Last week end, the University of Maine men and women won the first meets of the weekend against Bryant University but lost to the University of Rhode Island.

“Overall, I was very happy with the performances. We had some good breakthrough swims in several events. It was a tough double. But we need to get better at racing back to back if we’re going to be ready for championship season,” Susan Lizotte, coach of the Black Bears, said earlier this week.

Lizotte pointed to the spark the 200 medley relay, the opening event against Bryant, provided Maine. “The relay set the tone for the meet.” Butterflyer Erica Smrcina made her season debut after being sidelined due to surgery.

“The excitement of having her swim and the excitement of her split in the fly (26.7) gave the team a lot of energy,” said Lizotte.

Maine nipped Bryant 1:51.9 to 1:52.0 in the relay.

Junior Nicole Langlois swam impressively in the 1000 free, her coach said, with a PR of 10:58, her first time under 11 minutes. “It was exciting. She swam from lane 2 and around the 600/700 mark, she started going. She is learning to pace the race.”

Backstroker Alicia Hahn turned her fastest unshaved 200 back (2:09).

In the men’s meet, Maine’s Brian Landry set a pool record in the 200 breaststroke (2:16). Actually, the Black Bears adjusted their race preparation since the facility at Bryant does include lanes for pre-event warmup or postrace cool down. Nevetheless, the men, like the women, turned in strong performances across all distances. Lizotte complimented Brewer’s Brent Williams for his 10:31 1000 free. “He is up and coming and learning to swim the race.”

In the shorter freestyle events, Dan MacDonald of Bath recorded unshaved PR swims in the 100 free (50.3) and 50 free (23.3).

“He doesn’t stop. He is doing everything,” noted Lizotte about the senior’s approach to the training.

For the first time this season, the Black Bears will race in their home pool, hosting Stony Brook Saturday.

“The teams are ready to be home. … These will be good competitive meets. We are going to put together our best possible line up and go for it,” said Lizotte.

Stony Brook travels to Maine following defeats in both the men’s and women’s meets last week at Massachusetts.

Eagles emphasizing technique

Bruce Babin’s Husson University Eagles do not race this weekend, returning to action Nov. 13 at the Regis Invitational.

“I think the girls have stepped up. We have had really good practices,” Babin said.

The interim coach has been emphasizing turn, start and streamline techniques.

“They have been focused and we saw improvement in our last meet,” said Babin. “They are responding to the transition (of an interim coach). They have adjusted to the expectations.”

Babin anticipates the team’s sprint events will be strengthened by the addition of frosh swimmer Cassie Pray, who has joined the team after Husson’s successful field hockey season.