Thirty State Open titles and counting for GHS

Members of the Greenwich High swim team jump into the pool with coach Terry Lowe after the Cardinals won the State Open Saturday at Yale University

Prior to Saturday’s CIAC State Open boys swimming championships at Yale University, Greenwich High coach Terry Lowe handed me a print out of the Cardinals’ yearly results at the Open meet. It showed the Cardinals winning 29 Open championships with some impressive team scores. But Greenwich never had a day at the Open as it produced Saturday at Yale University.

Unless my eyes are deceiving me while looking at this yearly score sheet, and my vision is considered to be pretty strong,  in year’s past, the Cardinals didn’t come that close to matching what this year’s squad accomplished at the State Open. In 2011, GHS won the State Open title with 388 points, in 2009 they scored 486.5, in 2006 451 team points got the Cards a victory. There was the 433-point winning effort in 2005 and the 429-point outing in 2004. But while putting their depth on display Saturday, Greenwich posted a State Open, and team record, 609.5 points en route to winning the championship.

Talk about a dominant effort.

“It was a great team effort,” said Lowe, whose Cardinals finished third at last year’s State Open. “We had so many kids coming through and so much balance throughout our lineup. We have a very balanced, high quality team.”

Junior Alex Lewis put the finishing touch on an outstanding season, winning the 100-yard backstroke in a State Open record time of 50.17. Lewis set the state record in the event at the Class LL finals, touching the wall in 49.88. Sophomore Ed Moss showed why he’s going to be one of the Cardinals’ premier swimmers in the upcoming years, winning 50 freestyle in 21.21. He and Fairfield Prep’s Bjorn Davis set the LL record Tuesday, swimming a 20.98.

“Coming back from a loss last year to Fairfield Prep in the meet, we wanted to win more than ever this year,” Moss said.

Sophomore Thomas Dillinger finished second and third, respectively in the 500 freestyle, while freshman John Montesi took third in the 100 backstroke and was sixth in the 100 butterfly. Senior Tim Hardman was fifth in the 50 freestyle, while sophomore Iain Edmundson finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke.

Of course, we have to discuss the relays, which provided some of the State Open’s most exciting moments. Both the Greenwich and Fairfield Prep 200 freestyle relay teams were pumped up after they shared the Open title by swimming the event in a state/State Open record time of 1:24.81.

“We did a fantastic job of winning the 200 free relay,” Moss said. “Finishing in a tie with Fairfield Prep – we didn’t see that coming.”

GHS also won the 200 medley relay and ended the meet by winning the 400 freestyle relay. It was nice to see senior Matt Fraser end his Cardinals career by swimming on the 400 freestyle relay squad. So another successful swim season is in the books for Greenwich and judging by the amount of athletes returning next season – the 2013-14 squad should be well-armed to win title No. 31.

Dave Fierro