April 04, 2020

Maine Masters capture title

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Maine Masters swimming team won its second straight indoor short-course yard title in a row with a first-place finish at the New Englands last weekend.

The Maine squad scored 4,580 points, first among all the non-Massachusetts club teams, to beat out second-place Red Tide of New York City, which finished with 4,380.

Cambridge Masters of Massachusetts scored the most points of the meet with 5,612, but the Massachusetts club teams have their own category because of the size and number of teams in the state.

The Maine men had a top finish of 3,329 points and the women were second with 1,083.

Three members of the Maine men’s squad won their age groups. William Jones of Hope, who was second overall (219 points) out of 353 swimmers who scored, was the top finisher in the 70-74 group. Jones won 11 events and was second in another.

Michael Schmidt of Vassalboro, sixth overall with 173 points, claimed the 45-49 group. He had five firsts and five seconds out of his 11 events.

Michael Ross of Shrewsbury, Mass., (masters swimmers can compete for any team they want regardless of residence) was first in the 35-39 age group. His 153 points were good for 15th place and was the top finisher in all nine events in which he entered.

Windsor’s Zachary Gray scored 157 points, which was 11th overall and second in the 25-29 age group. He had four second-place finishes.

Son Nyugen, a former Bangor High swimmer now living in South Portland, was the third-highest point scorer in the 25-29 age group with 124. He was second in the 1,650-yard freestyle and recorded nine other top-10 finishers.

Top finishers for the Maine women included Lincolnville’s Kristi Panayotoff, who scored 152 points for 12th out of 304 finishers and the second spot in the 55-59 age group, and Anne Uecker of Oakland, whose 126 points put her 26th overall and third in the 45-49 age group.

Panayotoff won two events and was top 10 in 11 other races. Uecker had 10 finishes in the top 10.

The Maine Masters team won the 2007 short-course yard title last March, setting off a sweep of the New England masters titles. In July 2007 the Mainers won the long-course meter championships at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt. That was followed in December by the short-course meter crown at Boston University.

Last year the Maine team scored 4,802 points with 56 swimmers on the roster. Despite having 14 fewer swimmers this year, Maine was only 222 points off last year’s total.

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