When the Waterville/Winslow swim team hits the pool Tuesday against Edward Little, it will have felt like an eternity since the last time the group has faced competition.

And in a way, it has.

It will have been 25 days — well over three weeks — since the team had its last meet on Dec. 13 at John Bapst. Waterville/Winslow was supposed to have a home meet against Erskine on Dec. 17, but that was postponed due to bad weather.

“It’s strange,” Waterville/Winslow coach Justin Giroux said. “We have kind of our die-hard (swimmers) that stay in town (during the holidays). Swimming is a little more flexible than some of the other sports. I just showed up (for practice) on Tuesday, and it’s magical, you have a (full) team again.”

Due to a limited number of swimmers that could decrease more because of vacation, Giroux said the team tries to avoid meets during the holiday break. And while Waterville/Winslow has practiced between meets, it’s difficult to replicate a meet atmosphere.

“Yeah, we have certain sets that have increased rest so that we simulate race pace,” Giroux said. “But the reality is, you never really quite reach that. It will be great to have that Edward Little meet on Tuesday, to see where we’re at.”

Though Waterville/Winslow has only had two meets under its belt so far this year — Dec. 6 against Gardiner/Hall-Dale and the Dec. 13 meet at John Bapst — Giroux likes where his team is at this season.

“Those meets were really fun meets, they were close in many ways,” Giroux said. “Up at John Bapst, they have diving, which we don’t. They won both girls and boys (meets) on that. But it was a really fun race, because the individual were close and almost 50/50. Same thing with Gardiner/Hall-Dale. I think the boys squeaked out a win and the girls lost, but there were a lot of great individual races.”

There’s certainly talent on the team this season. Senior Eric Booth is the top boys swimmer. He took sixth place in the 200-meter individual medley and eighth in the 100 breaststroke at the Class A championships last season.

“He’s trying to finish up his senior year strong, break some more records,” Giroux said. “Try to get his name up on the board higher than it already is. He’s doing a great job there.”

Multiple swimmers have stood out for the girls, including sophomores Ebba Heaton-Jones and Emma Farnham.

Giroux is also particularly excited about the crop of brand new swimmers on the team.

“It’s great to have some of that new life on the team,” Giroux said. “It’s an incredibly challenging sport to start, especially in high school, so major props to them for doing that and going through all the hard work to learn the strokes.”

 

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The Cony swim team did well in an early-season test at the Morse Invitational on Dec. 27.

In girls swimming, the Rams finished second out of the four teams (Morse, Brunswick, Greely) that competed. Senior Cecilia Guadelupi was the standout finishing first in both the 200-yard individual medley (2:13.83) and the 100 freestyle (55.48). She was also part of a 400 free relay team — along with Emma Crosby, Emma Thomas and Lunden Dinkel — that finished first with a time of 3:59.03.

Dinkel also had an excellent meet for Cony. Aside from her effort in the relay, she finished first in the 50 free (27.50) and second in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.57). Thomas finished first in the 500 free (5:44.04).

The Rams finished with 300 points. Greely was first with 416 points, while Brunswick (194) was third and Morse (193) fourth.

It’s a solid start for the Cony girls, who won back-to-back Class A titles in 2017 and 2018 before finishing runner-up to Bangor last season. The Rams are the defending Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A champions.

The Cony boys finished fourth with 115 points, but had third-place finishes from the team of Tyler Foster, Jack Begin, Federico Barzasi and Gabe Biasuz in the 200 medlay relay (1:53.59) and 400 free relay (4:17.44). Biasuz also finished third in the 50 free (25.87).

Greely (365 points) finished first in the boys events, with Brunswick (211) in second and Morse (148) in third.

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