BANGOR – To find the racing that went on during Friday night’s Bangor-Old Town boys swim meet, you have to look beyond the actual winner and find the second- or third-place finishers.
The defending Class A state champion Rams easily won the meet at the Husson College pool with 128 points to Old Town’s 55. Bangor won all 12 events, including the diving, but the real battles were between the second- and third-place swimmers.
“That’s what I expected,” Indians coach Matt Byther said. “We expect to race the person next to you and we expected to have at least one person way out in front of us. We knew the other lanes we’d be racing against and that’s what we focused on.”
Twin brothers Dan and Jim Soucie each won two individual events for Bangor. The two swam together on the winning 400 free relay along with Tae Chung and Scott Loukes. Jim Soucie led off the 200 medley relay and Dan Soucie swam the first leg of the 200 free relay.
Dan Soucie earned easy wins in the 200 freestyle (1:52.55) and the 100 butterfly (59.47). He was pleased with the fly time but not as happy with his freestyle finish.
“My 100 fly was a personal best by about a second but the free was iffy,” he said. “I just didn’t feel right. I wanted to be a lot faster. I’ve been faster this season already.”
The race for second place in the fly proved to be more exciting, as Old Town’s Keenan Goslin touched in two seconds faster than Josh Thayer of Bangor, who stayed close to Goslin for the entire race.
Jim Soucie won the 50 free with a 22.40 – more than two seconds better than second-place finisher Kevin Barry – but had a harder time in the 100 free, where he was challenged by teammate Scott Loukes in the final 25 yards. Soucie bettered Loukes by four-tenths of a second.
The 500 free – an event that can be plain tedious – was a race for first between Rams Eric Palmer and Martin Fitch. Palmer, a freshman, went out slightly faster than sophomore Fitch but the two stayed close.
At the 150-yard mark Palmer was up by just two-hundreths of a second. With 150 yards to go Palmer led by one-hundreth of a second and sprinted his final 25 to win in 5:21.89. Fitch touched in at 5:22.21.
Bangor coach Phil Emery said Fitch and Palmer have battled that way all season.
“That was a heck of a race,” Bangor coach Phil Emery said. “Today, Fitch was out much faster than he normally was because he didn’t want to let Eric out of his reach, which is what he has to learn to do. He’s not a very good sprinter. He’s getting better, though.”
Tae Chung also won two events. He took the 200 Individual Medley with a time of 2:09.21 and the 100 backstroke with a season-best 1:01.28.
In the backstroke, behind Chung and second-place finisher Paul Perkins of Old Town, Indians swimmer Jason Tillotson held off Mike Fessenden of Bangor by two-tenths of a second for a lifetime-best 1:08.25.
The diving also proved to be close once Bangor’s Justin Alley racked up 203.60 points for the victory. Justin Fogg of Bangor finished just 4.65 points ahead of Old Town’s Steve Gomm.
Loukes won the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:04.13.