The Cony swim team has improved steadily throughout the season and Friday drew strong individual efforts in a dual meet against Waterville.
Junior Kayley McNeff broke the school record in the 500 freestyle, finishing the event in 5 minutes, 53.72 seconds, breaking the old mark held by Victoria Weber by two seconds.
“She was the standout of the meet as far as the girls went,” Cony coach Jon Millett said.
McNeff has already qualified for the state meet in the 50, 100, 200 and 500 freestyle events.
“She’s a freestyler,” Millett said. “She’s good at all of them.”
In addition to winning the 500, McNeff won the 200 individual medley and was a member of both winning freestyle relay teams. Teammate Melanie Peterson, who has already qualified in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events as well as the 100 backstroke, won the 100 and 200 freestyle events and was on both wining relay teams. Senior Jenna Harwood placed second in two events and a tenth of a second off qualifying in the 50 free and a second and half in the 100 free.
On the boys side, the 500 record also fell as freshman Noah Aube finished second to Waterville’s Sam Zarfos in 5:23.50, breaking the old mark held by senior Adam McNeff by more than five seconds. Aube also won the 200 free while McNeff won the 100 fly and 100 with wins in the backstroke and Mike Clark the 100 breast.
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The Erskine girls pulled out a big win against Belfast on Friday, edging the perennially strong Lions by seven points at the Kennebec Valley YMCA.
“It was an exciting meet,” Erskine coach Susan Burke said. “They had some swimmers missing but I had quite a few swim very well.”
Depth was the difference in the meet, Burke said, as the Eagles won on the strength of several second and third place finishers. The 200 medley relay, in which Erskine took first and second, was the turning point of the meet. Gillian Welch, Katherine Wight, Emma Wilkinson and Kat Newcomb have also swum well so far and qualified for the state meet.
“The girls team is very competitive,” Burke said. “I’m hoping once we start tapering, we’ll peak at the right time.”
On the boys side, sophomore Justin Davis has dropped four seconds off his 100 backstroke time and is two seconds away from qualifying while Sam Stevens placed third in the 50 free and tied his best time of the season, 25.51.
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The Winslow girls edged Gardiner 82-75 in a meet at the Kennebec Valley YMCA on Friday. Russian exchange student Vika Arkhipova, who broke four school records in the first two meets, won the 200 free by 30 seconds and the 100 back by 20 seconds. Freshmen Sierra Hopkins and Jessica Greeley, have also broken school records so far. Friday, Greeley won the 200 IM and 500 free while Hopkins won the 50 free. Winslow junior Bethany Winkin won the 100 breaststroke.
Gardiner got first-place performances from senior Marissa Dice in the 100 fly and junior Nikki McGee in the 100 free. The Tigers also won the 200 freestyle relay.
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The Waterville boys and girls rolled to wins against Cony on Friday at the Alfond Youth Center with the boys winning 91-74 and the girls 92-69. Senior Sam Zarfos continued his standout season with victories in the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle.
“Sam Zarfos is really the star,” Waterville coach Bob Johnston said.
Zarfos was part of the medley relay team last season that set a school record and is closing in on the 100-yard breaststroke record set by Richard Dennis more than 20 years ago. Zarfos is looking to attend Hamilton College where former teammate Callum Thomas currently swims.
Junior twins Sam and Ben Wehry have also excelled for the Purple Panthers this season with Ben winning the 100 free and taking second in the 50 on Friday. Junior teammate Adrian Rivas won the 50 and has qualified for the state meet in both that event and the 100.
For the girls, Sarah Ringer won the 100 breaststroke and 50 free and is looking forward to a matchup this Friday in the 50 against Winslow freshman Sierra Hopkins. Senior Brianna Bernier has bounced back from a concussion and is swimming well again. She’s already set personal records in the 200 IM and 500 freestyle.
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The annual Waterville-Winslow-Messalonskee alumni meet at the Alfond Youth Center last month drew over 60 swimmers, Waterville coach Bob Johnson said. The event is a good excuse for swimmers to get together again and also helps out the Waterville Food Bank since participants each bring a can of food.
“We got five or six boxes of food for the food bank,” Johnston said.
Gary Hawkins — 621-5638