A busy weekend turned out to be a productive one for the Mid-Maine Dolphins swim team.

Eighty swimmers from the Waterville-based club program competed at the Maine YMCA Swimming Championships, a three-day event held at the University of Maine from March 3-5. Swimmers from the 8-and-under to the 13-and-over classes competed, and the Dolphins captured three individual state championships while another swimmer produced well enough to earn a spot in the YMCA national championships.

“I think they did a really great job,” said coach Stephany Perkins, whose team operates out of the Alfond Youth Center in Waterville. “Yes, the times are exciting and yes, the placings are exciting, and it’s exciting to say you won a state title, but to see individuals coming together as a team and really having a presence on deck, for me as a coach that’s my proudest moment.”

The most notable performance of the day belonged to Mackenzie Burton, who was third in the 100-yard butterfly and fifth in the 100 freestyle in the women’s 13-and-over division, and who qualified for the national championships in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Burton also competed on the 200 free relay team that finished fourth. Other swimmers on the relay team included Leah Shoulta, Sierra Weston and Sophia Libby.

“It’s huge. This is something that’s been her goal for this season,” Perkins said of Burton, who is one of 26 Dolphins who will compete in the Maine Junior Olympics at Bowdoin College starting Thursday. “She was swimming on tired muscles, but then she had, out of nowhere a two-second drop … after we got her rested. It was good to see her training and her effort, she’s been lifting, pay off.”


The boys team produced the three state championships. Nate Pierce won the 100 and 200 freestyles for the 11-12 team, while also joining Andrew Turlo, Bryce Dyer and Jadyn Arnold on the victorious medley relay team. Eric Booth won and set a team record in the 13-14 100 breaststroke, and was also third in the 200 IM.

“It’s a huge accomplishment. In those top heats, you’re competing with the best of the best in the state,” Perkins said. “It’s really exciting for them to be winning those titles.”

On the girls side, points were scored by Ebba Heaton-Jones (second, 100 IM), Emma Farnham (fourth, 200 and 100 free) in the 11-12 group and Kenadie Dickey (second, 25 free) in the 8-and-under group. On the boys side, points went to Arnold (fourth, 200 free and 50 backstroke), Dyer (second, 50 free) in the 11-12 group and John Reisert (fourth, 500 free) in the 13-and-over group.

“A lot of these kids are doing high school swimming as well, so they’re doing two practices a day, some of them are lifting,” Perkins said. “In swimming, it’s all about those seconds and the milliseconds and hundredths of seconds. For them to persevere through that whole season and do so well at the state meet is really a testament to how hard they worked.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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