May 27, 2024
Sports Column

Local teams open season Friday in PVC relays

Local interscholastic swimming and diving teams open the 2008-09 season Friday at the annual Penobscot Valley Conference Relay Carnival scheduled for the Wallace pool on the UMaine campus in Orono.

Among the teams participating in Friday’s male and female competition is Mount Desert Island High School, coached by Tony DeMuro.

“It is a fun meet. It is a nice way to open the season. And, it is a good chance to catch a glimpse of those teams you will see during the season,” DeMuro said. “We view it as a fun meet, although it is hard not to be competitive in a pool of 600 people.”

Other teams participating include Bangor, Brewer, John Bapst Memorial, Old Town, Orono, Caribou, Ellsworth, Foxcroft Academy, Presque Isle and Washington Academy.

Following Friday’s PVC competition, coaches will have their first race times of the 2008-09 season and will begin to consider, “How fast can we go?” and swimmers will ask coaches,”How fast can I go?”

A read of Maine interscholastic swimming history reveals that during the decade of the 1980s, Maine female high school swimmers eclipsed historic time barriers, setting a high standard of performance for racers 25 years later.

In 1981, the 25-second barrier in the 50 free was broken by Karen Dionne of Morse High when the freshmen sped to a 24.69. Dionne also that same year broke the 1:10 barrier in the 100-yard breaststroke at 1:09.1.

Dionne continued her swimming for the University of Kansas.

Later in the decade, Maine’s first interscholastic sub-60 second 100 butterfly finish was recorded by Anne Marie Largay, also of Morse. Largay won a national title as a member of the NCAA Div. III Johns Hopkins team. And, it may be that in the 2008-09 interscholastic competition, racers will dislodge time barriers that 25 years later continue to be recognized as fast!

Lane Lines …

. David Ploch, who led Old Town High School boys’ swimming to 13 Class B State championships between 1983-1997, has returned to coaching as head coach of the Old Town High boys’ team.

Ploch in 2007 was inducted into the Maine Swimming Hall of Fame.

. When Sports Illustrated recently named Michael Phelps, Sportsman of the Year, Phelps became the first swimmer ever to be so recognized by the publication. Terry McDonell, SI Group Editor, commenting on the selection said, “the easiest choice I have made.”

. Bangor native Kevin Wright, diving coach at Texas A&M, had a member of the Aggie diving team, Eric Sehn, named Big 12 Diver of the Week following last week’s meet.

. Coach Jeff Wren’s young Husson University Eagles enter their first two-day competition of the season this weekend when the Eagles race in the Great Northeast Conference Championship at Simmons College. Joining Husson in the meet are Simmons, Wheelock, Elms, Norwich, St. Joseph’s College of Maine and St. Joseph’s College of Connecticut.

. The Maine Black Bear swimmers and divers travel this weekend to Kingston, R.I., where they will compete in the Rhode Island Invitational. The Rhode Island Invitational will close the first semester competition for the Black Bears. Following a training trip to Florida during the semester break, the Black Bears return to action in January against Providence College.

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