Boys swimming and diving: New Canaan edges Pomperaug for Class L title
MIDDLETOWN — A pair of titanic foes — New Canaan and Pomperaug — went to battle amidst a host of schools in the Class L swim championships Monday at Wesleyan University.
The two teams combined to win six of 11 events. But it was the Rams’ advantage from the diving competition days earlier that proved to be the difference as the Panthers narrowed the gap from the first race.
New Canaan notched its second straight Class L championship by posting 840.5 points, 34.5 ahead of the Panthers (806). Pomperaug had won eight straight at Class L between 2008-2015 before dropping down to Class M for one season last year.
“It was a team effort,” said New Canaan coach David Fine. “We focused on what we could do; I definitely have to give credit to Pomperaug; they swam a great meet today. We did the job when we needed to.”
The Rams held a 74-point advantage to begin the swim portion of the competition, and held off a furious charge from the SWC champions.
“We talked about on the bus that was one of our goals,” Pomperaug coach Fran Pentino said. “Our kids stepped up and swam great; we pride ourselves on swimming fast at championship time. The kids were really focused and I couldn’t be more proud to be their coach.”
Buoyed by its points in diving, which took place last Wednesday, Darien took third (525). Amity was fourth (359.5) and Wilton (332) rounded out the top five.
New Canaan’s star swimmers were up to the task as Peter Sloan (100 breaststroke), Ed Rudman (50 freestyle) and Luke Stewart (200 IM) won individual events and scored high in others to pace the Rams. But the Panthers swept all three relays to keep the pressure on.
“It means a lot because the whole season we’ve been working really hard and been focused on this the entire time,” Stewart said. “We go into practice every day with this as our goal for the end of the season. This motivated us the entire season.”
The Panthers began the meet with a win in the 200 medley relay, doing so in record time. The quartet of Henry Hu, Billy Regan, Daniel McNamara and Jake Muratari touched the wall in 1:34.91, just ahead of New Canaan, which clocked in at 1:35.77.
Rudman set a new Class L record in the 50 freestyle, winning in 20.90. It was the third straight year he won the event at Class L.
Charles Adl and Jack Ritz notched top-four finishes in the 200 freestyle for the Rams, who also had three of the top eight finishers in the 200 IM, which Stewart won.
“I was elated to have accomplished that,” Stewart said. “I think that speaks to (Fine) and how much he knows about the sport. He knows for each event what it takes to get a swimmer to the elite level.”
Regan, a sophomore, took second in the 500 freestyle, clocking in at 4:39.31. He also finished second in the 200 IM (1:54.95) behind Stewart. Pomperaug clocked in at 3:11.92 in winning the 400-freestyle relay.
“Just being a sophomore he’s got a long way to go,” Pentino said. “I think he’s going to grow and put on more muscle; he had a very good meet but I think he has a little more in there.”
“We have three all-American divers who have been doing it for a long time,” said Darien coach Dennis Flores. “It starts there; they dive year-round, so they’ve been in a big place.”
Darien’s swim team backed up that performance with a host of top-15 finishes to amass points. Spencer Erickson took fourth in the 100 backstroke (55.37), and the Blue Wave closed the meet with a third-place finish in the 400- freestyle relay. Even without the 92 points Darien scored Wednesday, it still would have placed third.
“We did a pretty good job today,” Flores said. “We had a tough meet on Saturday and I didn’t know what to expect. The 400-freestyle relay was really impressive.”
“It’s a complete package and diving is definitely a big piece of that,” Fine said. “Our divers really stepped up; to get fourth, fifth, sixth and 10th was a really important part of what we did.”
Class L championships
1. New Canaan 840.5, 2. Pomperaug 806, 3. Darien 529, 4. Amity 359.5, 5. Wilton 332, 6. South Windsor 315, 7. Middletown 271, 8. Shelton 235, 9. Naugatuck 215, 10. Hall 202, 11. Fitch/Stonington 196, 12. Simsbury 191, 13. Farmington 187, 14. Newington 142, 15. E.O. Smith/Tolland 103, 16. Manchester 81, 17. New Milford 68, 18. Windham/RHAM/Coventry 61, 19. Kennedy 38, 20. West Haven 28.
Individual event results
Winner and regional swimmers among top six
200 medley relay: 1. Pomperaug (Henry Hu, William Regan, Daniel McNamara, Jack Muratori) 1:34.91 (Class L record); 2. New Canaan (Edward Rudman, Peter Sloan, Luke Stewart, Graham Russell) 1:35.77; 3. Amity (Colin Roy, Kevin Yanagisawa, Daniel Madsen, Zachary Babbitz) 1:39.36; 4. Darien (Spencer Erickson, Anthony Barsanti, Connor Martin, Chris Zhang) 1:40.78; 6. Shelton (Marc Maleri, Hunter Wronski, Jack Marciano, Reid Chavez) 1:42.86; 200 freestyle: 1. Josh Wroblewski (Farmington) 1:40.68; 2. Charles Adl (New Canaan) 1:41.85; 4. Jake Ritz (New Canaan) 1:46.00; 5. William Suchy (Wilton) 1:46.12; 6. Jason Anderson (Pomperaug) 1:46.24; 200 IM: 1. Luke Stewart (New Canaan) 1:53.99; 2. William Regan (Pomperaug) 1:54.95; 3. Reid Chavez (Shelton) 1:58.99; 4. William Sullivan (Pomperaug) 1:59.24; 5. Chris Zhang (Darien) 2:00.93; 50 freestyle: 1. Edward Rudman (New Canaan) 20.90 (Class L record); 2. Colin Roy (Amity) 21.20; 4. Daniel McNamara (Pomperaug) 21.33; 5. Jack Muratori (Pomperaug) 21.92; 100 butterfly: 1. James Huang (Simsbury) 49.96; 2. Henry Hu (Pomperaug) 52.04; 3. Luke Stewart (New Canaan) 52.06; 4. John Fimmano (Pomperaug) 52.59; 5. Reid Chavez (Shelton) 53.41; 6. Colin MacKellar (Pomperaug) 53.63; 100 freestyle: 1. Tyler Branscombe (South Windsor) 46.21; 2. (tie) Edward Rudman (New Canaan) and Colin Roy (Amity) 46.25; 4. Charles Adl (New Canaan) 46.69; 5. Daniel McNamara (Pomperaug) 46.87; 6. John Lewis (Wilton) 48.80; 500 freestyle: 1. Josh Wroblewski (Farmington) 4:34.55; 2. William Regan (Pomperaug) 4:39.31; 3. Jake Ritz (New Canaan) 4:45.31; 5. Kevin Yanagisawa (Amity) 4:50.73; 6. Jackson Oehmler (New Canaan) 4:55.13; 200 freestyle relay: 1. Pomperaug (Daniel McNamara, Jack Muratori, John Fimmano, Jason Anderson) 1:25.91; 2. New Canaan (Edward Rudman, Brandon Rambaran, Bhaskar Abhiraman, Charles Adl) 1:26.51; 3. Wilton (Harrison McCool, John Lewis, Gordon Steward, William Suchy) 1:31.20; 4. Darien (Tahj Thompson, Kevin Grune, Connor Martin, Jimmy Terhune) 1:31.25; 100 backstroke: 1. James Huang (Simsbury) 51.00; 2. Henry Hu (Pomperaug) 51.29; 3. Colin MacKellar (Pomperaug) 53.69; 4. Spencer Erickson (Darien) 55.37; 5. Jackson Oehmler (New Canaan) 57.12; 100 breaststroke: 1. Peter Sloan (New Canaan) 58.19; 2. Matthew Widlar (Pomperaug) 1:00.03; 3. Michael Kotlyar (New Canaan) 1:00.52; 5. Hunter Wronski (Shelton) 1:01.20; 6. Cameron O’Bar (Pomperaug) 1:02.01; 400 freestyle relay: 1. Pomperaug (Jason Anderson, William Regan, Henry Hu, John Fimmano) 3:11.92; 2. New Canaan (Luke Stewart, Bhaskar Abhiraman, Jake Ritz, Charles Adl) 3:13.25; 3. Darien (Kevin Grune, Chris Zhang, Tahj Thompson, Spencer Erickson) 3:17.31; 5. Wilton (Harrison McCool, Gordon Steward, John Lewis, William Suchy) 3:18.87; 6. Amity (Kevin Yanagisawa, Zachary Babbitz, Sergey Savelyev, Colin Roy) 3:19.89.