Monmouth Academy sophomore Joe Manduca would like to lower his time in the 100 yard butterfly to 51 seconds by his senior year. Had he swum that in this year’s state meet, he would easily have finished first.

Manduca was a few seconds shy of his ultimate goal last month but still finished sixth in the event at the Class A state meet. He also placed 10th in the 200 yard individual medley. For his efforts, Manduca has been named Kennebec Journal Boys Swimmer of the Year. Cony High School junior Adam McNeff was also considered.

Manduca practiced and competed with Cony since Monmouth doesn’t field a swim team. If the Mustangs did have a team, it would compete in Class B, but Manduca appears up to the competition at any level.

“He’s certainly got the potential to be a state champion down the road,” cony coach Jon Millett said. “He’s young, he’s only a sophomore.”

Manduca said he swims to give him something to do. If that’s the case, it keeps him very busy.

“It gives me time/management skills,” he said. “I’m at the pool two or three hours a day.”


Manduca began swimming at age 6 and soon started competing for Twin Cities, the Lewiston/Auburn YMCA team coached by his dad. He’ll wrap up his YMCA season today when he competes in the 15-17-year-old division at Harvard University in the New England meet. He’ll have a little time off before the summer season begins in May.

The 100 fly is Manduca’s best event but he’s pretty versatile as evidenced by his success in the individual medley. Both his times at the states meet were PRs (personal records) and although he was happy with his performances, he felt he could do even better.

“For my 100 fly, I’d like to get down to 51 (seconds) by my senior year,” he said. “I’m also working on the 200 fly. I’m going to be training for that over the summer. I’m looking to get down to two minutes.”

Millett said he helped Manduca with the breaststroke portion of the individual medley, but otherwise he’s been on his own.

“He’s very committed and knows what he has to do to be successful,” the Cony coach said. “We let him pick his events for the states and this year he chose well.”

Manduca has run cross country for Monmouth and last fall he took up a golf, a sports he hadn’t played since taking lessons at a young age. He took to it and said he plans on playing again next fall.


One aspect of swimming he enjoys is making new friends and that hasn’t been a problem the past two years at Cony despite the fact he competes as an Individual.

“He’s very personable,” Millett said. “He’s part of the team.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]


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