(From left) Ellsworth swim team members Ellie Clarke, Miriam Nelson, Caitlin MacPherson and Kristy Barry pose for a photo after a dual meet against Bangor on Dec. 15 at Husson University. The quartet set school records in both the 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay. DENNETT CLARKE PHOTO

Ellsworth girls set swimming, diving records against Bangor



ELLSWORTH — It didn’t take very long for this year’s Ellsworth swim team to rewrite the record books.

Five members of the Ellsworth girls’ team made history Saturday with record-setting performances in the team’s dual meet against Bangor at Husson University. The team of Ellie Clarke, Miriam Nelson and Kristy Barry set school bests in the 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays, and freshman Elena Springer became the first person to represent the school in a diving event.

Barry and MacPherson competed in the first two legs of the 200 medley relay, the day’s opening event, with the former swimming the backstroke and the latter swimming the breaststroke. Clarke then swam the butterfly in the third leg, and Nelson finished it off with the freestyle portion of the race to reach the wall in 1 minute, 56.69 seconds, 1.59 seconds better than the previous mark.

After a long wait, the quartet got the chance to finish off the girls’ team competition with the 400 freestyle relay. With Clarke going first, Nelson and MacPherson swimming the middle legs and Barry finishing the race, the Eagles secured a time of 3:57.72 to beat the old school record of 3:58.83 set in 2015.

In the girls’ 1-meter dive, Springer, the first diver in team history, recorded a gross score of 135.5 over six attempts. That effort qualified the freshman for the state championship meet in February.

“She demonstrated superb poise and skill in her dives,” Ellsworth head coach Jim Goodman said of Springer’s performance on the diving board. “She is a welcome addition to the girls’ team.”

In the overall team competition, the Class A Rams topped the Ellsworth girls 119-66. In addition to helping the Eagles earn relay wins, Clarke and Barry gave the team individual victories with first-place finishes in the 50- and 500-yard freestyles, respectively.

The Eagles didn’t leave Husson without a team win, though, as the boys topped Bangor by a score of 107-63. The boys’ squad swept the relay events with wins in the 200 medley and 200 and 400 freestyle competitions, and Camden Holmes (50 freestyle and 100-yard butterfly), Sean Hill (100- and 200-yard freestyles) and Sam Pelletier (100-yard backstroke) came away with individual wins.

“The boys’ team had an awesome meet,” said Goodman, who also lauded the efforts of the Eagles’ many second- and third-place finishers. “They did well in placing for points across all events.”

The meet continued an excellent early-season run for Ellsworth, which qualified a whopping 31 swimmers for the state championships Tuesday in its season-opening meet against Hampden Academy. The Eagles swept that dual meet with the girls winning 103-66 and the boys topping the visiting Broncos 112-54.

“The team practiced well and hard leading up to [the Hampden meet], and we even had several swimmers make or set best times from last season,” Goodman said. “Their goal is to achieve their best in each upcoming meet with a focus on the PVC championships and states.”

Ellsworth’s next meet will be against Washington Academy at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at the Down East Family YMCA. The Eagles will close out 2018 when they compete in the Morse Invitational at 4 p.m. Dec. 28, at the Bath YMCA.

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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