1:03.81, 13 seconds ahead of the second-place time. Both are her signature events: she placed third in the butterfly and fourth in the medley in the Class B championships last January.
For the GSA boys, it was nearly all Ellsworth, with a final team score of 135-21. Senior Alexciy Prokopov missed second-place finishes in the freestyle events by 1.5 seconds in the 50 yard and by 1 second in the 100 yard. Steven Wang notched a third-place finish in the 100 yard breast stroke, and the 200 yard freestyle relay team of Prokopov, Wang, Evan Soukup and Jeremiah Scheff placed third, after the Ellsworth A and B teams.
The GSA Eagles team is 25 strong, Driscoll said. “It’s just a wonderful group of kids, but it’s a novice group with a few veterans. They’re learning, they’re doing well, they’re improving [and] really working hard this year. We’re pretty excited.”