BANGOR — Four area masters’ swimmers performed at a high level — so well, in fact, they qualified to compete in the nationals in April in Pittsburgh, Pa. — on Saturday, Oct. 1 in a meet at the Bangor YMCA.

Bill Jones, 85, of Hope; Dr. Mara Crans, 56, of Camden; Neil Krane, 70, of Thomaston; and Drew Darling, 70, of Camden were among those from Maine to qualify for the every-other-year National Senior Games.

Maine masters’ swimmers who qualified for the nationals next year in Pittsburgh, Pa. The local swimmers include Drew Darling, third from left in third row; Dr. Mara Crans, fourth from left in second row; and Bill Jones, fourth from left in front row. Jones sits next to Jo Dill, who is retiring as leader of Maine Senior Games. Neil Krane is missing from photo. Photo courtesy of Maine Masters Swimming

Remarkably, Jones set Maine and New England records for his age group in the 200 butterfly and 400 individual medley.

The Midcoast foursome qualified in for nationals in all their events, measured in yards not meters.

The following are the Oct. 1 results for the local foursome, with event, name, age group, time, place and where that time would have placed nationally last year (this year’s times can be submitted through May, 31, 2023):

50 freestyle — Crans, 55-59, 31.41, first, 22nd.

100 free — Crans, 55-59, 1:10.32, first, 14th; and Krane, 70-74, 1:35.32, second, 23rd.

200 free — Crans, 55-59, 2:33.77, first, 16th; and Darling, 70-74, 3:06.37, second, 14th.

500 frees — Darling, 70-74, 8:41.56, first, 14th.

50 backstroke — Krane, 70-74, 49.17, first, 23rd; and Darling, 70-74, 49.43, second, 23rd.

100 back — Darling, 70-74, 1:46.48, first, 19th.

200 back — Darling, 70-74, 3:45.05, first, 10th.

100 breaststroke — Krane, 70-74, 2:16.16, first, 19th.

50 fly — Krane, 70-74, 42.37, second, 23rd; and Jones, 85-89, 1:19.82, first, sixth.

200 fly — Krane, 70-74, 5:34.34, first, sixth; and Jones, 85-89, 9:27.29, first, first (Maine and New England record).

400 IM — Jones, 85-89, 10:22.16, first, first (Maine and New England record).

Jones said those ages 85 and older usually cannot swim the arduous and difficult 200 butterfly. He said the last time a swimmer that age did was nearly eight years ago in March 2015.

He said the world record holder is his friend, the late Tom Maine of St. Louis, who swam the event in 2015.

Thus, on Oct. 1, Jones finished the difficult challenge of the 200 fly. Jones said while his time in the event was not a world record, it did set Maine and New England records for the age — because no one in New England had done it until now.

Jones said what the local masters’ foursome has accomplished in swimming and, most recently, is remarkable for a variety of reasons: Darling has a “foot full of metal after a recent accident,” Jones said, while Krane taught himself competitive swimming on YouTube, and Crans, also a strong bicyclist (she recently did a 100-mile ride that finished on top of Cadillac Mountain in Bar Harbor) and triathlete, continues to physically and mentally challenge herself despite living with multiple sclerosis.

Jones said, also of interest, is Jo Dill is retiring as head of Maine Senior Games and the Bangor masters’ swim meet referee was Marie Weferling, longtime Penobscot Bay YMCA swim coach and swimmer.

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