Not having a neighborhood pool or enough classmates to put together a swim team hasn’t stopped at least three local athletes from finding a place to compete.

Kristen Morissette and Alana Hartford of Leavitt and Lily Wade of Lisbon raced in Edward Little’s first meet of the season Dec. 6 against Waterville.

“I want the kids to have the opportunity to swim, and those schools just don’t have enough kids to do it,” EL coach Scott Morrison said.

Morissette, Hartford and Wade practice each day with the Red Eddies but represent their own schools in weekly meets, as well as the later conference and state events.

Their scores are displaced from the results so as not to impact the team scores at dual or triangular meets, just as they would be in a sport such as cross country, where athletes sometimes compete as individuals.

“It would be great if we could be like the Leavitt/Edward Little girls’ hockey team and count those points,” joked Morrison.


The concept isn’t new or unique. Morrison estimated that 50 Maine swimmers competed as individuals during the 2012-13 season.

Morissette is back for her second year sharing a training facility with EL. As a freshman, she finished third and fifth in solo events at the KVAC championship and also scored points on behalf of the Hornets at the Class A state meet.

“She is very good,” Morrison said. “She’ll qualify for states and score in the 100 backstroke. Lily is a junior and is also good. She’ll qualify for multiple events at states and could score.”

Hartford is a freshman.

In the first meet of the season, Morisette’s time of 1:09.82 would have been enough to win the 100 backstroke going away. Wade’s 1:13 in that event was the second-best time.

Morissette also ranked second in the 50 freestyle, and Wade was second in the 500 free.


No uphill climb

Until this weekend’s anticipated storm, few Nordic skiing teams had the luxury of practicing on snow, at least not of the depth and variety that simulate the conditions they hope to see in January and February.

Running, stationary biking and other forms of cross-training are the methods most squads use to create an oxygen deficit and prepare for their season.

Except for Mt. Blue, that is. David Nordstrom’s cross-country team has benefited from a limited amount of machine-made snow at Titcomb Mountain for two weeks.

“Titcomb made snow on their bunny slope, and we are going up and down a lot right now,” Nordstrom said.

Making use of an alpine facility is great preparation for the kind of environment the Cougars will experience when the state meet at Rangeley Trails rolls around.


With reigning freestyle champion Sarah Wade back for her senior season, the Cougars have championship aspirations.

“Compared to the southern teams, we have an edge with our classical technique,” Nordstrom said. “We also train on hills all of the time, so we like hills.”

Rookie, sort of

Her backgrounds in field hockey and basketball are significant, so seeing Jane DiPompo in charge of the Nordic skiing team at Spruce Mountain High School might be a surprise to some.

Skiing is a lifetime activity, though, and DiPompo isn’t exactly new to the game.

“We will be starting from scratch and doing the basics, as I’m a rookie coach and will be getting a feel for the sport and the athletes,” DiPompo said. “I have always loved the sport for fitness and getting outsid. The racing side of it is new, so it is exciting and challenging, but I welcome the chance.”


DiPompo has plenty of talent available for the transition. Three of her boys’ racers — Stephen Sylvester, Chad Richards and Alex Greenleaf — finished among the top 10 in last year’s Class B skimeister standings.

“They are looking to be competitive in the MVC and make some waves,” she said. “It’s been a while for Nordic, and they are hoping to turn that around.”

On the girls’ side, the Phoenix have four skiers, none of them seniors, and DiPompo is maintaining an open-door policy in hopes of adding to the ranks throughout the winter.

“We are anxious to get started,” DiPompo said. “I feel lucky to be working with such a group of quality athletes and a chance to coach with someone like Lindsey (Jacques, alpine coach) as well. Her youth, excitement for alpine and experience are great.”

Unbeaten Eddies

The Edward Little girls’ basketball are making some adjustments early in the season. The Red Eddies return most of the club that was the top-seed in Eastern A last year, but still lost veteran talent in guards Kate Sawyer and Ashlee Arnold. Both were instrumental players in recent seasons for EL. Sawyer was an excellent ball handler and point guard while Arnold was a 1,000-point scorer.


“We’re having to play without a couple of first team all-conference players,” said EL coach Craig Jipson. “We haven’t seen a press for two or three years. Last year, with Ashlee, we never saw a zone. We’re going to see that more. We’ve averaged 60 points per game the last two years. We led the league in scoring. This year we only scored 60 points once in nine (preseason) games. We’ve had a lot of 14-13 halftime scores. It’s going to come but some of our kids need some confidence to score.”

Guard Kory Norcross is a four-year veteran while guard Tianna Harriman and forward Emily Jacques are proven players taking on larger roles. EL may score more inside than outside at times this season and may be evolving into a different team from years past. But so far, the results have been the same. EL has started the year strong with a 3-0 record, including a 57-47 win over preseason favorite Bangor Friday night.

One of the biggest challenges, Jipson says, is for his kids to not get caught up in all the expectations of past teams. EL has had high hopes in recents years and certainly have the talent to make some noise this year, but he wants his kids focused on other things.

“We just need to relax and have some fun,” said Jipson. “We tell them that they play like they have the whole world on their shoulders. The expectations become so overwhelming that the biggest challenge of our coaching staff is to just get them to relax.”

Got go-to player

Oxford Hills’ forward Anna Winslow has emerged as a go-to player for the Vikings this season. She scored 19 in a loss to Edward Little and led the team with 20 in a win over Mt. Ararat.


“She’s a 180 degree swing from last year,” said Oxford Hills coach Nate Pelletier. “She’s become what we needed her to become, and she’s only a junior.”

Winslow is tall and athletic. She can play inside and outside and the biggest factor for her this year is that she’s playing with great confidence. That’s’ something she’s still working on too. Pelletier says she shoots the lights out in practice but still has to have confidence in being able to shoot regularly and finish in games.

“I think part of it is she’s so athletic that she doesn’t realize how fast she’s coming in and how high she’s coming in,” said Pelletier. “The ball ends up being a little too strong.”

The Vikings lost some veteran talent and leaders last year but still have a promising young team that should be a team to watch down the road. Winslow’s development is just an early sign of that progress the Viking could make.

“The growth of this team through the year is going to be tremendous,” said Pelletier. “We have a lot of young kids. They’re very athletic. If they can make things grow every single game, they can be very dangerous.”

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