By Glenn Jordan
Portland Press Herald
ORONO — One week after falling to Ellsworth in the conference meet in the same pool, Mount Desert Island turned the tables Saturday with a convincing victory in the Class B boys’ swimming and diving state championships at the University of Maine.
Led by two individual victories and a meet record from Liam Sullivan, the Trojans clinched the victory before the final relay.
“We were disappointed with that performance (last week),” Sullivan said. “You can’t ask for a better opportunity the next week to turn it around.”
Sullivan, the rare state champion who eschews club or YMCA swimming to focus solely on his high school team, won the 100-yard breast stroke by more than 5 seconds in a time of 56.82. Not only was it a Class B record, it also marked the third straight heat of the breast stroke in which an MDI swimmer touched first.
Ponce Saltysiak moved up to seventh from the 11th seed by winning one of the four heats, and Luiz Estacio cut 3 seconds from his seed time to win another heat and improve from 20th seed to 15th place.
“It was all over the place,” MDI head coach Tony DeMuro said. “You can’t just say it was the top line. We had kids everywhere. It’s contagious.”
The Trojans claimed their second straight state title by finishing with 381 points to 312 for Ellsworth, which lost its dual meet with MDI by a point before winning the Penobscot Valley Conference title.
Cape Elizabeth was third at 239, followed by Greely (179), Morse (175), Yarmouth (152.5) and 14 other schools. Cape Elizabeth and Ellsworth each claimed three individual events and also accounted for the three relay victories, but neither of them could match MDI’s depth.
The Trojans grabbed four of the 16 scoring positions in half of the eight individual swimming events: breaststroke, butterfly, 200 free and 500 free. Isaac Mains, seeded 19th, zoomed to ninth in the fly to finish behind three teammates who placed second (Tyler Willis), sixth (Amos Price) and seventh (Zeke Valleau).
“This is our big focus from Day 1,” said Sullivan, who also won the 200 individual medley in 1:54.18 and was named Swimmer of the Meet. “We sink all our eggs into this one basket.”
The only other double winner was Camden Holmes of Ellsworth, who won the 50 free in 21.15 seconds and added the 100 free title in 47.11. His teammate, Sam Pelletier, won the 100 backstroke in 54.82. Both swam on the opening 200 medley relay team that set a meet record of 1:37.82.
“MDI brings it to this meet,” Pelletier said. “They train all season for this meet. They did the same thing last year.”
Ellsworth, though, had an impressive performance of its own with a win from Holmes, Pelletier, Beckett Markosian and Sean Hill earned a in the 400 freestyle relay and a win from Holmes, Pelletier, Nick Partridge and Henry Scheff in the 200 medley relay. Head coach Jim Goodman was more than pleased with his team’s performance at the meet.
“They all performed exceptionally well,” Goodman said of his swimmers. “Personal goals were achieved, times were consistently improved and the spirit was superb.”
Other individual winners were Rohan Freedman of Cape Elizabeth in the 200 freestyle (1:45.13), Ethan Smith of Cape Elizabeth in the 100 butterfly (52.26), Keegan McKenney of Cape Elizabeth in the 500 freestyle (4:50.86) and Gary Moline of Belfast in diving (280.05 points). Matt Yim joined Smith, McKenney and Freedman to win the 200 free relay for Cape Elizabeth.
The only other diver, Sam Mitchell of MDI, also placed ninth in the 100 free. He took up diving this winter because the Trojans had nobody else.
On Saturday, they had both depth and motivation.
“We certainly weren’t real happy with how we swam last week,” DeMuro said of the loss to Ellsworth. “It probably was the best thing for us. … I think if we win [the league meet], we don’t swim as well [today], but who knows?”
Note: The Ellsworth American has updated story, which was written following the boys’ Class B championships Saturday, to include comments from Ellsworth head coach Jim Goodman.