Greenwich Boys’ Swim Team Ready for an Encore
By Paul Silverfarb
After an exciting conclusion to last year’s swim season, the Greenwich High School boys’ swimming and diving team is hopeful that they can accomplish the same goals that last year’s squad did.
While head coach Terry Lowe said that it will be quite the challenge this year, due to the fact that other teams from around the area and state have improved dramatically, he knows his team is certainly up to the task.
Lowe believes that this year’s group of Cardinals will form into yet another solid team that represents the high school.
“For this to be a championship team is yet to be seen,” Lowe said. “We don’t really have those superstars that we had to lead the way. We are relying on the depth factor and hoping that enough kids have improved over the course of the season to break away at the FCIAC championships and state finals. We can only hope that the work they are putting in really does pay off because they are working very hard.”
Lowe said that last year’s squad started off quite similar to the way this year’s flock of Cardinals started their season, with the only difference being that there were a significant amount of state swimmers who returned for their senior season.
“We knew that they would help carry us and at least give us a shot if the depth came around,” Lowe said. “We had some really breakthrough events in the state finals that really turned the tide for us in a very tight and exciting state championship.”
In the state open finals last year, Aedan Lewis took third place in the 100-yard breaststroke (57.13 seconds) and tenth place in the 200-yard individual medley (1:56.47), while Patrick Clisham finished with the bronze in the 100-yard butterfly (50.90) and Jon Jester netted eighth place in the 100-yard backstroke (54.10). Diver Justin Sodokoff was second in finals, posting a score of 585.25.
The problem for Big Red this year is that all those athletes that netted some pretty key points for the team have all graduated. Despite the huge losses for Greenwich, Lowe likes the way that this year’s squad has been working to improve and get ready for a post-season run.
“It’s been a wonderful group to work with,” Lowe said. “We have the largest team that we’ve had in a long time and the biggest freshman class we’ve ever seen. The core of this team has been working exceptionally hard over the holidays and into the new year, and they are really responding well to the practice structure.”
Helping lead the way for this year’s team are senior captains Ryan Lynch, Matt Li, Jack Bound and Kirk Schultz.
Lynch has been one of the team’s most versatile swimmers and competes in the individual medley and breaststroke events, while Li will be swimming the backstroke and breaststroke. Last year, Lynch took top 20 in both the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard individual medley, while Li finished 19th in the 100-yard backstroke during the CIAC state open meet.
Lowe said that Schultz improved dramatically over the past year and will be competing in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events. During last year’s state open meet, Schultz took home a time of 4:54.97 in the 500-yard freestyle, and 1:49.04 in the 200-yard freestyle.
Bound has also improved and will look to make noise this year in the butterfly events.
“All four set a really wonderful example and standard for the work ethic that they portray every day in the pool,” Lowe said. “That has really generated a quality of practice that I have rarely seen over the years.”
Like last season, Greenwich will rely on its divers to give Big Red some big points. Senior Sergi Shaw finished last year’s state open with a score of 406.15, and that was good enough for twelth in the state. Joining Shaw later this season and giving the Cards a big boost will be Devon Satir, as the senior finished third in the state open meet last year with a score of 514.60.
In addition, Greenwich will look for other divers to step up its game, such as junior Michael McNulty and freshman Joel Satir. Both have already qualified for the state championships.
For the swimmers, junior Stephan Todorovic will be looked upon to help add to Greenwich’s point total in a big way. During last year’s state class LL meet, Todorovic was fifth overall in both the 100-yard butterfly (52.72 seconds) and the 200-yard individual medley (1:57.45).
“He’s swimming really well for us and had a really good meet to start the season,” Lowe said. “His times were outstanding against Ridgefield, despite the loss. We really expect a lot from him.”
In addition to the senior captains, fellow senior Patrick King will be utilized for his versatility, competing in the individual medley, 200-free and 100-free. Last year at the divisional finals, King was tenth in the 100-yard freestyle (49.12) and was top 15 in the 200-yard freestyle (1:49.50).
Another senior, Segundo Rienhardt, will be needed for key points for Greenwich, as he has become one of the team’s top breaststrokers, as well as a sprint freestyle swimmer. Last year, Ryan Chan qualified for the LL championships in the 100-yard breaststroke and finished with a time of 1:04.82. Lowe said that Chan has improved a lot since last year and is expecting Chan to move up the rankings, as well as compete in the individual medley events.
Not to be outdone, is senior Mackenzie Baxter. Last year he took two top 20 finishes in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events, and Lowe said that this year he blossomed into a sprint freestyle swimmer and a solid middle-distance freestyler as well.
When it comes to the juniors on the roster, and there are only six of them this year for Lowe and the Cardinals, it’s Nicolas de la Sierra leading the way. In only his second year of competitive swimming, de la Sierra impressed Lowe with some outstanding swims in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events earlier this year against Ridgefield.
In addition to the talented upperclassmen, Lowe will be looking to some of his younger swimmers to add some depth to the team. Some of those athletes are sophomores John Caruso and Charlie Clark, Tommy Lewis and Andres Ruh. Newcomers Christian Lanuza, Nicholas Malchow, James Pascale already found their way to the starting varsity lineup.
“These guys are all in a position to really make another leap forward this year,” Lowe said. “I have a bunch of freshmen that are going to make an instant impression on the team. We expect them to come along and be a major part of the varsity lineup.”
With the amount of quality swimmers and divers on the roster this year, it’s hard not to aim high once again and try for that triple crown, winning the FCIAC championship, the class LL meet and the state open finals. However, Lowe has other expectations for his squad.
“Of course if you talk to the kids, they will say right away that their goal is the triple crown,” Lowe said. “I sometimes think they don’t realize how hard it is to accomplish. Last year we got some help along the way from other schools to capture the state open championship. I think the key thing for us right now is to really see if we can help develop this overall team and make it a county championship team. That’s the first step.”
“It will be important to see if we have enough depth where we can go into the county meet and show that we might be ready to be a championship team for the class LL meet,” added Lowe. “The open is a real reach for this squad, but we will see how it develops. It was a reach last year and we did it, but it might be an even bigger reach this year.”