BRUNSWICK — Sarah Easterling of Greely touched the wall at the end of the 200-yard individual medley, searched for the scoreboard high on a nearby wall and raised an arm high.

The Class B meet record was hers.

“I was just going for a best time,” she said. “I just go out and swim as fast as I can.”

Tuesday night turned out to be the best of times for Easterling and her teammates.

They set four meet records — two by Easterling alone and two with her leading off the freestyle relays — on the way to reclaiming the Class B swimming and diving state championship from Mt. Desert Island on Tuesday night at Bowdoin College.

Greely finished with 328 1/2 points to 285 for MDI. Waynflete, which saw a state-record performance from Colby Harvey in the 100 butterfly, finished third at 221 1/2, followed by McAuley (170), Foxcroft Academy (161), Falmouth (138) and 18 other schools.

Greely trailed MDI until the third event, when Easterling led a 1-7 finish with her twin sister, Sidney, and set a meet record of 2 minutes, 6.11 seconds to lower the 2008 mark of Kristin Jackson of Falmouth by more than a full second.

Easterling also won the 100 backstroke in 57.32 seconds, cutting 2 seconds off the meet record she set last year. She also led off Greely’s winning 200 and 400 free relays in times (24.42 and 53.60) that were faster than teammate Sara Schad’s individual victories in the 50 and 100 free.

“Which is unbelievable,” said Schad after the 200 free relay that also included Emily Domingo and Katie Whittum set a meet record of 1:40.84. “From there, things just sort of fell into place.”

Greely never trailed after the 200 IM, although MDI managed to tie the score at 125 halfway through the meet with three scorers in the butterfly, won by Harvey in 55.72 to break the 55.89 state record set two years ago by Jenni Roberts of Sanford.

“I really had no idea,” said Harvey, who later tied for first in the 100 breast with Cece McEachern of Ellsworth. “Sometimes when I feel like I’m going really fast, I’m really not. And for some reason when I don’t feel that good, I get my best times.”

So how did this butterfly feel?

“It hurt,” she said with a wide smile. “It hurt a lot.”

Amelia Deady of Waynflete also won two events, the 200 and 500 free races. MDI took the opening 200 medley relay and the same Greely quartet that won the 200 free closed the meet with a record victory (3:41.08) in the 400 free relay.

The meet’s oldest record was also in danger, but Falmouth diver Nicola Mancini finished nine points shy of the 1998 record set by Katie Mailman of Falmouth.

Mancini’s total for 11 dives was 448.60, and none of the remaining eight divers passed 300. But she knew the record would have been hers if her entry had been better on her final two dives.

“It’s hard when you hit so well in warmups and then you compete and, ugh, it’s very frustrating,” she said. “It’s a challenging sport.”

The Greely swimmers can relate. The seeds of their title were sown in December, with sessions more grueling than in years past.

“We challenged them physically,” said Greely Coach Rob Hale, who after a particularly difficult workout sent a text to Whittum reading: “I hope you guys still like me.”

Unbeknownst to Hale, at least for a few minutes, Whittum, exhausted and in the locker room, had just muttered, “Oh, I hate that man!”

It’s a phrase that graced the T-shirts worn by both Greely teams this year, and wound up soaked in celebration at the state meets. On Tuesday night the girls called for Hale to join them in the deep end with his patented belly flop while wearing a tie, dress shirt and khakis.

For the second night in a row, he complied. “No, I love that man,” Whittum said Tuesday night. “It was just a joke, but everyone took it seriously and of course he put it on the shirts.”

Whittum, who placed third in the 100 free and sixth in the 200 free, was one of the six scoring seniors Tuesday night, with Schad, Maggie Norton (seventh in the 500, ninth in the back), Amanda Stewart (ninth in diving), Jenna Brink (11th in breast) and Kim Johnson (12th in butterfly).

Three juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen also scored for Greely, which won for the second time in three years.

“They earned it,” Hale said. “Everyone had to contribute.”


Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:
[email protected]
Twitter: GlenJordanPPH


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