A couple years ago, the New England High School Swimming Championships met their demise because there were not enough states competing. Local swimmers can still see how they fare against the rest of the region at the New England Area YMCA Swimming Championships.
The meet for 15-18 year-olds for the New England YMCAs is scheduled for 4:15 p.m., Saturday, on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.
Messalonskee’s Kristy Prelgovisk is one of eight local swimmers who is competing as a representative of the Greater Waterville YMCA. Prelgovisk is seeded first in the 100-yard breaststroke and third in the 200 individual medley. Prelgovisk also holds the meet record in the 100 backstroke for girls ages 9-10, and has the New England YMCA record for girls ages 13-14 in the 100 breaststroke.
“I just want to do well and have fun,” Prelgovisk said. “It’s a good meet — a fun meet. It will be a lot of fun to be able to swim with people from different states.”
Kents Hill sophomore Mary Erb is seeded 7th in the girls 200 IM, and 20th in the girls 100 butterfly. Also on the girls side, Messalonskee’s Ally Fischang is seeded 13th in the 200 freestyle and 33rd in the 50 free.
Monmouth’s Joe Manduca is representing the Auburn Lewiston YMCA, and has the highest seed among any local boys swimmer. Manduca is seventh in the 100 fly, 12th in the 100 backstroke, and 13th in the 100 breaststroke.
Waterville has two boys swimmers, Adrian Rivas and Ben Wehry. Rivas goes in 10th in the 50 free and 21st in the 100 breaststroke. Wehry is competing in three events. He’s 10th in the 200 free, 29th in the 100 free, and 42nd in the 50 free.
Also on the boys side are Erskine’s Brandon Smith (22nd in the 100 fly, 24th in the 50 free, and 30th in the 100 free), Lawrence’s Alex Bevier (17th in the 500 free, 24th in the 200 IM), and Messalonskee’s Ben Thibert (20th in the 100 backstroke).
Smith is playing tennis at Erskine this spring and plans to swim in college, but this is the end of his “high school” swimming career. That’s something he’s trying to push to the background.
“Honestly, I’ll probably just go with more a positive mentality, a little less pressure put on myself, and just go have fun,” Smith said. “I don’t want to approach New Englands like it’s my final shot. Technically, it is, but I don’t want that pressure. I don’t want to leave the world of high school sports and YMCA with that high-tension mentality.”