BRUNSWICK — The season hadn’t yet started, but Cony swimming coach Jon Millett was raising the stakes.

“This is the strongest team Cony has ever had,” Millett said back in early December.

It was a bold statement. And after a season spent backing him up, the Cony girls team did it one more time on the season’s biggest stage.

Cony won the first state title in its 21-year history, winning six events en route to 311 points and a romp over defending champion Brunswick (246), Cheverus (215), Bangor (214) and Falmouth (165) at the girls Class A championships at Bowdoin College.

Messalonskee (84) was 10th, Waterville-Winslow (28) was 18th, Gardiner/Hall-Dale (21) was 20th and Lawrence (six) was 24th.

It was a long time coming for Millett, who took the ceremonial plunge into the pool for the first time since he started the program in 1996.

“They showed up in a very big way today, and they swam with a lot of heart,” he said. “They all performed beyond all wildest dreams.”

The Rams took the drama out of the afternoon early, winning the first race of the day (the 200-yard medley relay) and never trailing in the standings. The 27-team field – including the defending champions from Brunswick – had no answer for Cony’s powerful quartet of Anne Guadalupi, Cecilia Guadalupi, Talia Jorgensen and Gabby Low, as the four combined to place first or second in eight events.

“They’re a dream team for anybody to have,” Millett said. “It makes coaching easy, in some regards.”

Cecilia Guadalupi led the individual push, winning the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke, while sister Anne won the 500 and was second in the 200 and Jorgensen was first in the 100 free and second in the 50 free. Low was second in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, falling short in the latter by a mere 0.16 seconds.

“I’m really excited, not only for my individual events but for the team success,” Cecilia Guadalupi said. “We’ve been wanting this from the beginning of the season. People told us we could do it, but I never imagined it would become a reality.”

Despite the final score, there was reason for suspense and intrigue going in. Cony, after all, didn’t win the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship, as fewer teams in the mix allowed Brunswick, the larger of the two teams, to use its depth to rack up points and claim first place.

“After KVACs, the loss by a couple of points, we’ve never been more determined to win,” Anne Guadalupi said.

Cony had another hurdle to overcome. With no divers, the Rams had nobody to score in one of the day’s 12 events.

“We knew it was a possibility, but not having a diving squad, we were punting a lot of points we couldn’t answer,” Millett said.

The Rams had to make sure that wouldn’t matter. They did. Cony crushed the swimming events, finishing no worse than second in any swimming event.

“There wasn’t an event where we didn’t have a great swim,” Millett said. “Every kid contributed. It was a team effort.”

Cecilia Guadalupi had the first Cony individual win, pulling away in the breaststroke and freestyle portions of the 200 IM to beat Cheverus’s Caroline Arpin with a time of 2:11.87, then showcasing that technique again to win the 100 breaststroke at 1:08.68, beating South Portland’s Sophie Chase.

It was Guadalupi’s first state championship, but the freshman, who also competed alongside Anne Guadalupi, Low and Molly Silsby on the 200 medley relay team that opened the morning with a win (1:51.27), said the nerves weren’t an issue by the time the meet was starting.

“(Millett) wanted to win as much as we did, so I was kind of jittery,” she said. “But once I got here, I kind of calmed down and I took the screams from the crowd, and it fed my adrenaline.”

Jorgensen took the 100 free at 54.71, outpacing Scarborough’s Jane Greenberg.

“I knew I could (win) if I really pushed myself, and I did,” Jorgensen, a sophomore, said. “I think we all knew what our jobs had to be and what we had to do to get to it. So I think that we all just performed really well and were able to accomplish that.”

Anne Guadalupi won the day’s marathon race, winning the 500 free at 5:18.62. The gap between second-place Hannah Wood (5:28.12) of Brewer and fourth-place Grace Perron of Falmouth (5:35.30) was greater than the one between first and second.

The win capped a sparkling season for Guadalupi, a senior, who got to see her team rise from last year’s fifth-place finish to the throne of the state’s best team in her final season.

“This is a priceless gift to receive,” she said. “As we went into this season and saw how we were competing and the results, we were like ‘This is really a possibility.’ ”

The four also combined to win the 400 free relay at 3:41.10, and the team of Talia Jorgensen, Tara Jorgensen, Silsby and Haley Gagne was second to Brunswick in the 200 free relay at 1:47.32. If there was one swimmer who could neutralize the Rams it was Brunswick’s Caitlin Tycz, who beat Anne Guadalupi in the 200 free and Low in the 100 butterfly and who anchored the Dragons’ winning relay team.

On Tuesday, beating Cony was going to require a lot more than that.

“She’s arguably the best swimmer in the state. We arguably had the four second-best swimmers in the state,” Millett said. “When you put that many good girls together, with a supporting cast of the other girls who showed up today, you get a recipe for success.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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