The University of Maine Black Bear men and women swimmers competed in the three-day Boston University Invitational recently and faced fast competition in the trial and final meet, a different format than the dual meet format in which Maine traditionally has competed during the first semester.

The three-day trial and final format is the format Maine will face at the America East championships in February. Nine teams competed in the women’s competition and seven teams in the men’s. BU won the women’s and UMass the men’s with Maine finishing seventh and fifth, respectively.

Black Bear freshmen Drew Mackeil from Biddeford continued his strong swimming, hitting 52.8 seconds in the 100 butterfly for 12th place while captain John Quinn of Bangor and Kevin Staples of Mount Desert both slid under 49 seconds on their legs of the 400 free relay splitting 48.8 and 48.7, respectively.

Maine’s relay finished at 3:18.

Staples swam a speedy 200 free in 1 minute, 47.6 seconds and also hit 22.2 in the 50 free.

Jeremy Bender swam impressively in the 500 free at 4:50, finishing 16th.

In the women’s 400 free relay, Colleen Miller and Kristen Fenton both recorded 53.9 legs for Maine’s relay, which finished at 3:39.3.

Miller also raced in the 1,650 yard freestyle claiming fifth at 17:35.7. The senior scored sixth in the 500 free (5:06.1) and eighth in the 200 free (1:55.4). Teammate Kara Boffa also swam well in the 200 free 1:57.5 for fourteenth.

Freshman Alicia Hahn from Falmouth touched at 2:09.9 in the 200 back for ninth, a place ahead of her teammate Courtney Healy at 2:10.2. Hahn just missed dipping under a minute in the 100 back scoring 13th at 1:00.6

The Black Bears return to action December 5th swimming in the Rhode Island Invitational.

Suits of the future

Many competitive swimmers have arrived at the pool for practice and reached into their workout bag for their swimsuit only to find they had neglected to dry their swimsuit from the previous practice forcing them to change into a cold, wet swim suit for practice.

But, according to an article in New Scientist Journal, researchers at the University of Zurich suggest a swim suit which never gets wet may be in the future of fabric design.

Such a suit would eliminate drag when swimming the article claims. Eliminating the drag would allow the swimmer to travel faster through the water.

Suit discussion ongoing

Meanwhile, the discussion around racing suit design continues.

United States Swimming, which earlier this fall took a position on the bodysuit in USA competitions, has recently called on FINA, the international governing body of swimming, to institute an international ban on the bodysuit worn by many of the competitors in the Olympics.

USA in the request to FINA asks FINA to restrict the fabric cover of a suit to above the knee and to the shoulder strap. In addition, USA requests FINA make approved suits available to all competitors 12 months before the Olympics. FINA is expected to consider the USA request when it meets in early 2009.

Lane Lines…

Ryan Trafton, who swam at John Bapst Memorial, finished at 58 seconds in the 100 butterfly to claim a second place behind a Colby College teammate in the 100 butterfly in the White Mules win over the University of New England recently.

Ellsworth’s Zach Cravens, competing for UMaine in the BU Invitational led off the 800 free relay with a 1:50.9 split. Another local swimmer, Erica Simpson from Bangor, who, also like Cravens, competed for Maine in the recent BU meet sped to a 2:15.4 in the trials of the 200 back.

The Penobscot Valley Conference Relay Carnival, which opens the local interscholastic season will be held December 5th at the Wallace Pool at UMaine. The MPA State Meets are scheduled for Feb. 16th (Class A Girls and Class B Girls) and Feb. 17 (Class A Boys and B Boys).