BATH — Hodding Carter thought his Camden Hills swimming team was in trouble. The Windjammers were only one event into the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference swimming championships, and the girls 200-yard medley relay team had been disqualified.

“I thought it was over,” Carter said.

Hardly. Camden Hills followed up its girls title last year by sweeping both the boys and girls KVAC championships Monday night, relying on strength in numbers to take both trophies.

The Windjammers won only two events — the boys 400 free relay and girls 200 free relay, compared to 10 total wins for the Morse boys and girls — but had the overall team strength necessary to score 253 points and beat Morse (211), Lincoln Academy (209), Belfast (193) and Waterville/Winslow (159) on the boys’ side, and 267 points to take down Belfast and Morse (251), Waterville/Winslow (155) and Erskine (91) in the girls’ competition.

“It was more like depth. We had a few first-place finishes, but not that many,” Carter said. “It was more about a lot of good mid-level swimming. The right number, and that’s what it takes. … These guys have been so focused this year, a (mix of) fun and goofy which is the right combination, and it sort of worked out the way we were hoping it would.”

The Windjammers’ winning 400 free relay team was made up of Angus Carter, Trevor Taylor, Oliver Worner and Tor Denny and finished at 3:46.92, while the girls 200 free relay team was made up of Phoebe Root, Sadie Woodruff, Sarah Van Lonkhuyzen and Katherine O’Brien and won at 1:45.58.


The individual highlight of the meet came from Morse’s Olivia Harper, who broke Caitlin Tycz’s KVAC record of 2:05.29 in the 200 IM by finishing at 2:02.35. She threatened her own KVAC record in the 100 backstroke, winning at 54.34 — just shy of her 54.22 mark from last year.

“I had done the 200 IM several times before, and me and (coach) Todd (Marco) had talked about it and I really wanted to get my 2:05 off the board for a long time,” said the future Tennessee Volunteer, who had a seed time of 2:05.32 entering the meet. “It seems I missed it by points of a second every time. So Todd really just said ‘You know, this is your last shot, you’ve really got to push yourself to do really well.’ It was so satisfying and so relieving to finally wipe the 2:05 off the board.”

Hailey Harper, Olivia’s twin sister, won a pair of events as well for the Shipbuilders, taking the 50 free at 25.41 and the 100 breaststroke at 1:07.96, and Morse also got a pair of firsts from Evan Willertz in the 200 IM (1:59.86) and 100 back (53.46). Alex Gurney won the boys 100 free at 53.27, and Morse’s girls 200 medley relay (1:56.18), girls 400 free relay (3:51.85) and boys 200 medley relay (1:48.22) teams also took first.

Waterville/Winslow, a newcomer to KVAC B, had a pair of dual winners in Ebba Heaton-Jones and Eric Booth. Heaton-Jones, a sophomore, won the 200 free at 2:01.99, and then set a program record with a winning time of 56.24 in the 100 free.

She was seeded first in the 100 free, but came back from a third seeding to win the 200.

“I came in for my 200 free with a 2:08, and I ended with a 2:01, which I was really happy about,” she said. “It has to do with the environment and everyone around me cheering me on, going ‘Yeah, let’s go, we’ve got this!’ … There’s 100 (swimmers) here and in other meets there are only about 25. It’s a big difference.”


Booth won the 50 free at a school-record time of 22.95, then took the 100 breaststroke at 1:02.82.

“I’ve been training the 50 free a lot, because I really wanted the record all season,” he said. “I’ve been training it and training it, and I knew it had to be at this meet because I might not get another chance.”

Waterville/Winslow also got top-three individual performances from Emma Farnham (third, 200 IM and 100 breaststroke), Sarah McNeil (third, 500 free) and Andrew Turlo (third, 100 breaststroke).

Lincoln Academy’s Braxton Farrin won twice in the 100 fly (55.12) and 500 free (5:07.61), and was named the meet’s outstanding swimmer on the boys’ side while Olivia Harper got the girls’ nod. First-place finishes also went to Belfast’s Fletcher Marriner in the boys 200 free (2:00.08), Kayla Payson in the girls 100 fly (1:01.59), Reagan Seekins in the girls 500 free (6:02.24) and Gary Moline in the boys 1-meter diving (240.75).

Erskine was led by fifth-place finishes from Eleanor Brown in the 100 free and 50 free, and the Eagles also got top-five finishes from the girls 200 free relay (fourth), girls 400 free relay (fifth) and boys 200 free relay (fifth) teams. MCI was led by Isabella Ortiz, who was fifth in the 100 breaststroke and sixth in the 100 butterfly, while the girls 200 medley relay team was fifth.

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