Making a statement: Greenwich swim team powers by Prep in dual battle

Greenwich's Andrew Stotesbery competes in the 200-yard medley relay during Saturday's meet against Fairfield Prep. — John Ferris Robben photo

Greenwich’s Andrew Stotesbery competes in the 200-yard medley relay during Saturday’s meet against Fairfield Prep. — John Ferris Robben photo

Competing in arguably their biggest dual meet of the regular season, the Greenwich High School boys swimming and diving team took the lead after the first event on Saturday afternoon and never looked back, dominating Fairfield Prep by a score of 116-70.

“I was surprised with how convincingly we won, and I was really surprised with how spectacularly the level of times were from both teams,” Greenwich High head coach Terry Lowe said. “Right from the first event and going until the last event, we saw times that we don’t really expect to see at this phase of the season. We wiped out the pool record of the 200-free relay by two seconds, and that was impressive, especially at this time of the year.”

Right from the start, Big Red made a huge statement. In the 200-yard medley relay, the foursome of Jack Montesi, Iain Edmundson, Alex Lewis and Ed Moss finished with a blistering time of 1:35.27. Not only were they five seconds faster than the Jesuits in second place, the GHS time was the third fastest time in school history.

The highlighted event of the day took place in the 50-yard freestyle, as two very familiar faces battled for the top spot. Last year at the class LL meet, both Ed Moss of Greenwich and Fairfield Prep’s Bjorn Davis tied for the top spot in the 50-yard freestyle.

This time around it was Moss who got the better of Davis, as the GHS swimmer touched the wall with a time of 21.01 seconds.

That time was the second fastest in school history, as only Dwight Fenton back in 1989 netted a faster time (20.54).

“Ed set a pool record at the 50-free, but his event was fun because Bjorn Davis of Prep has had a very friendly and positive rivalry over the last couple of years,” Lowe said. “They’ve tied each other and one has beaten the other. Ed got the better of him this time around.”

Greenwich’s lone dual first-place finisher was Alex Lewis. Competing in the 100-yard freestyle, Lewis was in competition with Davis and came away with a top time of 46.17, over one second faster than Davis’s second-place time.

In the 100-yard backstroke, Lewis again was able to grab the top spot, touching the wall with a time of 54.76. Coming in second overall was Jack Montesi, who took home a time of 55.33.

“Alex Lewis just went out so fast in the 100-freestyle that he made sure that they knew that there was no way that they were going to catch up with him,” Lowe said. “He was one-tenth of a second away from the school record that has stood here for over 20 years. It was a great swim, and one of many great swims.”

Montesi bettered himself in the 100-yard butterfly event, as the GHS swimmer was able to tie Fairfield Prep’s Bryce Keblish for first overall with a time of 46.17.

Greenwich High head coach Terry Lowe talks to his coaches during Saturday's meet against Fairfield Prep. — John Ferris Robben photo

Greenwich High head coach Terry Lowe talks to his coaches during Saturday’s meet against Fairfield Prep. — John Ferris Robben photo

In an amazing feat, Greenwich’s Thomas Dillinger made his presence felt midway through the meet.

Competing in the longest event of the day, the 500-yard freestyle, Dillinger was able to get the better of Prep’s Brandon Cole and touch the wall first overall with a time of 4:50.13. Cole wasn’t far behind, grabbing second with a time of 4:50.95.

Immediately after the 500-yard freestyle, Dillinger was back in the pool for the 200-yard freestyle relay.

Anchoring the GHS foursome that consisted of Ben Wurst, Julian Fraser and Moss, Dillinger and the Cardinals grabbed the top spot with a time of 1:26.89. Again, the Jesuits weren’t far behind, as their team finished second with a time of 1:27.34.

During the 100-yard breaststroke, Greenwich’s Iain Edmundson had a stellar swim and finished with a top time of 1:00.63, more than a second faster than Fairfield Prep’s John Join, who touched the wall second with a time of 1:01.99.

Rounding out the individual events were the GHS divers. Andrew Bologna had a solid performance on the day and finished first overall with 234.10 points. Not to be outdone was Big Red’s Justin Sodokoff, who took the silver with 223.75 points.

Both Greenwich and Fairfield Prep saved the best battle for the final event of the afternoon, the 400-yard freestyle relay. Big Red’s Wurst, Montesi, Dillinger and Lewis were behind the Fairfield Prep foursome of Nicholas Wargo, Keblish, Davis and Cole 2.58 seconds at the midway point of the event.

Dillinger closed the gap a bit, finishing his portion with a time of 48.15; however, Lewis wouldn’t be stopped on Saturday afternoon. The GHS swimmer finished the final 100 yards of the event with an amazing time of 45.54 and helped Big Red grab the gold with an overall time of 3:11.35. The Jesuits were second with a time of 3:11.61.

In addition to the top times, Big Red had other stellar performances. Edmundson took second in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:57.90, while Wurst took third in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:50.38. Wurst also took the bronze in the 500-yard freestyle, touching the wall with a time of 5:08.61.

With both Fairfield Prep and Greenwich finishing in the top two during last year’s championship season, Lowe said it was important for his squad to come out firing during Saturday’s dual meet.

“I think it has to be, just the way it was swum,” Lowe said. “If nothing more, it was a positive statement about what we can expect of ourselves. We definitely got some depth coming along from the meet.”

With the victory against Prep, Greenwich remained perfect on the season. However, this won’t be the last time these two teams will meet up. Big Red and the Jesuits will see each other twice more this season, at the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference class LL championship and the state open championship.

“This was the meet that has the emotional aspect to it,” Lowe said. “This is the one where the kids really feel the rivalry. Greenwich and Fairfield Prep are probably the two best teams in the state. Both these teams were top two last year and both returned the majority of their strength. I think everybody is anticipating that it is going to be a fight in the dual meet and then the championships.”

Yesterday, Greenwich continued its quest toward the FCIAC championship with a meet against Trumbull High School. Results were unavailable at press time. On Saturday at 3, Big Red gets to battle another solid squad, as Phillips Exeter Academy travels from New Hampshire to the GHS pool.

“I want to see a good meet there,” Lowe said. “I doubt that we will see the same kinds of swims that we did against Prep. That kind of meet doesn’t happen that often, but we certainly want to put up a good contest against Phillips Exeter. We expect them coming out here planning to win and we want to have some good swims. We also want to put in a nice variety, so that way the kids aren’t swimming the events.”

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