GSA swim team opens against Ellsworth Sealander sets school record

sports; GSA; swim; meet; TEAM; 121516; DECEMEBER 13TH; ELLSWORTH; Eagles; GSA SWIM MEET; George Stevens Academy; TATE YODER PHOTOGRAPHY; WEELKY PACKET; game; high school; school; sport Front row, from left: Matthew Billings, Elana Bakeman, Ellie Gellerson, Emma Larson-Whittaker, Ava Sealander, Maya Pelletier, Yiging Liu, Montana Van Duijn, Yuxiao Zhang, and Yizhan Song. Second row: Coach Don Driscoll, Evan Soukup, Jeremiah Scheff, Katie Forrest, Jiachen Wang, Tianho Yan. Back row: Alexander Yap, Eric Cai, and Assistant Coach Richard Larson. Photo by Tate Yoder

Front row, from left: Matthew Billings, Elana Bakeman, Ellie Gellerson, Emma Larson-Whittaker, Ava Sealander, Maya Pelletier, Yiging Liu, Montana Van Duijn, Yuxiao Zhang, and Yizhan Song. Second row: Coach Don Driscoll, Evan Soukup, Jeremiah Scheff, Katie Forrest, Jiachen Wang, Tianho Yan. Back row: Alexander Yap, Eric Cai, and Assistant Coach Richard Larson. Photo by Tate Yoder

Ellsworth—The Eagles varsity swim team’s opening meet came with highs and lows.

The low was the girls and boys scores, compared to Ellsworth, who have more than twice as many swimmers, about 40 to George Steven’s 17.

The GSA boys team scored 25 points to Ellsworth’s 131, while the girls had 53 to Ellsworth’s 94.

“We kind of knew coming in,” Coach Don Driscoll said of the lopsided numbers.

The high note was junior Ava Sealander setting a new school record in the Women’s Backstroke.

“Ava is certainly one of the elite swimmers in the state of Maine.” Driscoll said.

A Penobscot Valley Conference championship winner last season, Sealander has “actually improved a lot since last year. We expect big things from Ava,” said Driscoll.

sports; GSA; swim; meet; ava; sealander; 121516; AVA SEALANDER; DECEMEBER 13TH; ELLSWORTH; Eagles; GSA SWIM MEET; George Stevens Academy; TATE YODER PHOTOGRAPHY; WEELKY PACKET; game; high school; school; sport Ava Sealander competes in the Women

Ava Sealander competes in the Women’s 100 Yard Butterfly. Photo by Tate Yoder

Maya Pelletier, Emma Larson-Whittaker and Ellie Gellerson are all top, returning swimmers for the GSA girls team, while on the boys side, Jeremiah Scheff, Evan Soukup and Alex Yap are back.

Joining the team are new, inexperienced swimmers, many who are international students new to the sport.

“Probably 10 [team members] never swam competitively. Some of them probably never really swam much at all,” Driscoll notes.

While he coaches the experienced team members, Assistant Coach Rick Larson is handling the new swimmers.

“It’s worked out well—with one coach it would be  difficult,” Driscoll said.

The team practices at the Maine Maritime Academy pool  and holds home meets at the Ellsworth YMCA, where on Monday, December 19, they face Dover-Foxcroft.  Ellsworth may join in to make it a dual meet, Driscoll said.

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