Greenwich boys swimmers, divers seek a repeat performance

Greenwich High’s Andrew Stotesberry competes in the 200-yard freestyle during last year’s FCIAC finals. — Dave Stewart photo

Greenwich High’s Andrew Stotesberry competes in the 200-yard freestyle during last year’s FCIAC finals. — Dave Stewart photo

Another season and another possible drive to greatness for head coach Terry Lowe and the rest of the Greenwich High School boys swimming and diving team.

“We have a wonderful returning nucleus around in which to build a very solid team,” Lowe said. “I see a lot of our young guys far ahead of where they were last year. There is definitely hope that we can do some great things.”

Speaking of great things, last season was one of the best in recent memory for Big Red. After dominating the dual meet season and easily grabbing the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference championship, Greenwich kept the good times rolling in the class LL tournament by winning gold by over a 300-points. In the Open championship, the Cards won the state title with 652 points.

“There’s a lot of pressure here and a huge deal to win all our meets,” senior tri-captain Ed Moss said. “We have done that before and we have a tradition of winning. All that is very important to us and we want to continue that this year. I am hoping we will stay undefeated this year. We have shown huge improvements and I think a couple of records could be broken this year.”

Last year’s team ended up some impressive accomplishments. The 200-yard medley relay finished 10th in the country, the 400-yard freestyle relay was fourth in the country and the 200-yard freestyle relay was second in the state and 12th in the country. In addition, Big Red had swimmers like Alex Lewis breaking state records in the 100-yard freestyle (44.16 seconds) and in the 100-yard backstroke (48.59). Andrew Stotesberry finished seventh in the class LL 100-yard breaststroke (1:00.18) and eighth in the class LL 200-yard individual medley (1:56.83).

Julian Fraser had two top 10 finishes at Opens that included a fifth-place time in the 100-yard butterfly (52.31).

In addition, swimmers like Tim Agro and Tyler Triscari peaked at the right time and fared well at the class LL tourney.

While Big Red lost a plethora of talent to graduation, Lowe and the rest of the Cardinals have plenty more solid swimmers to pace this year’s squad.

Leading the way are senior tri-captains Edward Moss, Iain Edmundson and Thomas Dillinger.

Moss was stellar when it came to the sprinting events last season, winning the Open championship in the 50-yard freestyle (20.87) and taking second to Lewis in the 100-yard freestyle (45.87). He also was a key member of the relay teams that claimed the championship.

“It’s an incredible thing to be a leader on this team,” Moss said. “I am so happy to be a leader of a widely-known and great team. It makes me work harder and harder and I’m glad to see that everybody else is working up to their potential. I have been trying to push everybody to work harder and the team is showing a lot of improvement.”

Edmundson was silver in the Opens 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 58.53 and 10th in the 200-yard individual medley (1:54.30).

“It’s exciting to be here,” Edmundson said. “To be a captain here has been a dream of mine for quite a while, so to be here is a big deal for me. This year we lost a few key players from last year, so we are going to rely on the underclassmen a little more than we have in the past. I think this year is about making the underclassmen better and having them fill the spots we need, so that we have enough support on the team.”

Dillinger is an All-American in the 200-yard individual medley, winning state open gold last year (1:49.64). He bested himself in the 500-yard freestyle, winning top honors at Opens with a time of 4:36.50.

“I’ve been a part of the team for the past four years and I’ve been looking up to the previous captains,” Dillinger said. “Underwater plays a big part and we are going to try and focus on that a lot this year, as well as develop our strokes as the year goes on. We need to train hard. We want to win a state title, but we want to achieve our individual goals.”

Lowe said his captains are a perfect match because of how different they are from each other.

“They bring a well-rounded atmosphere to the team,” Lowe said. “Iain is really hard working and dedicated to the team. Ed brings his typical sprinters mentality towards his training and keeps the sprinters happy. Thomas Dillinger brings a real tough quality performance to the team in every single stroke. Those three in practice really help elevate the performance of the team. They all work hard and make the most out of their practices. It’s a great combination.”

Lowe believes that Greenwich’s dual meet lineup will be vastly different than the state tournament lineups due to the fact that the head coach wants to give his athletes as much variety as possible, in terms of their swims.

Just like last season, Dillinger will compete in the individual medleys and most likely move over to the 100-yard freestyle for States. Edmundson is locked into the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke.

It’s no surprise that Moss will be back to defend his title in the 50-yard freestyle, as well as attempt to claim gold in the 100-yard freestyle events.

Junior Jack Montesi, also fared well last year at Opens, taking second in both the 100-yard backstroke (50.65) and 100-yard butterfly (49.82). This year Montesi will compete in the same events and try for gold, while Junior Nick Hayden is looking like he will compete in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events. Russell Winget will be back to compete in the butterfly events.

“It’s exciting for us every year on this team,” Edmundson said. “We come into this with a lot of expectations. Knowing that we all have a shot of doing something really big at the end of the season really helps us to drive forward. We are a really close team. We practice a lot together, we go on training trips together and that helps build team chemistry. By the time our championship season comes around, we are really a cohesive team that’s ready to kill it.”

Nick Handali came on really strong last year and had a great fall season. This season his individual medley and freestyle swims are looking much improved. Raymond Warner had some breakthrough swims for Bog Red last year in the 200-free and this season he’s looking at the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events. Aedan Lewis wasn’t a factor last year for GHS, but made some tremendous strides during the offseason in a number of events.

When it comes to the divers, senior Andrew Bologna had a stellar season, taking the gold medal in the class LL meet with 428.45 points and finishing sixth at Opens (426.10). With those dives, Bologna was named an All-American.

“We are expecting to do really well this year,” Bologna said. “We have five really strong divers this year, so I think we should be really strong there. Diving should be one of the team’s strongest events and I think we could get three people in the state tournament. There’s a lot of pressure to do well when you’re on this team, but you know that you’re going to work your butt off for the guy next to you and do well. Everybody works hard because we all want to help the team win a championship.”

While Bologna looks to continue his dominance on the diving board, Big Red has a handful of other divers that plan on scoring some big points for the team, as Justin Sodokoff, James Hopper and Segei Shaw all are expected to reach the state level.

“They are going to be excellent this year and I believe they are going to help us pull through in some of our tough meets,” Lowe said. “They should also give us some key points during our state tournaments.”

Newcomers to the swim team that Lowe is hoping will give the team key points is Wyatt Semenuk, Logan Semenuk, Tyler Jester, Patrick Clisham and John Dustin.

“We have a lot of younger swimmers and some of them made some contributions a the class LL meet last year,” Lowe said. “Even some of the kids that didn’t make LL’s last year will make a huge difference for us this year. I can’t remember the last time I saw so much young raw talent as I have this year.”

With the season kicking off this week, there are a lot of expectations for Big Red this season. After a dominating season last year, it’s not secret that the Cards are once again the favorite to win the FCIAC crown, as well as the state titles as well.

“We don’t know quite where everybody else is. Fairfield Prep is pretty responsible for pushing us last year with some excellent swims,” Lowe said. “They kept States competitive. Pomperaug isn’t in our division at the state level, but are a powerhouse at the Open level for several years and they are bringing back a lot of people. If we can improve and keep people healthy, I like to believe that we are the favorite to repeat a state championship.”

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