Legendary week for Greenwich High swim/dive team

Greenwich High’s John Enquist takes to the pool during this year’s FCIAC championship meet. The Cards finished the season with the FCIAC, class LL and state open titles, winning all in commanding fashion.

Greenwich High’s John Enquist takes to the pool during this year’s FCIAC championship meet. The Cards finished the season with the FCIAC, class LL and state open titles, winning all in commanding fashion.

The triple crown is complete for the Greenwich High School boys swimming and diving team.

After dominating the competition during the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference and the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference class LL meet, Big Red had their eyes on capturing the state open championship, which was held Saturday afternoon at the Yale University pool.

Although the Cards didn’t have the same dominating swim meet as they did a few days earlier at the class LL meet, Greenwich was able to muscle its way to the top of the scoreboard, winning the open championship with 609.5 points.

“It has just been a great team to work with all year,” Greenwich High School head coach Terry Lowe said. “They worked hard and it was nice to have a target. Fairfield Prep had a great season and they were also coming back with almost everybody from last year. They were in our sights all season. We had our greatest dual meet in about 10 years against them and we had to really turn on the jets at LLs to have an emphatic victory and maybe the best LL meet I’ve seen in a really long time. Not surprisingly, today was a little uneven, but when it came down to it, we won all three relays and had great swims.”

Greenwich’s main rival, Fairfield Prep, was a distant second, netting 426.5 points. Pomperaug High School finished third with 298 points, and Brookfield took fourth with 292 points. Rounding out the top five was Wilton, which finished fifth with 264.5. Fellow FCIAC school New Canaan grabbed sixth with 190 points.

“This team has meant a lot to me for the past couple of years, and I think that we proved that this was the victory that we’ve been training for,” senior Tim Hardman said. “Everybody has been working really hard and that has paid off. This is awesome seeing everybody swim so well.”

Big Red had two individual finishers grab the top spot in the open finals. During the 100-yard backstroke, junior Alexander Lewis took to the pool and beat out Fitch’s Christian Berg for first with a time of 50.17 seconds. That time was also good enough for the state open meet record, which was held by Joel Barlow’s Michael Pilyugin with a time of 50.21, back in 2012. Lewis’s teammate John Montesi, a freshman, took third in the event with a time of 52.05.

“This was definitely sweet for us,” Lewis said. “Not everybody had best times, but the ultimate outcome is a win and that’s exactly what we did today. I couldn’t be any happier. This was such an honor. This program has had a lot of fantastic swim teams and this definitely puts us in the ranks of the top 10 ever.”

Lewis wasn’t finished. Earlier in the day, the junior hit the pool in the 100-yard butterfly event and finished second overall, taking home a time of 51.25. Berlin’s Dan Klotz broke the state record with a top time of 49.34. Freshman John Montesi also found his way to the podium with a time of 51.94, and that was good enough for sixth place.

“Alex is an amazing swimmer and works so hard,” Lowe said. “He’s so determined and to have another two great swims today. If he gets close to 50 seconds in the backstroke, I would be impressed. And he did that. It’s a pleasure to watch him swim. He’s a beautiful swimmer and earned everything he’s accomplished.”

Earlier in the meet, GHS sophomore Edward Moss was in another epic battle with Fairfield Prep’s Bjorn Davis in the 50-yard freestyle event. Earlier in the week at the class LL meet, the swimmers tied for first. Yet again those two were battling throughout the event; however, this time it was Moss who barely came out on top, taking home the top time of 21.21. Bjorn grabbed the silver with a time of 21.23.

Moss backed up his 50-yard freestyle performance with another outstanding showing in the 100-yard freestyle. While in a tight battle with Prep’s Nicholas Wargo, Moss was able to touch the wall sixth overall with a time of 47.67 and just beat out Wargo, who finished seventh with a time of 47.68.

When it came to the relays, Greenwich kind of came away with a sweep of all three relays. Although they easily won the 400-yard freestyle relay and the 200-yard medley relays, the Cards and Jesuits were once again neck and neck in the 200-yard freestyle relay. When the dust settled, both Prep and the GHS foursome of senior Tim Hardman, junior Julian Fraser and sophomores Moss and Thomas Dillinger touched the wall for first with a new state record time of 1:34.81.

Just as they did in the class LL meet at Wesleyan, the group of Lewis, sophomore Iain Edmundson, Fraser and Moss started the day in the 200-yard medley relay and grabbed a gold medal time of 1:34.76. Prep took second and was nearly two seconds behind.

In the 400-yard freestyle relay, the GHS team of junior Ben Wurst, senior Matthew Fraser, Lewis, and Dillinger crushed the competition and finished first overall with a time of 3:07.96, close to three seconds faster than the second-place team.

“We knew Fairfield Prep would be a tough competitor coming in and that they would keep it close, so everybody did their best to better their times and go faster,” Hardman said. “Everybody stepped up their game, and it was awesome to go out like this. I couldn’t be more proud of this team. It’s really special. We’ve won the triple crown before, but I was never really a part of it. It’s first for me and a lot of other kids here, and this is an amazing way for my high school career to end.”

In addition to Big Red’s top finishers, the Cardinals had other stellar performances that helped pad the lead during the state open finals.

In addition to helping Greenwich in the 200-yard freestyle relay, Dillinger grabbed second in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:41.68. His fellow teammate in the 200-yard freestyle relay, Edmundson, competed in the 200-yard individual medley and netted a fourth place time of 1:55.77.

Competing in his second individual event of the day, Edmundson swam the 100-yard breaststroke and finished fourth overall, taking a time of 59.04.

In the longest event of the day, the 500-yard freestyle, Dillinger finished with the bronze and a time of 4:37.94.

Joining Moss on the podium during the 50-yard freestyle was Hardman, who finished with a fifth-place time of 21.71. Hardman capped off his senior season in the 100-yard freestyle, as he took ninth overall with a time of 47.82.

Even before the state open swimming finals took place, GHS netted some key points, courtesy of its divers. During the open diving finals that were held earlier in the week, the Cards got stellar performances out of two divers.

Junior Jeff Aselin finished the finals with the bronze medal and netted 439.10 points. Not to be outdone was sophomore Andrew Bologna, who grabbed sixth overall and 420.60 points. Combined, Aselin and Bologna gave Big Red 45 points heading into the swim portion of the finals.

“We got the job done today,” Lewis said. “We knew going in that we were ahead. Sometimes that makes things more difficult, but we pulled through. It was a great season and now I’m looking forward to next year.”

Other GHS swimmers finished with high marks on the day. Junior Ben Wurst netted 14th overall in the 200-yard freestyle event (1:46.06) and 21st in the 500-yard freestyle event (4:51.44), while fellow junior Andrew Stotesbery took 12th in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:57.68 and 20th overall in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:01.72.

Senior Kevin Parker took 12th (21.96) and Julian Fraser finished 16th (22.17) in the 50-yard freestyle event. Parker took part in the 100-yard backstroke and finished 17th overall with a time of 54.44, and Julian Fraser was back in the pool an event later and finished ninth in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 53.05. Not to be outdone was senior Luca Fikre, who cracked the top 15 and finished 12th with a time of 53.25.

Julian’s brother, senior Matthew Fraser, took part in the 100-yard freestyle and finished 14th overall with a time of 48.77.

“We set a record for the number of points scored at a state open meet, and they are a balanced team,” Lowe said. “We had strong swimming in every single event, as well as two fine divers. We won or shared a victory in all three relays. If this isn’t the greatest team, it’s certainly one of the top three greatest, and frankly it’s a lot harder to do this now.”

Although this year’s Greenwich team had a plethora of juniors and sophomores leading the way on the podium, the seniors on the team were instrumental in how Big Red achieved its success.

“Matt Fraser works so hard and sets such a good example, and Tim Hardman has overcome some major adversity and major injury to be a part of a record-setting race,” Lowe said. “Kevin Parker has made amazing strides for us, and I don’t think there were a lot of people that thought he would be here today. For Luca Fikre, this was his first open finals and he has worked so hard and set such an incredible example for this season. Although he was never here, he earned the respect of all the swimmers, and today he showed that he definitely belonged here.”

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress