Local teams are preparing for the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference swim meets this weekend at the Bath YMCA. The Class B meet will be held Friday beginning at 5 p.m. and the Class A meet begins Saturday morning at 9. Morse, which dropped to Class B this season, is the favorite in that meet while the Brunswick boys and girls are favored at the Class A meet.
Morse has 24 boys on its team and will be able to put four swimmers in every event.
“That’s hard to compete with,” Winslow coach Dave Setchell said. “Numbers win championships.”
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Cony coach Jon Millett believes his boys and girls are capable of third-place finishes at the Class A meet.
“I’m looking for my team to have their best times of the season,” he said. “We had a great meet, time-wise, Friday against Brunswick.”
The Rams have a couple of top-seeded swimmers in sophomore Noah Aube and freshman Anne Guadalupi. Aube is the top seed in the 200 and 500 freestyle events while Guadalupi is seeded first in the 500 free and second in the 200 free. Senior Kayley McNeff is seeded second in the 100 free.
Millett is also looking for strong performances from Abbey Hafey (100 back), Arika Brochu (50 free), Logan Testerman (50, 100 free), Dakota Douglas (100, 200 free), Brad Beeckel (200 IM, 100 back) and Dale Lapierre (breaststroke).
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Gardiner senior Karen Ip could be a surprise performer for the Tigers at the KVAC Class B meet. Ip, a foreign exchange student from Hong Kong, has swum the 50 free in 26 seconds, which places her among the top seven in the state and recently starting swimming the 100 in around a minute.
“I just started her swimming the 100 free a week ago,” Gardiner coach Rob Pekins said. “Nobody’s seen her except for Waterville. I think she’s going to surprise some people at the KVACs and the states.”
Pekins is also looking for something from his relay team of Anastasia Carr, Isabelle Ucci, Katie Heath and Ip. So far they’ve swum three tenths of a second off the school record in the 200 IM and a second off the school mark in the 200 freestyle relay.
Junior Taylor Freeman will compete in a number of events and Pekins is looking forward to the four boys on his team swimming in the relays.
“There hasn’t been a (boys) relay team in Gardiner for I don’t know how long,” he said.
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Messalonskee coach Sara Rushton has the best breaststroker in the state in junior Kristy Prelgovisk, who last year won that event and the 100 butterfly at the Class A KVACs. She set the school record of 1:05 in the breaststroke last year, but has yet to equal that time.
“She’s pretty much uncontested in the breaststroke,” Rushton said. “I’m hoping for some competition to push her along.”
Ally Fischang (20 free, 100 breast), Emily Roy (100 back), Amber Sutherland (100 back), Macy Mansir (500) and Kenya Whitehead (500) are all seeded high in their events and should give the girls a strong meet.
“I’m thinking second place because we lost to Brunswick in the regular season,” Rushton said.
On the boys side, Ben Thibert (IM, back), Daeghan Elkin (100 fly, 100 breast) and Kyle Perkins (200, 500) should all score points for the Eagles. Lawrence sophomore Alex Bevier, who trains with Messalonskee, is seeded second in the 500 free and fourth in the 200 IM.
“We’re peaking right on schedule,” Rushton said. “We had multiple best times in a meet on Tuesday.”