Even though he qualified in eight events, Carson Prouty won’t be swimming at the YMCA Nationals in a few weeks.

Work ethic is not a problem. Prouty is a self-motivator, often swimming his best times in practice.

No, Prouty’s issue with nationals has more to do with a pinpoint fastball, low, on the outside corner of the plate.

Prouty, a Bangor High junior and our choice as Varsity Maine Boys’ Swimmer of the Year, is quite a left-handed pitcher. He already missed the first week of baseball practice because of the YMCA New England swim meet this weekend. He did not want to miss more.

“Nationals meant two more weeks of training,” Prouty said. “As much as I love swimming, I want to do well in baseball.”

Prouty tried to do both sports at the same time last year, “and I was drained.”

He was anything but drained during the swim season. Prouty excelled for the Rams at the Class A state meet, winning two events and setting two state records.

Prouty began his gold haul with a dominating victory in the 200-yard individual medley, winning by 11.3 seconds. His time of 1 minute, 51.19 seconds beat his brother Colby’s meet record in 2018 (1:52.75) and the state record (1:52.03, set in 2016 by Brunswick’s Nate Samson).

He collected another first place in the 100 backstroke (51.03 seconds).

In the meet’s final event, Prouty led off the 400 freestyle relay. Opening legs can qualify for a state record, and Prouty took advantage. His time of 45.99 seconds broke Samson’s record of 46.24.

“He’s naturally talented in all the strokes and disciplines,” said Bangor Coach Jameson Ploch. “He’s pretty self-propelled … He loves to challenge himself in practice. Carson ends up swimming faster times in practice than most people do in meets.”

Prouty said he and his teammates “love to race in practice.” Of course, two of those teammates have been his brothers. Colby graduated last year and swims for the University of Connecticut. Younger brother Connor is a freshman.

“Colby and I would go back and forth in practice, and now Connor gets in on it,” Prouty said. “It’s all fun.”

Prouty says the word “fun” a lot. He enjoys the camaraderie of his high school teammates.

“You’re with a bunch of your peers,” he said. “You have a good time and get to work. Nothing better.”

The same might be said of Prouty’s other team. He was used as a starter and reliever last season as the Rams won a fifth straight baseball state championship. Prouty played a key role in the 2018 Class A title game, entering with one out in the fifth inning with a runner in scoring position and Bangor holding a 7-6 lead over Gorham. He ended the threat with two strikeouts and then pitched the final two innings in a 10-6 victory.

Prouty is not sure what sport he will choose after high school. He said some college coaches have talked to him about doing both.

“But I’m not interested in that,” Prouty said. “I’d rather pick one. Swimming went well this year. But baseball – I love that sport.”

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH

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