The KVAC swimming championships will be one week earlier this season. Instead of being on the second Saturday of February, the meet will be Feb. 5, the first Saturday of the month, at the YMCA in Bath.

There are a couple of reasons for the change, according to Scott Morrison, who coaches Edward Little/Leavitt, along with swimmers from other area schools. 

“KVACs got moved up a week because of the NESCAC championships happening at Colby College,” Morrison said. “Over the last few years, with the way the weather has been, facilities, the KVAC has occasionally moved up that meet up a little sooner in the season. So in case of a weather postponement, we will still be able to swim the meet, so those (times) can count to state qualifying times.”

With other conferences at the high school and college levels having championship meets in February, moving the KVAC meet also helps schedule officials for all the meets.

With the conference meet moving up a week, the Edward Little/Leavitt-Lewiston rivalry races will happen the following week. An exact date and site haven’t been determined.

Morrison said he expects it to be at the home pool of both teams, but the schools still have some logistics to work out.

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“It seems at the moment, the meet will be happening at the Lewiston YWCA,” Morrison said. “I am not sure about spectators at this point because we wouldn’t be able to accommodate all the spectators. How do we determine which ones can come? It may just be the senior parents.”

Bates College normally hosts the meet, but because of COVID restrictions, the school may not host the meet.

Lewiston coach Troy Boutin likes that the rivalry meet was moved to after the KVACs to give another chance for kids to qualify for the state championships.

“I think it’s not a bad thing at all,” Boutin said. “It’s nice to have an additional qualifying meet before states, after KVACs. I believe we have done it in the past, we have scheduled an additional meet just to give kids an opportunity to swim (to qualify). … I don’t see it affecting our enthusiasm for KVACs or for that EL-Lewiston meet.”

Boutin also said a two-week break between the KVAC championships and the state championships, which are Feb. 21-22 at Cape Elizabeth, isn’t ideal. So moving the Edward Little/Leavitt-Lewiston meet helps in that aspect. 

LEWISTON IS GAINING CONFIDENCE

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Boutin is impressed with the way the boys and girls teams at Lewiston have done so far this season.

The girls team is 4-1 this season and the boys, with only four swimmers, have won two of their five meets.

“Both our boys and girls teams have been smaller than historically, even smaller than last year,” Boutin said. “The biggest difference we had this year (to) prior teams is the number of relatively new swimmers. Swimmers that have started their swimming career as freshmen in high school or as current freshmen. There are a lot of new swimmers who are developing.”

The goal going into this season was to develop to the point where the swimmers are competitive at meets. 

One new swimmer that’s going to help Lewiston in the final month of the season is Yassin Hassan.

“He came to us and he couldn’t swim at all,” Boutin said. “He started out paddling and over a course of a few weeks, he’s going to swim the 50-yard freestyle. That’s pretty awesome. This is an unusual year. It’s really hard to have a swimmer with very little experience on the team, but since we have a smaller team, we have been able to (work with him).” 

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The goal in Lewiston’s final six races before the state championships is to get as many qualifiers for the state championship as possible.

Boutin has swimmers who are on the cusp of making the state meet.

“They have brought their times down a lot, they are on the verge of qualifying,” Boutin said. “Brandon (Lynch) is very close to going under a minute in the 100-yard freestyle, which puts him a second and a half or so off of the boys qualifying time. I feel pretty confident he can make that time. Then I got three or four girls that are tenths off from the 50-yard freestyle qualifying time and 100-freestyle qualifying time. My hope is by the end of the regular season and KVACs that we will have three or four girls that are qualified for individual races, and two boys.”

LOCAL STATE QUALIFIERS SO FAR

Here are the area state qualifiers so far for the state championships scheduled for Feb. 21-22. The boys will race Feb. 21 and the girls the following day.

• Andrew Casares and Chase Leonardo of Edward Little/Leavitt have qualified for seven of the eight individual races. Casares holds Edward Little’s school records for the 100-yard fly, 200-yard IM and 500-yard freestyle. He broke the 500-yard freestyle record last year.

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Both haven’t competed in the 500-yard freestyle yet this year, but coach Scott Morrison said he expects both to swim it and qualify before the season ends.

• Lewiston’s Gavin Bavis has also qualified for seven events; the only event he hasn’t qualified for is the 100-yard fly.

Swimmers will only race two individual events at the state championships.

• Edward Little/Leavitt’s Gavin Holbrook has qualified for four events (50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard fly and the 100-yard breaststroke). Teammate Isaac Raymond has qualified for the 200- and 500-yard freestyle.

• All three Edward Little-Leavitt boys relay teams are ranked in the top 10 in the state. 

• Cameron Lemieux of Poland has qualified for the 100-yard backstroke and has the 13th-fastest time in the state.

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• Ethan and Emma Frumiento of Hebron Academy have both qualified for multiple events.

Ethan has qualified for the 50-, 100-, and 200-yard freestyle races and the 100-yard fly.

Emma is sixth in the state in the 50-yard freestyle and has the 15th-fastest time for the 500-yard freestyle. She has also qualified for the 100-yard breaststroke race.

“I had no idea when Emma Frumiento joined us from Hebron she was as fast as she is,” coach Scott Morrison said. “She went 26.86, and I was like: ‘Is that clock right?’ I had no idea she was so fast, but she also qualified for the 500-yard freestyle — which is the longest event. Here you have a swimmer who’s one of the fastest in the state in freestyle and qualified for the 500. … How you swim those races are so very different. To have a freshman qualify that high was shocking.” 

• Fiona Landry of Lewiston has qualified for the 50-, 100-, and 200-yard freestyle events.

“This is her second year swimming competitively,” Boutin said of Landry. “She’s a real natural talent and she has a great build for swimming — she has a natural feel for it. … I expect her to qualify for the 500-yard freestyle soon as well.”

• Ellie Russell of St. Dominic Academy has qualified in the 50-yard freestyle.

Morrison is happy for Russell for qualifying, which is her first time as a senior.

“The happiest moment for me was Ellie Russell qualifying for the 50-freestyle last Friday,” Morrison said. “Ellie hasn’t swum on a club team for many years, so she’s just swimming (at the high school) level. The qualifying times are fast. If you aren’t a club swimmer, you have to work really hard to qualify. Ellie has been close during her four years, but she hadn’t quite made it. She works hard; she’s a great kid. For her to qualify the other night, it brought tears to my eyes.”


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