Master swimmers from New England and beyond gathered on Saturday, March 11 for the first of four days of the annual New England championships.

Among the 799 competitors registered were 56 from Maine Masters — along with five from the Penobscot Bay YMCA — all fighting for the team championship.

Saturday was distance day. Two of the Pen Bay athletes swam the 1,650 freestyle, or the “mile," and three swam the 1,000 free.

At the end of the first day. Maine, with 140 points, was seventh among the 43 teams, as 72 of those points — more than half —had been scored by the Pen Bay group.

In their age groups, Dr. Mara Crans (ages 50-54) of Camden finished fifth among 13 in the 1,650. Bill Jones (80-84) of Hope placed first among one in the 1,650. Susan Rardin (65-69) of Camden finished second among four in the 1,000. Ellen O’Donnell (60-64) of Warren placed third among five in the 1,000. Doug Roth (55-59) of Warren finished third among seven in the 1,000.

Friday through Sunday, March 17-19, the Pen Bay swimmers will be joined by three Waldo County YMCA swimmers, Brittany Harrington of Searsport and Pieter and Jennie deHart of Thorndike, as well as the other 48 Maine swimmers in their drive for the team title.

The other 16 individual events and five relays will be contested on those days.

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