The Midcoast delegation to the annual New England masters swimming championship was small this year with only four swimmers. However, Mara Crans and Susan Rardin of Camden, Bill Jones of Hope and Donna Edelbaum of Union made a powerful  — and lasting — showing.

While the group's young swimmers were locked in competition in Zesiger Pool at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, some of their older swimmers competed upstream at Blodgett Pool Harvard University on Saturday, March 16, as well as Friday through Sunday, March 22-24.

For America’s more than 30,000 master swimmers, except for national and zonal championships, the annual Harvard meet, with more than 750 competitors registered this year, is the largest. The meet draws from across the nation, but mainly from New England, with 34 Maine Masters, of which, four were from Knox County.

When fully mobilized, Maine has won this meet in the past. This year, hampered by the absence of Maine Masters who coach the youngsters and by lax organization, Maine was fourth among 77 clubs, losing to Charles River and two Rhode Island teams, Jones said.

However, if not for the Penobscot Bay YMCA foursome, it would have been worse. That talented group swam 44 individual events, an average of 11 each. They made five relays possible. They garnered 27 individual gold medals and three relay firsts, two of which broke Maine and New England records. They scored 643 of Maine Masters’ 2,938 points.

Crans, 52, was in the toughest age group with up to 20 competitors in every race. She made two trips to Massachusetts to be able to swim in the maximum possible 13 individual events, as well as two relays. She gained two thirds, two fourths, five sixths, two sevenths and an eighth-place. She also suffered the group’s most dramatic mishap. At the start of the grueling 500-yard freestyle, her double swim caps and goggles came off; with long hair obscuring her vision, she could not finish. Nevertheless, she was the 20th highest points winner among the meet’s 327 women who scored.

Rardin, 69, also in a highly-competitive age group, won five gold medals, including those in all three butterfly events, four silvers and one bronze. Her 100-yard butterfly broke the listed Maine record, but she already had a better time in another recent meet. She was the oldest woman to complete the 200-yard butterfly. Her points score of 176 was seventh among the 327 point-scoring women and highest on the Maine team.

Jones, 82, had little competition, winning all 12 of his individual events. That made him the third point-winner among the 348 men who scored and highest on the Maine team. He was unable to enter a capped 13th event, which, if swum, would have earned him the male high-points. He broke no records, except in 75+ men’s relays, but continues to hold many from swims two years ago. Six of his times likely will gain national top 10 when the year closes at the end May.

Edelbaum, 85, faced no competition in her eight events, winning all the gold medals. All eight times easily will rank in national top 10 for 2018-19. She now holds Maine records in every event she has swum since her last birthday and is expected to set the remaining ones at a May meet at Waldo County YMCA for a total of 18. She holds numerous New England records as well. She skipped the 200-yard butterfly, an event in which she already has broken the records, to concentrate on the shorter butterfly races. No age 85-plus American woman completed the 200 fly last year and Edelbaum is the only one to do so this year. Her 136 points placed her 22nd among the 327 point-scoring women.

The individual results for the Midcoast foursome in their age division included:

50 freestyle — Crans, 30.51, 6th; Rardin, 34.22, 2nd; Jones, 38.54, 1st; and Edelbaum, 57.14, 1st.

100 free — Crans, 1:06.77, 7th; Rardin, 1:24.12, 3rd; and Edelbaum, 2:10.38, 1st.

200 free — Crans, 2:30.03, 6th; and Jones, 3:28.89, 1st.

500 free — Rardin, 8:13.22, 2nd; Jones, 10:30.86, 1st; and Edelbaum, 12:17.17, 1st.

1,650 free — Crans, 23:05.16, 4th.

50 backstroke — Crans, 37.36, 7th; Jones, 50.59, 1st; and Edelbaum, 1:05.27, 1st.

100 back — Crans, 1:19.47, 4th; and Jones, 1:51.26, 1st.

200 back — Crans, 2:52.76, 3rd; and Jones, 3:57.53, 1st.

50 breaststroke — Crans, 42.31, 6th; and Rardin, 49.53, 1st.

100 breast — Crans, 1:32.34, 6th; Rardin, 1:47.22, 1st; and Jones, 2:03.19, 1st.

200 breast — Edelbaum, 7:30.50, 1st.

50 butterfly — Rardin, 45.64, 1st; and Jones, 52.37, 1st.

100 fly — Rardin, 1:49.11, 1st; Jones, 2:04.59, 1st; and Edelbaum, 3:47.37, 1st.

200 fly — Rardin, 4:47.68, 1st.

100 individual medley — Crans, 1:20.40, 8th; Rardin, 1:36.81, 2nd; Jones, 1:48.01, 1st; and Edelbaum, 2:50.61, 1st.

200 IM — Crans, 2:58.28, 6th; Rardin, 3:37.98, 1st; Jones, 4:05.88, 1st; and Edelbaum, 5:53.02, 1st.

400 IM — Crans, 6:21.81, 3rd; Rardin, 7:30.54, 2nd; and Jones, 9:13.03, 1st.

200 free relay (men 75+) — Maine (Jones, Rupert, Hagmann, Cooke), 6:09.00, 1st (new Maine and New England record).

200 medley relay (mixed 35+) — Maine (Crans, Pelish, Trainor, Thomas), 2:24.44, 5th.

200 medley relay (men 75+) — Maine (Pride, Jones, Cooke, Hagmann), 3:13.45, 1st (new Maine and New England record).

400 medley relay (mixed 45+) — Maine (Uecker, Gardella, Lecron, Crans), 4:47.91, 1st.

400 medley relay (men 65+) — Maine (Rupert, Cooke, Jones, Siebecker), 6:42.85, 2nd.

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