By Paul Silverfarb
The Greenwich High School boys’ swimming and diving team dominated the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference class LL championship meet Monday afternoon, easily taking home the title with 911 points.
“It was a really good meet,” said GHS head coach Terry Lowe. “We really had to step it up and we did just that. We had a good Trials, but we weren’t very fast. We knew that it was going to have to take a whole different level of performance if we were going to come out on top today and stand a chance during Opens on Thursday.”
The next closest team to Big Red was fellow FCIAC foe Ridgefield, as the Tigers grabbed the silver with 598 points. In third place was Fairfield Prep with 537 points and Glastonbury High School ended the day fourth with 487.5 points. Rounding out the top five was Staples with 337 points.
“It feels really good,” senior Stephan Todorovic said. “Honestly we had a lot of younger kids come in this year and I think the hard work we put in throughout the year really paid off just now. It’s really nice to see those kids step up and get best times. It’s a great feeling to get another class LL championship. Now we are looking forward to going to Opens and possibly getting the triple crown.”
Thursday, Greenwich High School will travel to Yale University for competition in the CIAC State Open championships. To see how Big Red fared against the best competition in the state, check out Greenwichsentinel.com and click on sports.
Leading the way for the Cardinals in the class LL finals was senior Stephan Todorovic. He took home the top prize in the 200-yard individual medley, netting a time of 1:51.08. He was just over two seconds quicker than Fairfield Prep’s Richard Nolan, as he placed second with a time of 1:53.04.
“Stephan really had some great swims today,” Lowe said. “We knew it was there and it was great to see him finally go into the mindset to make it happen. He looked really good out there.”
Todorovic also competed in the longest event of the day, the 500-yard freestyle, and touched the wall second overall with at time of 4:36.98.
“I felt really good out there,” Todorovic said. “At trials I was a little underwhelmed with my performance but today felt amazing. It was great to come out here and win a race and take second in another race.”
Not to be outdone was Charlie Clark, as the GHS junior took home a top time of 46.57 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle.
“Charlie was just superb today,” Lowe said. “His 200 performance set him up greatly and keyed him winning the 100-free. It was a great swim. He also anchored both our freestyle relays and led them to gold medals. I’m very happy with the way he stepped up.”
And just like FCIACs, depth played a huge role in Greenwich’s dominating class LL performance.
“The key thing was depth that got us over the hump,” Lowe said. “We had some wins today and some really fine swims, but when you look in general at some of those top swimmers in the state, we are just a little bit behind them. We need to get that second and third guy in order to offset the fact that we aren’t going to have that many victories.”
Todorovic had some familiar faces competing with him in the 200-yard individual medley. In addition to his first-place finish, junior Thomas Lewis was third overall, posting a time of 1:53.54 and was less than one-half a second away from second place. Teammate Ryan Jee, a freshman, took the sixth spot with a time of 1:57.39 and next to him was junior John Jee placing seventh overall with a time of 1:59.54.
Same could be said in the 500-yard freestyle, the longest event of the afternoon. While Todorovic placed second overall, the championship final was full of Cardinals. Sophomore Alexander Plavoukos took home fifth on the day, netting a time of 4:45.78. He just edged out teammate James Pascale, as the sophomore grabbed sixth overall and a time of 4:46.58. Keeping the good times rolling for Big Red was sophomore Thomas Cass, as he finished seventh overall and had a time of 4:49.02.
Like Todorovic, Greenwich’s Clark had plenty of company in his gold medal event. In addition to Clark, Big Red sophomore Nicholas Malchow competed in the 100-yard freestyle and netted a time of 48.05 that was good enough for third place overall. Two spots away was De La Sierra, as his time of 48.43 placed him fifth. Touching the wall seventh overall was junior Mark Merson, who ended the day with a time of 48.91.
Big Red had three more top eight finishers in the 50-yard freestyle. Pacing the Cards was Malchow, as he touched the wall with the silver and a time of 21.76. Not to be outdone was teammate Nicolas De La Sierra, a senior, who posted a time of 21.89 that was good enough for the bronze. Junior Merson grabbed seventh overall, posting a time of 22.25.
“It was definitely a great meet,” said De La Sierra. “We had a lot of great times and were definitely determined. I felt great out there today. With all our training and our taper season, we have been able to improve and get better. We were very excited to get that victory today.”
Lewis finished one spot better than his performance in the 200-yard individual medley during competition in the 100-yard breaststroke, ending the day with the silver medal and grabbing a time of 57.88.
The Cards kept the good times rolling in the 200-yard freestyle. In addition to his top time in the 100-yard freestyle, Clark netted a fourth-place finish with a time of 1:43.31. Not to be outdone was teammate Andres Ruh, a junior, as he touched the wall seventh overall with a time of 1:46.07.
Pascale was lights out in the 100-yard butterfly, as his time of 51.94 was good enough for fifth overall. Also taking fifth was freshman Justin Jacob, as he touched the wall with a time of 54.01 in the 100-yard backstroke
While Greenwich was solid individually, they were just as strong in the relays. Big Red started the day in grand fashion, as the foursome of Jacob, Lewis, Todorovic and De La Sierra were golden in the 200-yard medley relay, posting a time of 1:35.11 that was over a second quicker than second place Fairfield Prep.
The Cardinals backed up that performance with another dominating relay, as the group of De La Sierra, Merson. Malchow and Clark battled in the 200-yard freestyle medley and finished first overall, posting a time of 1:26.34, just under two seconds quicker than Ridgefield in second place.
The first two relays were strong, but Greenwich put an explanation mark on the day during the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay. The team of Malchow, Merson, Todorovic and Clark were not to be denied and destroyed the competition en route to a blistering top time of 3:09.35. Ridgefield placed second overall, netting a time of 3:13.60.
“We have great depth on this team, going from freshman to senior,” said De La Sierra. “It definitely showed in the pool and we are excited to dominate in all events.”
Before the class LL swimming finals took place, Big Red had some divers compete in the class LL diving finals, placing two in the top 10. Leading the way was sophomore Joel Satir, as his point total of 402.35 was good enough for third place overall and just missed out on second place by six points. Teammate Logan Barnett, a junior, took home eighth place overall with 366.80 points.
Senior Michael McNulty also had a strong performance, as his total of 334.00 was good enough for 14th place at the LL finals. Rounding out the top 20 for Greenwich was sophomore Aidan Kriskey, as his total of 304.15 ended his day 16th overall.