BATH — The biggest cheers at Saturday’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A meet didn’t come at the end of an exciting race, or even after the announcement of the team winners. 

Nope, they came after Cony coach Bob Johnston took a celebratory leap into the pool — shirt, shoes and all — after he was named KVAC girls coach of the year.

“Bob is kinda a conservative guy, so I wasn’t expecting him to jump in the pool like that,” Cony senior Addison Burnham said afterward. 

Johnston had every reason to let it all out after his Rams racked up enough hardware Saturday to add another wing to the their trophy case. The Cony girls rode a deep roster and a clean sweep of the relay events to win the KVAC title at the Bath Area Family YMCA.

Cony’s 247 points were enough to hold off Brunswick (233) and Messalonskee (227), and Burnham was named co-swimmer of the meet with Lewiston sophomore Gabby Roy.

On the boys’ side, Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland won its third straight title with 284 points, comfortably ahead of runner-up Mt. Ararat (220) and third-place Cony (141). 


Burnham was part of Cony’s victorious 200- and 400-yard medley relay teams and she also took the 200 individual medley in 2 minutes, 24.80 seconds, beating out freshman teammate Logan Dinkel. In the 200 relay, she teamed with Dinkel, Lillianna Choate and Annabelle Orth to win in 1:55.72, and she capped her morning by teaming with Orth, Choate and Emily Foster to take the 400 in 3:57.31. 

Cony’s head coach Bob Johnston jumps in the pool after being named a Coach of the Year at the KVAC Class A swimming championships Saturday in Bath. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

“It feels really good my senior year, because its my last year,” said Burnham, clutching the team championship plaque — she let Lewiston’s Roy take the top swimmer plaque while she awaits one of her own down the road. “I just don’t know where we’d be without the team, because the team is everything. … We just have a lot of good girls.”

And the team was definitely everything Saturday. The Cony quartet of Choate, Foster, Dinkel and Emily Kennard won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:49.97, just 0.33 seconds ahead of runner-up Messalonskee. Dinkel won the 100 breaststroke in 1:11.97.

And as is frequently the case in swim events, you don’t have to finish first to be a winner if you’re carrying that title plaque on the bus back to Augusta. Orth earned second-place finishes in the 100 and 200 freestyle events, while Kennard placed third in the 50 and 100 freestyle. Foster, like Dinkel a freshman, was third in the 500 free and fourth in the 200 free.

“We really worked hard to achieve this goal,” Orth, a junior, said. “We really tried to get people so we could have the numbers to compete with these bigger teams, and it really paid off in the end.

“We knew that we were going to get two really good freshmen, Logan and Emily, and we knew that was really going to help us this year.”


Cony’s Emily Kennard competes in the girls 100 yard freestyle at the KVAC Class A championship Saturday in Bath. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

Lewiston’s Roy won the 50 free (25.50 seconds) and 100 butterfly (2:01.32), joining Brunswick’s Layla Hammer (100 back, 100 free) as a double winner. Brunswick freshman Olivia Colaluca won the 200 free (2:05.02) and was second to Dinkel in the 100 breaststroke, and teammate Sadie Levy took the 500 free, which might have had the most exciting finish of the day, as Levy burst out to an early lead, only to hold off teammate Remy Cook by 0.12 seconds (5:59.74 to 5:59.86).

Messalonskee had no individual wins, but earned strong finishes in the 400 freestyle relay (third) and 200 medley relay (third) in addition to its near-win in the 200 free relay. The Eagles’ Cailyn Henning was second in the 50 free and fourth in the 100 free, while teammate Audrey Mihm was fifth in the 50 and 100 free. Emma McDowell was third in the 100 backstroke, Liana Arnold was fourth in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke and Grace Moody fifth in the 500 free.

Skowhegan’s Ava Goucher was fourth in the 50 free and fifth in the 200 free.

Messalonskee’s Brynn Lilly competes in the girls 100 yard breast stroke at the KVAC Class A championships Saturday in Bath. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

In boys’ action, Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland’s Chase Leonardo was part of the winning 400 relay team and added two second-place finishes (200 IM in a school-record 2:00.70, 100 fly) to claim co-swimmer of the meet with Mt. Ararat’s Keegan Rowe, who won the 200 IM (1:59.06) and 100 fly (53.26 seconds) and was part of two runner-up relay teams.

The Eddies also received a boost from freshman Isaac Raymond, who won the 400 free (5:42.45) and was second in the 200 free.  

Leonardo and Raymond also teamed up with  Jack Martel and Gavin Holbrook to win the 400 relay in 3:38.18.

“Chase is an amazing athlete, but an amazing human being,” said EL/L/P coach Scott Morrison, who was named KVAC boys coach of the year and also doubled as meet director Saturday. “Chase is just an all-around top-notch kid. I’m very proud of him.

“Isaac, again, another amazing athlete and also an amazing human being. I couldn’t ask for any of our kids to do any better today. Just an all-around effort from them.”

Third-place Cony was led by Reid DeJongh (second, 500 free; fourth, 200 free) and Raiden Ramkissoon (third, 200 IM; fifth, 100 free) and Jameson Russell (second, 100 backstroke; fourth, 100 fly). Cony also was second to Brunswick in the 200 free relay. Mt. Ararat’s Aiden Saunders won the 50 free and 100 breaststroke, and teammate Josh Langworthy took the 100 free.

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