This weekend on March 1-3, athletes from University of Maine men’s swim team represented the Black Bears in competition at the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships in Annapolis, Maryland to close out a successful season.
First-years Rooster Cardin and Cameron Kubik, second-years Jacob Gutkes, Hayden Kasavicha and Kazu Temple, third-years Nick Gould and Andy Sprague, and fourth-year Coulter Morrill all travelled to compete against 19 other schools in the final championship meet of the season.
On Friday, March 1, the University of Maine men’s team finished seventh out of the 20 teams.
The first event of the day where the Black Bears brought in points was the 200-yard freestyle relay, with Sprague, Kubik, Gould and Morrill taking home sixth place with a final time of 1:24.38. Gould, Kubik, and Sprague teamed up with Temple in the 400-yard medley relay as well, coming in ninth place in the B-final with a time of 3:27.57.
Sprague also competed individually in the 50-yard freestyle, finishing with a time of 20:81. Kubik also placed 11th in the B-final of the 200-yard individual medley (IM), with a time of 1:51.81.
The ECAC Championships wrap up the 2018-19 season for the men’s swimming and diving team, after a successful season of personal bests and team records. The team improved by leaps and bounds this past season, with the team earning a new school record in the 400-yard medley and the 400-yard freestyle relays. Many athletes improved individually this season as well, with fourth-year Kevin Kane earning a personal best in the 500- and 200-yard freestyles. Kubik also earned a personal best at the ECAC Championships during his 200-yard IM competition.
First-year Dalton Sousa personally feels that the team has had some huge successes this season.
“The biggest success the team had this season would have to be all the records, especially the relay record. Those show [this team] has depth…and it’s a good sign for the future of the program,” Sousa said.
Teammates felt as though they were ready to handle the challenge of the ECAC, after coming out of the America East Championships with confidence. During the weekend at the AE Championships, the team broke six of the standing school records.
The team had faced a lot of challenges going into the championship meets, with training schedules and academia putting more strain on the athletes. The team took a training trip to Florida during the season, which put an additional strain on the swimmers’ schedules. Despite the challenge, fourth-year Kevin Kane feels as though the experience helped the team bond.
“[The training trip] was a lot of fun, but it is without a doubt the toughest week of the entire season. Getting through a week of training like that was a great bonding experience for the team,”. Kane said.
While the season has come to a close, the team will continue to train hard in preparation for next season.