Darien graduates about 10 swimmers, but still, the team has grown, and from the bottom up.
“I have a very strong freshman class of 11,” said Wave girls swim-dive team veteran coach Marj Trifone. “I only have five seniors on the team.”
They include captains, diver Caroline Ashcraft, and swimmers Olivia Leunis, Caroline Orem and Claire Treesh.
Leunis does breast stroke and IM, Orem swims IM and backstroke, Treesh the back.
Senior Francesca Milewski is sprint freestyle.
“I have a junior group of 13,” said Trifone. “And that group is really strong too.”
All resulting in, what?
“I think that we are going to have a great dual meet season,” Trifone said. “We have three big meets, New Canaan, Wilton and Greenwich. And we have all three of them this year — usually you just have two of the three.”
Darien is in Class L come states, always the event the team prepares for starting with day one.
“We are very deep in events this year,” said Trifone. “We will swim against New Canaan, Wilton, Cheshire. So, we have the hardest division. In the LL it’s only Greenwich.”
Wilton moved up to L.
“Obviously that is going to be an ultra competitive meet,” Trifone said.
Who is swimming where?
“I do think it’s a tough call with the lineup this year,” added Trifone. “Because in so many cases there’s a lot of people that are very close in time.”
Likely assignments do include Amanda Bieler in the sprint mid-distance free, and the above mentioned senior match-ups.
“My team in general, there are quite a few kids that are very versatile,” Trifone said. “Caroline Orem is very versatile, Courtney Ferreira, a sophomore — very versatile — I think Elizabeth Kearney, Olivia Leunis, Julia Stobbie.
“So I think I have a good group that can kind of go in a lot of different events.”
Freshman Lauren Rutledge looks good in the sprint freestyle, Trifone added, and Maggie Orem should produce points as a freshman as well.
Ashcraft captains the plank
With standout Lizzie Fitzpatrick off to private school Caroline Ashcraft returns as leader.
“We have a much smaller squad than any year since I began coaching at DHS, with only five divers,” said Darien coach Shannon Eagan. “However, all five divers train year round, with very (serious) programs and all but one, our freshman Jenny Schrenker, are returning and therefore bring experience.”
Returning divers include Molly Klein and Olivia Piazza.
Having been there before is all when casting your fates to the bouncing board.
“The experience is obviously invaluable in terms of containing nerves and maintaining composure during big dual meets, like Greenwich and New Canaan, as well as competing during the Championship season,” said Eagan.
The Darien swim-dive team should find plenty of points per usual from off of the board.
“I am looking forward to a successful dual meet season,” Eagan added. “New Canaan will certainly be the toughest competition for the divers as they have three very strong girls.
“I am hoping that point-wise, we can contribute positively in each meet in order to help the swimming and diving team achieve all of its goals for the season.”
On the team
The Wave roster includes seniors Olivia Leunis, Caroline Ashcraft, Francesca Milewski, Caroline Orem, Claire Treesh, juniors Lia Barsanti, Amanda Bieler, Victoria Chao, Jessica Chen, Natalie Grune, Elizabeth Kearney, Molly Klein, Olivia Piazza, Sam Schrenker, Jessica Selensky, Megan Slaughter, Julia Stobbie, Michelle Wall, sophomores Megan Baird, Maddie Burke, Mackenzie Coughlin, Courtney Ferreira, Maggie Haddad, Maddy Hauben, Emily Nixon, Kyla Pech, Helen Watson, freshmen Belle Stobbie, Morgan Desautelle, Caroline Weeks, Becca Maroney, Lauren Rutledge, Jenny Schrenker, Maggie Orem, Murphy Grady, Paige Cleary, Hannah Vogel, Elizabeth Ferguson.