BY KEVIN ROUSSEAU

Correspondent

The Messalonskee girls swimming team has made quite an impression the past two seasons. They continue to climb the ranks in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference and have fielded the New England champion in the 200 medley relay twice.

The future is now for the Eagles.

Led by seniors Lindsey Prelgovisk, Samantha Mathieu and Amanda Joy, the Eagles, who finished second at the KVAC A championship to Morse the past two seasons, hope to challenge for the Class A state title.

“I’m looking forward to the Morse meet on Dec. 13,” Messalonskee coach Tom Sheridan said. “We have some racing talent on this team and it’s very deep. As far as talent goes, they all work extremely hard. This could be a very special year for Messalonskee swimming.”

Prelgovisk missed a month last season with mononucleosis, yet still won the KVAC A title in the 100 backstroke and was second in the 100 butterfly. Mathieu, meanwhile, finished second in the 100 back at KVACs, while finishing sixth in the 100 free and fifth in the 100 back at the Class A state championships. Joy won the 500 free by 12 seconds and was fourth in a very competitive 200 free at the KVAC meet.

The Messalonskee boys, meanwhile, are led by Arthur Conover, who won the 500 free at the New England championships and was second in Class A in the 200 free.

“I’ve been focusing on speed, endurance and the breaststroke,” Conover said. “I feel like it’s going to be a bit of a building year, but we have some good freshmen and (age group swimmers).”

At Cony High School, Victoria Weber has rewritten the record books and hopes to add a couple of Class A titles to her haul. Weber owns all the Cony girls swimming records and finished second in the 100 and 200 free finals at the Class A meet the last two seasons.

“I’ve been swimming since early September,” Weber said. “I’m ready to go this year. I’ve been practicing extra and doing dry-land training. I feel stronger in the pool.”

Phoebe Campbell and Melisa Petersen give the Rams some depth.

The Cony boys are led by junior Adam McNeff, who finished fourth in the KVAC A 200 free and 400 free last season. Senior Kyle Frost should also be competitive in the 100 free.

Also in Class A, Lawrence boasts two excellent swimmers in junior Erzsebet Nagy and senior Mitchell Cooper. Nagy is coming off a strong cross country running season. She finished third in the KVAC 100 fly and 200 IM last season.

“I would really like to make states and have some of the other kids make states, as well,” Nagy said.

Cooper, meanwhile, finished third at the KVAC A meet in the 50 free and 100 free.

In Class B, the Waterville boys will by led by senior Will Hoffman, who finished third in the KVAC B meet in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly. Junior Sam Zarfos finished second in the 500 free and third in the 100 breaststroke at KVACs, as well.

The question for Waterville is whether it has enough depth to compete with perennial powerhouse Belfast.

“Belfast will be the team to beat,” Waterville coach Bob Johnston said. “But I’m hoping to be right up there and give them a run for their money.”

The Waterville girls return a solid group, led by three juniors — Brianna Bernier, Treya deMaynadier and Sarah Ringer. Last season, Bernier won the 100 back and finished second in the 200 IM at the KVAC B championship meet.

At Winslow, the Black Raiders continue to show impressive growth under third year coach Marcia Jones. The Black Raiders finished second in the KVAC B boys meet last season, led by juniors Chad Colford, Griffin Davis and Gabe Smith, and senior Pierce Ducker.

The Winslow girls’ top returner is senior Marissa Charette, who finished third in the KVAC B meet in the 100 butterfly.

Gardiner’s program has another strong turnout with 26 swimmers. Seniors Suzanne Kropp and Meryl Kus return to led the Tigers. Kropp finished fourth in the 200 IM and fifth in the 100 breaststroke at the KVAC B championships, while Kus was fourth in the 100 fly.

Freshman Taylor Freeman could make an instant impact for the Tigers.

“We have some really good freshmen and sophomores that will be looked upon to score some points,” Gardiner coach Rob Pekins said.

Erskine Academy also has an excellent turnout.

“We have quite a few freshmen,” Erskine coach Susan Burke said. “I’m really excited to see what freshman Dan Stevens can do.”

The Erskine girls team will be led by senior Esther Morse, who finished sixth in the 200 free and 500 free at the KVAC B meet last season.

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