The University of Maine Swimming and Diving teams traveled to University of Rhode Island (URI) this weekend to compete in the URI Invitational. The meet took place on both Nov. 20 and 21, and saw the men finish second out of five teams, while the women placed fourth out of six teams. The women’s team finished the meet with a total score of 496.5, trailing Assumption’s third place finish by 50.5 points, and pushing Bryant back to fifth place by 17 points.
The women placed first in the 200-yard butterfly, with second-year swimmer Victoria Kingston demolishing competition by a solid second, finishing at 2:08.50 and taking a full 20 points for Maine. Although they were unable to take first place in any other events, they made a strong showing in various other events including the 100-yard butterfly. Second-year swimmer Emma Pontius finished second, clocking in at 58.41 and beating her projected time by .28 seconds. Kingston finished in sixth place at 59.66, and fourth-year swimmer Taylor Sharp finished at 59.91, which brought her to eighth place overall.
The Black Bears fought their way to third place in the 400-yard medley relay, starting with first-year swimmer Megan McGillivray. The second leg was swam by first-year swimmer Emma Blackdeer, then Pontius and anchored by second-year swimmer Emily Borger. They completed the relay at 3:59.45 overall, darting ahead of Assumption and Providence and finishing just behind URI. Consistently strong performances across the board helped the UMaine women to finish the meet in fourth place.
The men’s team completed the meet with 808.5 points in second place, finishing only 8.5 points behind first place Providence College. The next best performance was by Bryant University, who finished third with 750.5. The Black Bears won 11 events overall. The 100-yard freestyle was won by second-year swimmer Nick Sundquist. Not only did Sundquist finish in first with a time of 45.67, he crushed his projected time by nearly two full seconds and was a staggering three seconds ahead of second place finisher third-year swimmer Michael Martinico of Providence. This event also showcased Maine’s depth, with third-year swimmer Tim Edison finishing in fourth at 49.03 and second-year swimmer Kevin Clyne finishing seventh at 49.31. Sundquist also finished first in the 200-yard freestyle, beating his projected time by over four seconds to finish at 1:41.23.
The men’s 200-yard medley relay saw three Maine teams finish in the top five. The first was led by Sundquist and followed by fourth-year swimmers Shane Kinnon and Matt England, and anchored by first-year swimmer Justin Hafner, who brought them to the finish line at 1:25.28. The Maine ‘B’ team finished third overall after second place Providence College, finishing with a time of 1:29.03 and consisting of Clyne, first-year swimmer Spencer Lindsley, first-year swimmer Coulter Morrill and second-year swimmer John Carlucci. For diving, second-year diver Nick Jensen took gold in the 1-meter dive with a final score of 204.05 that defeated the second place finisher by over 15 points. Despite finishing short of first place as a team, the men showed a great deal of individual talent as well as depth.
Next weekend, the teams will compete at Bowdoin College in the Maine State Meet.