LEWISTON — On senior night for Edward Little and Lewiston at the Lesley Martin and Chris Campbell Memorial Swim Meet at Bates College, Melina Masselli “wanted to end with a bang.” 

The Lewiston senior did just that, winning both of her individual races (50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly) and the two relay races she competed in (200 medley and 200 freestyle). Masselli’s performance earned her the Lesley Martin Award as the most outstanding swimmer. 

“To know that I represent someone so amazing is just a really cool thing for me, and I am honored to represent Lesley in such a good way,” Masselli said.

Masselli and the 200 medley relay team started the meet by winning with a time of 1:58.35. She then won the 50 freestyle (27.12), and after about a 10-minute break, the 100 butterfly (1:08.63). 

“Overall, I think I swam really well,” Masselli said. “I made sure to get some extra sleep last night, but I definitely swam better than I have for the rest of the season so far, so I am really excited for states and regionals.”

The Blue Devils took home both team titles on the night with the girls winning 89-78, and the boys winning 72-40. 

Lewiston’s Emma Hawley also claimed four wins (100 backstroke, 500 freestyle, 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay), while Taylor Belanger was on the two winning relays and earned a first-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke. 

The Chris Campbell Award has always been given to a male swimmer, but Wednesday it went to a female for the first time, Izzy Bellefleur of Edward Little. 

Bellefleur won the 200 individual medley as well as the 400 freestyle relay. She also swam to runner-up finishes in the 100breaststroke and the 200 medley relay. 

“I had the pleasure of coaching Chris and knowing Chris for most of his life,” Edward Little coach Scott Morrison said. “Chris was a really hard worker, really caring individual and he would help any of the kids on our team, and any kid, period. Although Izzy isn’t a boy and normally we do a boy, when you start to think about the characteristics of Chris Campbell, Izzy fits them right to a T. It was easy for us to make that choice.”

Emma Hefty of Edward Little won the 200 freestyle as well as the 400 freestyle relay. While Morrison was happy with his top swimmer’s performances, he said there was a senior that stepped up to the plate for the Eddies on senior night. 

“Absolutely we had some amazing swims from our top swimmers,” Morrison said. “One of our seniors who may not have had the fastest times in the pool tonight — we were missing some kids because of injuries and sickness — (was) Courtney Beaudoin. She stepped up tonight in events that she’s never swum in her four years, and I couldn’t be prouder.”

Lewiston dominated the boys competition. 

Elijah Escobar (200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay, 100 backstroke and the 50 freestyle), Alex Akers (200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay, 200 individual medley and the 500 freestyle) and Caleb Suli (200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay, 200 freestyle and the 100 freestyle) all earned the maximum four wins.

Both coaches agreed that the friendly rivalry between the two teams helped bring our fast times and huge performances. 

“As a whole, I think this is the meet with the most spirit of the entire season,” Lewiston coach Troy Boutin said. “I think it’s because we are competing against our rivals from across the river, but it’s also because our best swimmers have grown up with their best swimmers. There’s a really healthy rivalry with them.”

In what might have been the race of the night, Akers defeated Edward Little’s Andrew Casares in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:17.54, which was 0.28 seconds faster than Casares. 

“Oh, my gosh, he had a great meet,” Boutin said. “That 200 IM was a fantastic race. He lowered his best time of the season by a few seconds in that one race.

“He was clearly motivated by swimming against Andrew, and I was very proud of him for the race he swam — a strong, smart race. I think the IM is going to be a strong race for Alex going forward.”

The meet was loud and full of passion from start to finish, an atmosphere Morrison said he doesn’t think you can find anywhere else. 

“I think, overall, the EL-Lewiston meet always has a ton of energy and a lot of us have swam together for our entire lives,” Masselli said. “Having that energy and being able to pump ourselves up to swim against friends really motivates us to do better.”


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