Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of stories about this year’s inductees into the Auburn-Lewiston Hall of Fame.

Maureen Berube said it was “absolutely” a surprise to hear she was going to be inducted into the Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame, but even taking a brief look back at her past athletic accomplishments and it should be a surprise to no one.

Maureen Berube won state championships in each of her three seasons of high school swimming at Edward Little. Submitted photo

“For her time, she was the fastest female swimmer in the state of Maine,” Scott Morrison, the current Edward Little swim coach and a classmate of Berube’s at EL, said. “From age eight, when she started, all the way through when she graduated from high school, just absolutely friggin’ amazing.”

Berube, who graduated from Edward Little High School in 1982, has records and titles to her name from her high school and youth swimming days, but the record that might best sum up her abilities and achievements is her high-school won-loss record.

“She didn’t lose a high school race,” Morrison said.

That included state championship races in 1980, ’81 and ’82. And because Auburn ninth-graders went to Walton School instead of EL at the time, Berube didn’t get a chance to start her winning streak in her ninth-grade year of 1979.

Berube’s first state meet was her best, at least according to the records. The then-state-record times she swam in the 100-, 200- and 500-yard freestyle races were marks that still stand in the EL record book.

“It is unbelievable that Maureen set and still holds records from 1980 on our board. That’s just incredible,” Morrison said. “Think about the training tools that we had back then in the ’70s and ’80s, versus the stuff that we have today at our disposal, and to think that Maureen went that fast, just absolutely incredible.”

Berube was the first female swimmer in the state to go under two minutes in the 200 freestyle. Her mark in the EL record books still sits at 1:57.38 from 1980.

Morrison said he knew right away at 8 years old that Berube was a special swimmer with “natural talent, natural ability.” But the achievements she went on to collect might have been a bit of a surprise considering she started her career at the Auburn YMCA, which houses a 20-yard pool, as opposed to a competition-length 25- or 50-yard length pool.

That, though, didn’t stop Berube from success at the high school or youth levels. Her success could have lasted into college, but Berube turned down offers from college swim teams and instead decided to go to school to become a dental hygienist, following in her father’s footsteps.

Berube’s legacy still comes up a lot at Edward Little swimming practices, as does Berube herself from time to time. Morrison said he brings her in because he wants his current swimmers to know who she is, even if Berube isn’t one to search for the spotlight.

Maureen Berube Photo courtesy of Maine Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame

Berube said it’s “very much an honor” to be nominated and inducted into the Auburn-Lewiston Hall of Fame (she was also inducted into the Maine Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame in 2004), but Morrison said “(Maureen) just doesn’t see herself like that, like it was a big deal or that we should make such a fuss over it.”

Instead, it will be up to Morrison, who will introduce Berube at Sunday’s Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame induction and awards banquet, and he has glowing comments from others to share about Berube’s decorated career.

[email protected]