ORONO — Edward Little’s Izzy Bellefleur turned in a pair of top-five finishes and a Lewiston had two top-three relays at the Class A girls swimming and diving championships Monday at Wallace Pool on the campus of the University of Maine.

The Blue Devils’ 200-yard freestyle relay team of Emma Hawley, Taylor Belanger, Masselli and Kate Bilodeau placed second in the 200-yard freestyle relay, finishing in 1:46.77. The same four swimmers took third in the 200 medley relay (1:57.59).

Bellefleur, a junior, placed third in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:09.09, and fifth in the 200-yard IM at 2:21.90.

Bellefleur and the Blue Devils’ relays were the highlights for the Twin Cities, as Lewiston took eighth (137 points) and Edward Little ninth (114) and Lewiston (eighth, 137 points), and each had several swimmers turn in top-10 performances.

“Izzy had some amazing swims today,” Edward Little coach Scott Morrison said. “She along with Emma Hefty helped carry the team  to some amazing top-eight finishes. They also led our medley relay and our 400 free relay. We finished ninth overall. Certainly one of our best performances in recent history.

“It was just amazing meet … by our kids — freshmen, sophomores and juniors. We certainly had some high expectations of the group, and, quite frankly, they met every one of those goals along the way.”

Hefty, also a junior, finished seventh in the 200-yard freestyle (2:09.31) and took sixth in the 500-yard freestyle (5:43.60).

In the 400 freestyle relay, the Red Eddies’ team of Mya  Vincent, Sarah Agren, Bellefleur and Hefty produced a seventh-place showing with a time of 4:04.39. Agren, Bellefleur, Hefty and Sam Poirer also finished fifth in the 200 medley relay (2:00.96).

Morrison said the Red Eddies faced some adversity, sickness and injuries during the regular season.

“We kind of limped into KVACs. I was missing quite a few girls,” Morrison said. “But those kids who swam did a great job. It was an amazing culmination of an incredible season. I couldn’t be more proud of our team this year.”

Individually, Lewiston’s Hawley collected at fourth-place showing in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:40.21. She also took seventh in the 100 backstroke (1:04.88).

Belanger ended up fourth for the Blue Devils in the 100 breaststroke at 1:10.23, one spot behind Bellelfeur, and took sixth in the 100-yard butterfly at 1:04.47. Masselli grabbed ninth place in the 100 butterfly (106.70) and finished 10th in the 100 breaststroke (1:14.68).

Kennebunk claimed the Class A girls team state championship, perhaps aided by what can be called a corollary to that old bromide about not entering the water until at least half an hour after a meal.

The advice from Rams coach Andrew Coulombe to the four swimmers before the concluding 400-yard freestyle relay late Monday was simple if not literal.

Kennebunk’s 400-yard relay team – Chloe Matthews, left, Ella Yentsch, Annalise Cowing and Grace Girard – clinched the Rams’ state Class A championship by finishing second. Glenn Jordan/Portland Press Herald

“Coach specifically told us to eat a sandwich on the blocks,” said senior Ella Yentsch, the Rams’ anchor, after emerging from a celebratory dip in Wallace Pool, “which means, basically, to take your time.”

Nursing a lead of 1.5 points over a Cony squad seeking a third title in four years, Kennebunk needed mostly to avoid disqualification but also to finish ahead of Cony.

Ever so cautiously, Yentsch followed freshmen Chloe Matthews and Annalise Cowing and fellow senior Grace Girard into the water and earned a second-place finish to a victorious South Portland quartet. It was enough to clinch the first Class A girls swimming and diving state championship for Kennebunk.

“It was extremely relieving,” Yentsch said. “On top of that, we broke a school record (3 minutes, 53.07 seconds in the 400 free relay), which added to the excitement.”

Kennebunk finished with 235.5 points. South Portland, with only four swimmers qualified in individual events, used its 400 free relay victory (3:50.45) to leapfrog Cony and defending champ Bangor and grab second at 218.

Scarborough junior Morgan Porter won two events, the 100 backstroke and 500 freestyle. Glenn Jordan/Portland Press Herald

Bangor was third at 213 points, a point ahead of Cony (which won both short relays but dropped to 11th in the 400 free relay) at 212. Gorham was fifth at 164 followed by Falmouth (163), Cheverus (153.5), Lewiston (137) and 15 other schools.

Cony senior Cecilia Guadalupi was named Performer of the Meet after winning her two individual events (100 breast in 1:04.53) and (200 individual medley in 2:05.45) as well as taking part in Cony’s victorious 200 medley relay (1:53.36) and 200 free relay (1:44.46).

Cony led through three events, then nearly overtook Kennebunk in the final individual event when Guadalupi and sophomore teammate Lunden Dinkel went 1-2 in the breaststroke and Kennebunk managed a single point from Maya Olin’s 16th.

At the halfway point, it was Bangor in the lead. Kennebunk assumed control for good in the next race, the 100 freestyle, when sophomore Kaira Wirth won the fourth of six heats and zoomed from 18th seed to fifth. Coupled with a third from Matthews and a 14th from junior Nina Sharp, the southernmost Rams took a commanding lead.

“I have been recovering from mono recently,” Wirth said. “I know what I’m capable of and I wanted to put it all in the pool (Monday).”

Guadalupi wasn’t the only individual double winner. Scarborough junior Morgan Porter won the 100 backstroke (1:00.77) and the 500 free (5:20.05).

Cony teammates Cecilia Guadalupi, left, and Lunden Dinkel of Cony went first and second in the 100 breaststroke. Glenn Jordan/Portland Press Herald

Other individual winners were Cony sophomore Emma Thomas in the 200 free (1:58.83), South Portland senior Margie Jones in the 100 butterfly (58.75), Biddeford sophomore Ella Leonard in the 100 free (55.89) and Falmouth seniors Mae Causey in the 50 free (24.87) and Lilly Smith in 1-meter diving (397.00 points).

It marked the second straight diving title for Smith, who plans to enroll in a college (Syracuse University) that doesn’t offer diving.

“I enjoy the sport but I feel like having a break would be nice,” Smith said. “It’s a big mental sport.”

Kennebunk sophomore Camilla Rawlings rose from seventh in preliminaries to fourth in the final diving standings. Yentsch was her school’s highest individual finisher, with second in both the 200 free (with Matthews fourth) and the 500 free.

Girard, who was seventh in the butterfly and eighth in the 200 individual medley, embraced Yentsch after the final results were announced, a triumphant moment for Kennebunk’s two seniors.

“Honestly, I couldn’t ask for anything more than to end my senior season this way,” Yentsch said. “I definitely couldn’t have predicted it at the beginning of the year.”

Back in the fall, searching for a slogan to the season, Coulombe stumbled across a Facebook meme showing a horizontal line separating WE (above) and ME (below). A junior high math teacher, Coulombe viewed it as an instructional fraction and slapped it on team T-shirts: We over Me.

Kennebunk celebrates its Class A girls swimming championship Monday at the University of Southern Maine. Glenn Jordan/Portland Press Herald

On Monday, the sum of its parts amounted to the first state title in school history.

“This has been the hardest-working, most-dedicated group that I’ve had in six years,” Coulombe said. “I’m so proud of them. I’m having a hard time not getting emotional about this. They’re a special group.”

Sun Journal sports reporter Tony Blasi contributed to this report.


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