Greenwich High School boys swim coach Terry Lowe told me after the Cardinals won the Class LL championship Tuesday that if his team continues to compete at the rate its going, it will go down as the best team he’s ever had. Coming from Lowe, who has guided dozens of dominant teams during his four decades at the helm, that’s saying something.
Lowe had plenty to be happy about at the Class LL Championships Wednesday night at Wesleyan University and has had a lot of reasons to smile the whole season. The Cardinals, who have captured the LL crown 20 of the last 21 years, relied on its superior depth in winning some of its titles in past seasons, getting the all-important 3rd, 4th, 5th-place finishes. Tuesday, the Cards showcased their depth, but also received outstanding performances from their front line swimmers, winning seven of the meet’s 11 events.
It was apparent from the outset that Greenwich was ready to reclaim the title that eluded it last season. The 200-yard medley relay team of Alex Lewis, Iain Edmundson, Julian Fraser and Ed Moss finished first in a state record time of 1:34.06. Who had the previous record? Greenwich of course – the Cards’ 2006 team posted a time of 1:34.09. The 200 relay team’s finish was the first of four records Greenwich set during the meet.
Lewis, a junior, added to his already sensational season. He won the 100 backstroke in a state record time of 49.88 and touched the wall first in the 100 butterfly (50.46). Moss also took first in the 50 freestyle in a Class LL record time of 20.98, while Edmundson won the 100 breaststroke in 58.48.
The Cardinals’ depth came into play in almost every event. They scored 69 points in the 200 freestyle thanks to Thomas Dillinger’s second place finish, Ben Wurst’s sixth-place showing and Matthew Fraser’s 10th-place finish. Another 75 points came in the 50 freestyle, with Moss, Kevin Parker and Julian Fraser placing first, fourth and sixth, respectively. Then there was the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, events the Cards cleaned up in.
Julian Fraser, John Montesi and Luca Fikre went 2,3,7 in the 100 butterfly, giving the squad 73 points, while Lewis (1st place), Montesi (2nd) and Tyler Triscari scored 76 points for the Cardinals in the 100 backstroke. Let’s not forget the 200 freestyle relay team, which finished first in a Class LL record time of 1:25.36.
The LL meet also served as a qualifier for Saturday’s CIAC State Open at Yale University, so GHS put itself in prime position to win their third title of the season. Can anyone contend with Greenwich at the State Open? Fairfield Prep, the Class LL runner-up and last year’s Open champion, and Class L champ Pomperaug can make their mark Saturday, but I would be surprised if Greenwich didn’t leave Yale with another championship.