Darien swimmers take second in Class L

Darien’s Connor Martin competes in the freestyle during the FCIAC swim finals in Greenwich on Thursday, Feb. 28. — Dave Stewart/Hearst Connecticut Media

Spencer Erickson won the 200-yard freestyle and Darien racked up 620 to finish as the runner-up in the CIAC Class L swimming and diving championships, which wrapped up Monday at Southern Connecticut State University.

The Blue Wave’s performance featured 14 finishes in the top eight, which is the cutoff point for the fast heats.

Erickson, a senior co-captain, had Darien’s lone first-place finish, and also finished third in the 100-yard backstroke, while junior Connor Martin was second in both the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly. Senior Karl Wadleigh had two fourth-place showings, and he, Erickson and Martin were all part of the Wave’s second-place 400-yard freestyle relay team.

Darien’s 620 points trailed only New Canaan, which scored 776 points and was boosted by a strong showing from its divers, who swept the top four spots at the diving finals last Wednesday in Middletown.

The Wave was also hurt by the disqualification of its 200-yard medley relay team at Saturday’s swim trials, which could have closed the gao with the Rams.

“New Canaan had all those diving points. That killed us,” Darien head coach Liz Blau said. “The relay disqualification was the final straw. I’m so proud of the guys’ effort. They laid it all on the line and we earned the runner-up plaque.”

Following New Canaan and Darien were the Cheshire Rams with 519.5 points, Xavier Falcons with 423, and Hall Warriors with 312.5.

The 200-yard freestyle race was Darien’s best event, as the Wave had three swimmers finish in the top five and scored 90.5 points

Erickson won the race with a time of 1:41.41, edging Martin (1:42.41) for the top spot. Wadleigh tied with Cheshire’s Sam Hanke for fourth place, as both swimmers finished in 1:43.46.

Harry FitzPatrick, a sophomore, was 17th in 1:50.42.

In the 200-yard individual medley, junior Scotty Tuck was fourth in 1:59.06, and freshman Thomas Dupont was fifth in 1:59.43.  Sophomore Jack Stobbie was 15th (2:02.89), and freshman Ryan Roberts was 21st (2:06.71).

In the 50-yard freestyle, senior Matthew Freeman was sixth (22.54), followed by senior Connor Zielinski was 13th (22.87), junior Davis Tuzinkiewicz was 16th (23.64), and freshman Max Scalise was 20th (23.31).

In the diving competition, Darien freshman Matthew Magnotta finished in 13th place with a score of 307.50.

Martin took second place in the 100-yard butterfly, which featured a split-second finish for the top spot. New Canaan’s Patrick Colwell won in 50.16 seconds, with Martin next in 50.66.

Also in the 100 butterfly, Zielinski was 13th (54.92) and FitzPatrick was 14th (55.09).

In the 100-yard freestyle, junior Nico Clark was 10th (49.67), sophomore Griffin Trygg was 13th (50.56), Scalise was 16th (51.42), and Tuzinkiewicz was 21st (51.83).

Wadleigh took fourth place in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing in 4:43.84. Dupont was eighth (4:52.43), sophomore Hayden Puff was 14th (4:55.32), and Stobbie was 15th (4:57.62).

In the 200 freestyle relay, Freeman, Zielinski, Clark, and Wadleigh finished in fifth place with a time of 1:30.01.

Erickson starred in the 100-yard backstroke, finishing third in 52.67 seconds. Tuck was 11th (56.60), senior Nick Giotis was 12th (56.84), and Trygg was 15th (57.89).

Clark was the top Wave swimmer in the 100-yard breaststroke, finishing fifth with a time of 1:00.58. He was followed by Freeman in eighth (1:01.57), junior Cormac Brown in 18th (1:04.62), and Roberts in 21st (1:05.32).

The 400-yard freestyle wrapped up the finals, with rivals New Canaan and darien finishing one-two.

New Canaan won in 3:10.57, with Darien’s team of Wadleigh, Erickson, Zielinski, and Martin second in 3:12.82. The next closest competitor was nearly three seconds behind, as Xavier was third in 3:15.79.