BRUNSWICK — Cheverus High sophomore Ben Tompkins won only the second heat of the 200-yard freestyle, but Coach Kevin Haley made a huge deal of it, greeting Tompkins on the pool deck.

“Way to set the tone,” Haley told Tompkins, who bettered his previous best by more than five seconds.

It was the first individual event of the Class A boys’ state swimming and diving championship, and the Stags were already exceeding expectations.

Cheverus kept at it, cruising to its third straight state title with 360 points Wednesday at LeRoy Greason Pool at Bowdoin College.

Brunswick (260) held off Bangor (257) for second place. Falmouth (202), Windham (161) and Massabesic (154.5) all finished in the top six.

The Stags came in heavy favorites but Haley said, “we weren’t complacent.” That explains his excitement over his first swimmer, Tompkins.


“It wasn’t just about our top guys,” Haley said. “It was about everybody. It takes a team effort to beat teams like Brunswick and Bangor.”

Twelve Stags factored in the scoring, led by Jake Griffin (first in the 50 freestyle and second in the 100 freestyle), Kevin Kane (first in the 200 individual medley and third in the 100 butterfly), and Michael O’Donovan (second in the 200 and 500 freestyles. All three swam on the Stags’ winning 200 free and 400 free relays.

O’Donovan placed second both times to Falmouth senior Jake Perron, the Performer of the Meet. Perron won the 200 freestyle (1:41.32) by a half-second, and the 500 free (4:38.71) by over eight seconds.

“The 200 free is definitely an event I’ve been thinking about a lot because it’s been close every time I raced him,” Perron said. “The 500, that’s the fastest I’ve gone in two years. The rivalry (with O’Donovan) definitely kept me going.”

Westbrook senior Greg Violette also won two events – the 100 butterfly (52.01) and 100 back (52.10).

Junior Nate Samson paced Brunswick with a first in the 100 free – in a meet-record time of 46.64 – and third in the 200 free. The Brunswick 200 medley relay team of Jacob Cost, Brian Hess, Ben Farrell and Henry Raker also took gold.


Brunswick led after its opening medley relay win, but then came the 200 freestyle. Besides O’Donovan’s second place, the Stags got a boost from Booway Bikales (sixth), who was seeded 11th, and Tompkins (14th), who was seeded 17th.

Kane took the 200 IM (1:57.66). He trailed after the butterfly, then swam the best legs in the back (29.87), breast stroke (34.56) and freestyle (27.04). Cheverus’ point total kept climbing with Tony Penk finishing fourth and Ben Adams 16th.

“It was nice to have that lead early,” Kane said.

Griffin built it up more, winning the 50 freestyle in 22.19, followed by Shane Moore (third) and Gus Anderson (14th). After four events the Stags were up by 48 points.

“We all did better than we thought we would,” Griffin said.

After the 200 free relay team (Griffin, Kane, Moore and O’Donovan) won in 1:29.51, the Stags led by 85. Sam Devine, Thomas Nappo and Raymond Le also placed.


Brunswick, meanwhile, was trying to hold off Bangor.

Cost, a Brunswick senior, placed second in the butterfly. Then came Samson’s win in the 100 freestyle.

But in the third-to-last event, Cost seemingly won the 100 backstroke but was disqualified for staying under water too long, giving Violette the victory.

Heading into the final event, the 400 free relay, Brunswick led Bangor by one point.

“We thought we might have more of a cushion,” Coach Dave Bright said. “But the kids still pulled it out.”

While Cheverus (Griffin, Kane, Penk and O’Donovan) won in 3:19.31, the Dragons took a commanding lead for second, starting with Cost, then Edward Capoldo, Raker and Samson. They finished in 3:21.48, 3.53 seconds ahead of Bangor.

Windham was paced by senior Joseph Paluso (third in both the 500 free and 100 breaststroke) and Massabesic got third-place finishes from Cameron Mayhew (100 freestyle) and Jacob Bixby (diving).

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