In 2003, when U.S. Navy veteran Jim Goodman accepted the coaching position at Ellsworth High School, he greeted 12 male and female swimmers.

This year’s team members make up 10 percent of Ellsworth’s enrollment, Goodman explained.

“There is a lot of swimming support in the Ellsworth community,” Goodman, a masters swimmer, said.

The Eagle boys won their first Class B state title in 2016, and last year the they placed second behind Old Town at the state championship.

“The kids are really motivated and excited about swimming. They really want to swim and improve and they are having fun doing it, ” Goodman said.

In dual-meet competition this season, both Ellsworth teams have defeated Mount Desert Island and the Belfast Lions.

Goodman assimilates experienced swimmers from a strong age-group program at Ellsworth’s Down East Family YMCA, directed by Matt Montgomery, who coached the high school team from 1998-2002. First-year high school swimmers work out in a structure of three groups during their 75-minute high school practice. Experienced swimmers consistently train 3,000-3,500 yards in addition to dry-land routines.

The daily training regimen mixes what Goodman, coordinator of the DEFY a swim lesson program, labels as “power sets” (distance) with fast swimming. “We are doing a lot more fast swimming in practice this season.”

Impressive early season swims include junior Camden Holmes’ 21.9-second effort in the 50 freestyle and his 48.7 100 free, along with senior Richie Matthews’ 100 butterfly (56.8) and 100 breaststroke (1:03.5) suggest Ellsworth swimmers remain among the elite in interscholastic racing this season.

“With the times we are getting, I am excited. We will keep pushing the times up to the PVC (Penobscot Valley Conference) championship and then begin to taper for the state meet,” Goodman said.

Similar to Holmes and Matthews, who both have the ability to swim other strokes, this year’s boys team of 22 has swimmers who race in multiple strokes. Junior Sam Pelletier owns a 57.6 in the 100 backstroke, a 30.5 relay split in the 50 breaststroke and a 2:10 200 individual medley.

Classmate Beckett Markosian has recorded a 2:12 200 individual medley and a 1:02 100 back. Austin Baron, who is a member on the Eagles golf squad and a catcher for the baseball team, extends his freestyle racing from the 50 free (23) to the 500 free (5:36) while Sean Hill (1:57.4 200 free) also races multiple events.

“They really want to do well this season. They want to be in the top tier of teams in the state,” Goodman said.

With a roster of 23 on the girls team, the Eagles are led by juniors Ellie Clark and Katie Hammer.

“I am really proud of the girls. I am hoping for great things this year,” Goodman said.

Ellsworth grad shines

At Florida Southern University, Ellsworth’s Talor Hamilton is among the team’s fastest swimmers.

During the first semester the sophomore, a Maine All-State interscholastic swimmer while at Ellsworth High, has recorded a 20.9 50 free, 47.8 100 free, 51.8 100 back, 51.4 100 fly and a 1:54.3 200 back. The Moccasins are ranked 19th in NCAA Division ll according to the most recent poll.

“He has really risen to the challenge of college swimming,” Goodman remarked.

‘A’ state meet moved

Maine Principals’ Association Assistant Executive Director Michael Bisson has confirmed a change in the 2017-2018 Class A Swimming and Diving State Championship meet schedule.

The Class A boys championship will be held on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, at the University of Maine. The girls Class A will compete on Monday, Feb. 19, also at UMaine. The adjustment in the Class A championship schedule was prompted by a conflict in the availability of the Stanley Wallace Pool.

Follow BDN Maine Sports on Facebook for the latest in Maine high school and college sports.