“It has been a great rivalry. We are excited to swim them and I assume they are excited to swim us. We respect their program. Tony [coach DeMuro] does a wonderful job. He gets his kids up, excited, and ready to swim,” said Phil Emery, coach of the Bangor High boys swim team.

Recently, DeMuro’s Trojans have had both the speed and the depth to defeat the Rams as MDI has won the last six dual meets.

“A year ago we went to the last relay and in an exciting race MDI beat us and won the meet. Last year was a great meet,” Emery said.

Very few teams defeat the Rams in consecutive years. But the Trojans have more than matched Bangor’s freestyle corps and have had the talented strokers to stop the Rams front line in compiling their win streak.

Evaluating his team’s progress with the Penobscot Valley Conference Championship and state meets, three and four weeks away, respectively, Emery noted, “This is the deepest we have been at this point of the season in years. I like that we can cover all the events very well. It is a dual meet and we want to do well, but we don’t want to over think it,” said Emery who, when he was hired to coach the Rams 41 years ago, envisioned a one-year tenure as coach before attending graduate school.

“The kids like to race. We will race Friday [6:30 p.m. at Husson] and then come home and practice Saturday,” the Maine Sports Hall of Fame coach added.

The Rams’ Joey Quinn (23.2 seconds in the 50 free and 1:53.1 200 free), Taylor Wicks (200 IM 2:07.3, 100 back 55.7) and Ihan Cameron (50 free 23.1) are all among the Class A leaders according to the most recent rankings released by MPA statistician Ritchie Palmer.

MDI’s Ian Carbone, who a week ago signed a letter of intent to attend Duquesne University, leads Class B swimming in 5 events (200 free 1:49.7, 200 IM 2:00.8, 50 free 23.2, 100 free 51.2, 100 breaststroke 1:01.2). And, teammate Ty Onda is among the leaders in freestyle, butterfly and breaststroke.

“It is the one dual meet, we really go after after all year. This is phase one in revving our engines a bit looking forward to the PVC’s and the state meet,” DeMuro said. “I expect them to be excited to swim us. The meet always produces great excitement and racing.”

Wells to swim for IU

Earlier this year, James Wells of Morse High signed a letter of intent to attend Indiana University. In a statement released earlier this week, IU coach Ray Luce commented on the talented swimmer.

“James is the top high school backstroker coming out this year. He will certainly fit right in with IU’s great tradition of elite-level backstrokers. Another upside of Wells is his versatility. He can swim fly and sprint freestyle which will make him valuable on relays.”

Wells currently is ranked one in seven events in Class A. In the 100 breaststroke, he is second at 1:02.6, fractions of a second from number one .

Husson improving

While St. Joesph’s College of Standish defeated Husson University last weekend, coach Jeff Wren’s Eagles continued their steady and consistent improvement. Another school record, another New England qualifier, doubling last year’s total, and first-place finishes in six events including both the 200 medley relay and the 200 free relay served as indicators of Husson’s development.

“It was a meet under circumstances, circumstances being that due to semester break there were five days of training before the meet. There were a lot of positives, though. Both of the relays worked real hard to get the wins. That was very encouraging. We had a half dozen lifetime best performances,” Wren said.

“And, we had a lot of contributors. The lack of immediate training during the semester break evidenced by the fact that we did not come back and swim as well in our second and third events was apparent.”

Sophomore Erin Doucette from Hampden won three events for the Eagles gaining gold in the 100 individual medley, the 50 butterfly and the 50 backstroke. Saturday, the Eagles visit St. Joseph’s and will swim the longer event program, 200-yard distance stroke events having raced the shorter distance events last weekend. Meg Call from Levant, who swam at John Bapst Memorial, set the school record in the 50 breaststroke.

Husson University will host a master’s meet on Sunday at noon to both registered master’s swimmers and those who are not affiliated with master’s swimming. Entries not received by Jan 22 may be submitted prior to the start of the meet. Questions regarding the meet should be directed to Wren.