Greenwich Tames Tigers in FCIAC Early Season Showdown
By Paul Silverfarb
In a back-and-forth battle between two top teams in the FCIAC, it was the Greenwich High School girls’ swimming and diving team that held on for the close 95.5-90.5 victory over Ridgefield High School Wednesday afternoon at the GHS pool.
“Ridgefield is always a powerhouse in the FCIAC and our girls definitely get up for the meet,” said Greenwich head coach Lorrie Hokayem. “Ridgefield has a really great team this year. They are very strong and have a lot of veteran swimmers. We knew that we would have to have almost everything go right to get a win and we had that. We had a lot of big races and I am really proud of the young team that we have.”
Greenwich got the ball rolling in the first event of the day, the 200-yard medley relay, as the foursome of Meghan Lynch, Sam Ennis, Hannah Seward and Emily Warner took first place with a time of 1:49.55. They were nearly four seconds quicker than Ridgefield’s second place.
Lynch didn’t take a lot of time to rest. Immediately after her performance in the 200-yard medley relay, Lynch took to the pool again for competition in the 200-yard freestyle relay. And she didn’t let up. Her time of 1:53.40 dominated the competition en route to her first of two individual golds on the day.
In her second individual event, the 100-yard breaststroke, Lynch was over four seconds quicker than Ridgefield’s Jenna Leonard for second place, touching the wall with a time of 1:05.20.
I think it goes without saying that Meghan is one of our top performers,” Hokayem said. “Today was no different and she had a phenomenal meet. Meghan always rises to the occasion. She’s just a talented swimmer and has an amazing work ethic. I am so proud of her swims.”
In one of the closest events of the day, the 100-yard backstroke, Greenwich’s Ennis was neck-in-neck with Ridgefield’s Julia Weiner. In the end, it was Ennis that took the top spot, posting a time of 59.44 seconds. Weiner wasn’t far behind, grabbing second with a time of 59.49.
“Ridgefield got the top two times in the freestyle relay to bring the meet to a very close score, but Sammy competed in the backstroke and was amazing,” Hokayem said. “She was behind in the first 25 and just fought her way back through the rest of the race. Her score gave us the points that we needed to push us over the edge. It was an awesome race.”
Other swimmers for Greenwich pitched in with some quality swims and top times. In the quickest event of the day, the 50-yard freestyle, Warner edged out Ridgefield’s Hannah Synder and took the gold with a time of 25.13. Snyder’s time of 25.35 was good enough for second place. Warner also fared well in the 100-yard freestyle, posting a time of 54.91 that was good enough for the silver.
“Emily had an amazing meet today,” Hokayem said. “We moved her around today, as she did the sprint events, and came up big for us. She won the 50-free and had a really great 100-free.”
Not to be outdone was Seward in the 100-yard butterfly, as she grabbed the top spot with a time of 59.91 seconds and was two seconds quicker than her RHS opponent.
The GHS divers also took the top three spots against Ridgefield and picked up 13 crucial points. Leading the way was Maddie Muldoon, as she finished with 266.80 points. Not to be outdone was teammate Annabelle Pollack, who netted a score of 266.45 and finished second. Picking up the bronze was teammate Casey Kirsch, who scooped up 238.40 points.
“We have to fantastic senior divers and a bunch of really talented younger divers,” Hokayem said. “Annabelle and Maddie were great today and have done a wonderful job leading the way as seniors and teaching the younger divers. They are putting up consistently great scores. All three of the divers today were beautiful to watch and always keep us in the meet. I am excited to see what they can do when we hit FCIACs and States this year.”
Competing in one of the more grueling events, the 50-yard freestyle, Big Red’s Allison Brea posted a time of 5:24.48 that was good enough for second place. Also picked up the silver was Caterina Li in the 200-yard individual medley, as the swimmer finished with a time of 2:15.99. Li also competed in the 100-yard breaststroke and took home fourth overall with a time of 1:10.61.
“Caterina was solid for us and had a really great IM,” Hokayem said. “It was one of her best times of the season and it was great to have her to that in such a big meet. She competed in a really hard-fought race in the 100-breaststroke and had one of her top times there.”
And Greenwich’s solid overall performance is something that made Hokayem smile from ear-to-ear.
“We have a really young team and have a lot of freshmen, so being in a lot of close meets like this only helps everyone to realize that every swim and every dive count,” Hokayem said. “We win and lose as a team. It was really apparent in a lot of those tight races today. It was definitely great to come out on top and it was great to be in a competitive meet like this. That’s what high school meets are all about.”
With the victory, Greenwich improved to 5-0 overall and will be back in action Saturday when they host St. Joseph High School at 11 a.m.