Both Lewiston and Edward Little are preparing for the Class A swim championships, with the boys meet going on Saturday at the University of Maine in Orono while the girls jump into the pool Monday at the state’s flagship school.

What both teams have in common is underclassmen will be leading the charge for their respective teams.

On the girls’ side, Taylor Belanger, a sophomore at Lewiston, won the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly events at the Class A KVAC championship meet last Saturday. Fellow Blue Devil sophomore Emma Hawley finished third in the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke races at the KVACs.

Both helped Lewiston to second-place finishes in the 200-yard IM relay and 200-yard freestyle relay events.

Freshman Emily Bilodeau finished seventh in the 500-yard freestyle.

“Across our entire team this season, we only have four seniors,” Lewiston coach Troy Boutin said. “Among those four, Melina Masselli is our only top swimmer (for girls) that’s going to graduate this year. Most of the power of this team is made up of relative younger swimmers, including sophomore girls and a freshman boy — up-and-coming swimmers who are freshmen and sophomores as well.”

As a team, the Lewiston girls placed third at KVACs.

For the Red Eddies, they had freshmen Mya Vincent finish fourth in the 100-yard freestyle and fifth in the 50-yard freestyle while freshman Brooklynn Hamilton finished in 10th in both of the same events.

Both also helped Edward Little place second in the 400-yard freestyle relay, and Vincent helped EL to a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard medley.

On the boys’ side, Red Eddies freshman Andrew Casares had a second-place finish at the KVACs in the 200-yard IM and third in the 500-yard freestyle. He helped the Red Eddies to a third-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

For Edward Little coach Scott Morrison, the Red Eddies boys team is a small group, but it allows for more individual training.

“When we have a smaller team, that’s when we get to actually work on the kids performing amazing swim times individually,” Morrison said. “Like Andrew, he qualified for states in every event and is ranked pretty well in a number of those events. We might not win many team meets because we only have (five) boys, we get focus more on the individual swims and qualifying for states and doing the best we can.”

For the Blue Devils, the top of the roster is anchored by senior Elijah Escobar and junior Caleb Suli, but freshman Alex Akers also had himself a solid day at Bowdoin College on Saturday at the KVACs, finishing second in the 500-yard freestyle and fourth in the 200-yard freestyle. Along with Escobar and Suli, Akers was on the relay teams that placed second in the 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle.

“Alex, in both of his two (individual) races, particularly the 500, performed above expectations,” Boutin said. “That helps the team. Not to mention our two relay teams performed quite well. I think our medley relay team finished ahead of where they (were) seeded.”

Both of those relay teams also had sophomore Brandon Lynch, who had a ninth-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle and an 11th-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle. Cymon Gaudet, a freshman, finished ninth in the 100-yard breaststroke and in 12th in the 50-yard freestyle.

LEWISTON BOYS SMALL, BUT HAD A STRONG PERFORMANCE AT KVACS

Just like the Edward Little boys team, the Blue Devils are a smaller group, with only six swimmers, and they look to take the fourth-place finish on Saturday to a strong performance at states.

“Going into the (KVAC) meet, it was a real question if our boys were going to be able to get into that fourth or fifth spot,” Boutin said. “…I think that’s pretty amazing when you have a team as small as we did, six total swimmers, that’s pretty good.”

The Blue Devils finished with 138 points. With Akers’ performance and the two strong relay performances, Escobar was second in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke. Suli finished second in the 200-yard freestyle and finished right behind Escobar in the 100-yard backstroke, as he finished in third.

RED EDDIES GIRLS TEAM WILL BE HEALTHIER FOR STATES

Edward Little’s girls team will enter the state meet more healthy than it did in the KVAC meet.

Edward Little was down two swimmers — Sarah Agren and Caelan McGuigan — while Hamilton wasn’t at full strength last Saturday.

“We had some great swims at KVACs, unfortunately, two of our top swimmers weren’t swimming at KVACs,” Morrison said. “Had we had our full complement of kids, I think we would have finished second or third. “

The Red Eddies finished in fifth place at KVACs.

Junior Izzy Bellefleur won the 100-yard breaststroke and came in the second in the 200-yard IM. Emma Hefty, also a junior, had a second-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle.

INDIVIDUALS WILL REPRESENT LEAVITT AND HEBRON AT STATES

Ethan and Ellena Frumiento both have qualified for individual events at the state championships, as they will be representing Hebron Academy.

Leavitt had Jaylee Boucher and Nick Tirell both score points for their school at the KVAC championships. Boucher scored two points with an 11th-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle, while Tirell scored nine points with an eighth-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke and a ninth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle.

Tirell did qualify for states while Boucher just missed.

For the Frumientos and Tirell, they want to score at the state meet.

“They absolutely want to score a point for their school because it puts them on the map,” said Morrison, who also coaches Leavitt, Hebron, Lisbon, Oxford Hills and St. Dom’s. “It says ‘Hey, a kid from Hebron or a kid from Leavitt or a kid from Oxford or a kid from St. Dom’s, we belong here like everybody else. And we can score points like everyone else.’ During the regular season, most of those individual swimmers, they can’t score points in dual meets because the way the league is set up.”


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