Greenwich girls swimming & diving team takes the bronze at CIAC state open meet

Although the Greenwich High School swimming and diving team gave it everything they had during the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference postseason, it wasn’t enough when it came to the Open championship yesterday afternoon at the Yale University pool.

For the first time since the 2005 season, a team other than GHS was crowned Open champions. The Lady Cardinals finished the CIAC Open championship third overall, accumulating 436.5 points.

“Everything was a tiny bit off from our LL finals,” GHS head coach Dick Hawks said. “When the meet is going to be close, you have to come in here and not drop. You got to hang where you were. We just didn’t have it today. Darien did a great job. Hat’s off to them. They didn’t swim that much faster, but they held their times and we fell off of our times.”

Darien High School dominated the meet and came away with the school’s first State Open championship, netting 548 points. New Canaan High School took the silver with 439 points and the Lady Cardinals rounded out the top three, finishing with 436.5 points.

“We had a great trial meet and came in and held on a little bit in the final meet,” Darien head coach Marj Trifone said. “We had a big talk after the final class meet and decided that this is something that we’ve been working hard for all season. We knew we had this in our sight and we didn’t want to let it go because we’ve never won a state open championship before. This is history and we didn’t want to let it go.”

While the Blue Wave were well ahead during the final event of the afternoon, the 400-yard freestyle relay, the battle was on for second, with New Canaan and Greenwich only points away from each other.

However, in that race, the GHS foursome juniors Kim Hill, Katie Evans, Christina Frias and senior Maddie Dunn weren’t able to hold on to their lead, as the Rams touched the wall mere inches ahead of Big Red. New Canaan grabbed the gold in the event with a time of 3:30.67 and finished second overall, while Greenwich finished with a time of 3:30.69.

Although the Cardinals finished third overall, they still had a bunch of stellar performances. Leading the way was Evans, who finished second in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:07.91, two seconds faster than her third place opponent from Laurelton Hall.

Evans was also silver in the 100-yard breaststroke, as she was less than a second off the lead and touched the wall with a time of 1:05.61.

The friendly battle between Dunn and Hill once again took place in the 100-yard freestyle event. Just like the class LL meet, the duo were battling neck-in-neck throughout. Hill finished fourth overall, netting a time of 52.59 seconds, while Dunn took fifth with a time of 52.60.

Earlier in the meet, Dunn participated in the 50-yard freestyle event and finished fourth overall with a time of 24.01. Hill also competed in another individual event, taking part in the 200-yard freestyle event and finishing sixth overall with a time of 1:54.91. She just missed fifth by less than one-half of a second.

Frias was stellar in the 100-yard butterfly event, netting a fourth place time of 58.63. She also competed in the 200-yard freestyle event and took 15th overall with a time of 1:57.58.

Rounding out the top 10 finishers for Big Red was freshman Riley Ennis, who swam the 100-yard breaststroke along with Evans and finished eighth overall with a time of 1:08.37. Her time just beat out Darien’s Victoria Chao, who touched the wall with a time of 1:08.39. Ennis also competed in the 200-yard individual medley, taking 13th with a time of 2:13.28.

Greenwich also had good swims in the two other relay events. The foursome of Dunn, Frias, sophomore Porter Carlson and Hill hit the water in the 200-yard freestyle relay and edged out Darien High School for second overall with a time of 1:38.37.

Not to be outdone was the GHS group of sophomore Isobel Walker, freshman Riley Ennis, Evans and Carlson, who competed in the 200-yard medley relay and took the bronze with a time of 1:49.82.

Greenwich was able to get some key points from other swimmers throughout the day.

Senior Kate Madoff battled in the 100-yard butterfly and finished 17th with a time of 1:00.66, while junior Hollis Jumo took to the water in the longest event of the afternoon, the 500-yard freestyle, and finished 19th with a time of 5:20.08. Teammate Claire Baxter, a junior, also competed in the event and netted a time of 5:27.37.

Big Red’s Walker and sophomore Patricia Kohn were in the 100-yard backstroke event. Walker finished tied with Cheshire High’s Sara Barlock for 10th overall with a time of 1:00.04. Kohn touched the wall 16th overall (1:01.08).

Junior Haley Sylvester had a top 15 performance in the 100-yard breaststroke, netting 14th overall with a time of 1:09.51. Teammate Jillian Leigh, a senior, also was in the event and finished 23rd with a time of 1:11.59.

Rounding out the scoring was freshman Brooke Collins and Carlson, as Collins took 16th overall in the 200-yard individual medley, finishing with a time of 2:14.63. Carlson finished the 50-yard freestyle event 24th overall with a time of 25.54.

“The problem with these is that when you win seven in a row, it doesn’t matter if you come in second or third, or if you’re the class LL champion, because you’re used to winning this one,” Hawks said. “I am still very proud of these girls. There was nothing left. Every single things that they did have left was used today. It was a close Open meet.”

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