ORONO, Maine — Ellsworth High School sophomore Camden Holmes had been home from school because of sickness earlier this week and said he still didn’t feel 100 percent healthy going into Friday night’s 38th Penobscot Valley Conference boys swim championships at the Stanley Wallace Pool at the University of Maine.
But it certainly didn’t show.
Holmes posted a career-best time of 22.28 to edge top seed Jacob Ketch of Old Town in the 50-yard freestyle and followed that up winning the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 49.29.
Holmes led his defending state Class B champs to a second place finish behind Old Town, which captured its first PVC championship since 1997.
Ellsworth was the defending PVC titlist.
Old Town finished with 274.5 points, and Ellsworth had 246.5. Bangor was third with 197, Mount Desert Island had 188, Orono was fifth with 93, Hampden had 77, John Bapst of Bangor was at 47, Carlisle (Caribou-Presque Isle) was next with 40.5, Brewer had 37, George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill had 30, Hermon had 20.5, Bucksport finished with 16, Washington Academy of East Machias had 13, Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft had nine and Bangor Christian picked up one point.
Holmes said he had a scratchy throat, but when the meet began, his “adrenaline took over” and he didn’t feel any of the affects from his sickness.
“I have been really focused on this meet,” said Holmes, whose older brothers Kody Holmes and state champion Cooper Holmes were standout swimmers for the Eagles.
Cooper Holmes is currently swimming at the University of Tampa.
One of the keys to Camden Holmes’ success were his starts, and he said that is something he has devoted a lot of practice time to.
“My starts had been good, but they weren’t powerful,” he said.
Holmes said he was most pleased with his triumph in the 50 because it was a career best.
His previous best in a high school meet was 22.70, although he pointed out that he did post a 22.42 in a meet for his DEFY (Downeast Family YMCA) club team.
He said his time in the 100-yard freestyle of 49.29 was his high school best, but he registered a time of 48.95 for DEFY.
“Maybe I can get under 49 at the state meet,” said the 16-year-old Holmes, who gave up soccer this fall to concentrate on swimming.
Ketch also finished second in the 100 with a time of 49.41.
Ketch and teammates Nate St. Jean, Drew St. Jean and Nick Gould beat Ellsworth in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:30.66. Holmes, Sam Alvarado, Richie Matthews and Austin Baron posted a time of 1:33.33.
Senior Gould went on to win two individual events and swim for two triumphant relay teams, and he said the Coyotes had a “little extra motivation” because they were swimming for former teammate Aaron Ricker, who lost his battle with cancer last month.
“He was with us until the end,” said Gould, who added that the title “meant a lot.”
“Our team has a lot of energy,” said Gould. “It was a very good meet. There was a lot of competition, and we were able to come out on top. It feels really good.”
Senior Alvarado captured the 500-yard freestyle in 5:00.01 and the 200-yard freestyle in 1:50.25. Old Town’s Noah Burr hung with Alvarado for 300 yards in the 500 before Alvarado pulled away. Burr finished in 5:07.78.
Bangor freshman Carson Prouty was second in the 200 (1:52.14).
Gould also won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 54.79 and the 100-yard backstroke in 55.04. Ellsworth’s Matthews was second in the 100 butterfly (56.00), and Prouty was second in the 100 backstroke (56.98).
Carson Prouty and brother Colby Prouty swam legs for Bangor’s triumphant 200 medley relay team along with Payton Campbell and Sam Carlson. They registered a time of 1:43.93 with Old Town finishing second (1:46.90). Old Town’s team was composed of Burr, Nate St. Jean, Garrett Stoyell and Russell Sossong.
Junior Colby Prouty won the 200 individual medley in 2:01.36 and the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:00.69. MDI’s Liam Sullivan was second in the 200 IM (2:02.75), and Ellsworth’s Hayden Sattler was second in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.48).
Anthony Wardwell of Bucksport won the diving. He was the only diver. Wardwell completes for Brewer High School.
Dave Ploch’s Coyotes put the finishing touches on their triumph by winning the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Gould, Burr, Drew St. Jean and Ketch posted a time of 3:22.14, and Ellsworth (Holmes, Alvarado, Matthews and Baron) was second in 3:29.16.