As the 2011 interscholastic dual meets open this week, several area swimmers are among the leaders in their respective classes, according to the data provided by Maine Principals’ Association swim statistician Ritchie Palmer.

In the girls interscholastics, Bangor’s Emma Waddell leads the Class A rankings in three events — 500 freestyle (5:23.4), 100 butterfly (1:00.3) and 200 individual medley (2:16.3). Teammate Jamie Hunsaker is fourth in the 200 free at 2:07.4.

In Class B, Mount Desert Island’s Chelsey Curran at 1:01.6 leads the backstrokers, while Foxcroft Academy’s Amber Murray has the third-fastest swim with 1:05.8. Hannah Homans, a frosh at Camden Hills whose father Fritz began his national-level elite swimming career at the Bangor YMCA, has the second-fastest time in the young season (1:03.8).

And Ellsworth’s Cecelia McEachern is among the leaders in three events: the 100 breaststroke (1:12.8), 200 free (2:08.8) and 100 butterfly (1:03.9).

Three Bangor male swimmers are ranked currently among the fastest Class A swimmers. Frosh swimmer David Smallwood displays his freestyle versatility, ranking third in both the 50 free (23.0) and the 200 free (1:53.6) and second in the 100 free (51.0). Smallwood also has raced the second-fastest Class A fly at 55.4.

Foxcroft’s Cameron Fadley’s times in the 200 free (1:54.8) and the 50 free (23.2) post second on the Class B time standings, and his 100 breaststroke (1:08.6) is third, three-tenths behind MDI’s Jason Carbone. Another Pony, sophomore Donny Boyer, has the second-fastest 50 free (23.4).

Ellsworth’s Keith Chandler, with a 100 fly at 56.5, and Orono’s Cam Dwyer at 57.7 have recorded the second- and fourth-fastest races at this point in the season.

With coaches continuing to increase yardages and intensify training sets, all swimmers train expecting to experience periodic time drops during the dual-meet season. This sets the foundation for those speedy taper races during championship season.

Thomas shines for Lions

Erin Thomas, a Bangor High graduate, anchored the winning 400 free relay Tuesday for the Penn State Nittany Lions against the North Carolina Tar Heels, officially concluding the semester break training trip for PSU. Thomas split 52.2 in the 3:29.6 relay that nudged the Tar Heels’ 3:30.8. The meet was a nonscored team competition.

Doing the impossible

The International Swimming Hall of Fame chronicles the 1942 100 freestyle race of Bill Prew. Swimming at Yale University in the AAU nationals, Prew finished in first place at 50.6.

However, the timers using stop watches believed their watches apparently had stopped too soon. The world record, set 16 years earlier by Johnny Weissmuller, was 51 seconds. And it was simply not possible that anyone could be faster than Weissmuller. So the officials awarded Prew the gold and recorded his time at 51 seconds! Nearly 70 years later the American record in the 100 free, set in 2009, is 41.08.

Top 100 to be All-Americans

NISCA, the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association, has announced that All-American awards will be given this year to the top 100 swimmers meeting the time standard in each event. For the past eight years, NISCA has recognized the top 130 swimmers who have achieved the time standard. In 2009-10, Maine ranked 44th in the number of interscholastic swimmers recognized as All-American. California led the nation in All- Americans.