Poet Robert Frost in his “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” speaks of “miles to go before I sleep.”

For the University of Maine swimmers, it was the meters and meters that they swam that helped them sleep during their 10 days of intensive training in Florida.

“It definitely was two steps ahead of our trip a year ago. We swam 30,000 more meters than we did a year ago. We worked in stroke sets, individual medley sets and mixed in speed sets along with our freestyle training. I am very pleased with the work we did,” coach Susan Lizzotte said.

Senior Jeremy Bender, who is outstanding for Maine in the butterfly, individual medley and distance freestyle, noted that the training sets were the most difficult and most challenging he has encountered at any point in his swimming career, according to Lizzotte

Interestingly, Lizzotte explained that some of the swimmers who came to Maine from U.S. clubs, where training was consistently long course, displayed a crisp tempo in their daily training and appeared to respond particularly well to the long course.

Butterflyer Lauren Thornborough had a “really, really good 10 days,” Lizzotte said. “Carmen Linden, I am really looking forward to seeing her swim middle distance. Being from Canada, she is used to training meters and looked very comfortable training.”

Brent Williams, a frosh from Brewer, distinguished himself with his training effort.

“He took to it. Meters really fit him. I think he is ready to slide under the five minute in the 500 free,” said Lizzotte.

Saturday at the University of Maine against the Providence College Friars, the Black Bears will race for the first time since completing their training trip.

It should be a good meet on both sides. The Friars (1-6 in men’s dual meets, 0-6 in female dual meets) compete in the fast and highly competitive Big East Conference.

Actually, the Black Bears raced against the Friars earlier this season at the University of Rhode Island Invitational. However, the Friars entered the meet shaved, tapered and rested and raced in their laser suits. Maine elected not to approach the meet with this championship preparation. So Lizzotte expects Saturday’s racing to be keenly competitive.

Wells turns 100 back in 50.5

At last week’s Indiana University-Michigan swim meet, Morse of Bath’s James Wells, racing for the Hoosiers, finished at 50.5 in the 100 backstroke in an event won by his teammate Eric Rees at 48.7. Earlier in the season, Wells clocked a 49.8, currently the 50th fastest time in NCAA Division I.

Wells turned third at the 50-yard mark with a 24.2 split before touching sixth in the field. Wells and his mates defeated Michigan 163-137.

Heneghan sets pool mark

Colby’s Chelsea Heneghan set a pool record in the White Mules’ recent meet at Norwich. Heneghan completed the 500 free in 5:16.4 to contribute to her team’s 119-56 win.

Masters on at Husson

Husson University will again host a masters swim meet this year on Sunday, Jan. 23

Interim coach Bruce Babin and meet director Thomas Branch continue to accept entries in the 18-event program which includes 50-, 100- and 200-yard races in each stroke in addition to a 400 IM and a 500 free. Two relays, free and medley, also will be swum.

Entries and inquiries should be directed to Babin at Husson University, One College Circle, Bangor 04401.

Meanwhile, Babin and the Eagles resume their dual-meet action Saturday. In the first meet of 2011 for the young team, Husson races the Monks from Saint Joseph’s College of Standish.