Wave 3rd in L: Luz and divers lead at states
Updated 4:04pm March 21 — Darien Blue Wave swimmers and divers battled at the Class L Championship meet, coming in third at Wesleyan on March 13.
The Wave rose to third best with its best results of the season scoring 529 points at the meet competed by 20 schools.
Darien scored in all events with multiple best seasonal and best personal performances from its 12 swimmer and four divers.
“As an end of the season scorecard, this is a great result,” said coach Dennis Flores, “It reflects well all the hard work by the swimmers in the last three months.”
New Canaan won with 840.5 and runner up was Pomperaug with 806.
Darien won a total of eight medals in six events, led by event winner senior diver Timmy Luz.
Darien also has eight swimmers and three divers qualify for the state open.
In the diving competition, Darien divers capped the season going 1-2-3.
Luz defended the state title with a score of 506.15.
Junior Wiley Schmidt came in second with 484.80.
Junior Owen Stevens was third with 461.15.
Junior Jackson Major also had a strong meet and finished in the 17th place with 270.65.
Darien divers scored 92 for the team as a unit, placing number one for Class L, and seven points higher than the cross-town rival New Canaan.
Luz, Schmidt, and Stevens qualified for the open.
Swimmers carried on the fight and solidly expanded the point advantage over competitors, Amity Regional (359.5) and Wilton (332), to secure the third place finish.
All three Darien relays qualified for the open.
The leading performance is a third place medal in the 400 free medley by juniors Kevin Grune and Chris Zhang, senior Tahj Thompson, and sophomore Spencer Erickson, who swam to a seasonal best with a time of 3:17.31. They placed as ninth seed at the open.
Erickson, freshmen John Barsanti and Connor Martin and Zhang were fourth in the 200 medley relay in 1:40.78, making them 10 seed in the open.
Thompson, Grune, Martin, and senior Jimmy Terhune swam fourth in the 200 free relay in 1:31.25, for 12th seed in the open.
In the 200 free, Erickson came in at the 13th place with a time of 1:49.55. Fellow sophomore Karl Wadleigh 1:52.28 and Thompson 1:50.75 for the 16th and 19th finishes respectively.
Zhang finished fifth in the 200 IM, and with the personal best time of 2:00.93.
Zhang qualified for the open as 24th seed.
Barsanti won the B final heat and was ninth place overall with a time of 2:03.11, while another freshman Frederick Tuck was 18th in 2:09.94.
In the 50 free, Grune finished 12th in 22.76. Martin finished 16th in 23.21. Sophomore Mathew Freeman finished 20th in 23.51.
In the 100 butterfly, Martin finished in seventh place in 53.70 and qualified for the open at 21st. Martin is one of only two freshmen qualified for the open. Junior Alex Dehmel finished in 57.16 for 18th place.
In the 100 free, it was Thompson in 49.80 for 14th.
In the 500 free, Zhang came in at 4:58.35 for 11th place.
Freshman Pragun Sharma swam it in 5:04.56 for 15th place and Walleigh was 16th in 5:08.23.
Sharma is one of only three freshmen racing at this event and he is the first to finish.
Erickson came in fourth in 55.37 in the 100 back (22 seed open).
Sophomore Nick Giotis finished with a personal best of 57.10 for the 10th place, junior Connor Henry was 13th in 58.16.
In the 100 breaststroke, Barsanti won the B heat for the ninth place overall with a time of 1:02.38.
Dehmel was 14th in 1:04.37.
Freshman Cormac Brown was 22nd in 1:06.18.
At the state open at Yale on Saturday on Saturday, Luz was fourth with a score of 509.45.
Schmidt was sixth in 482.25, Stevens finished seventh with 477.80.
Darien divers won a total of 70 points, again placed as the number one team in the state as a team, two points higher than the runner-up Greenwich.
Darien finished 11th with 170 points, still ahead of Amity Regional with 151 and Wilton with 144.
“We came out well through a tough transition-season,” Flores said. “We feel this team is at a great place for the 2018 season.”
Greenwich won with 465.5, with Pomperaug scoring a closest of seconds with 459.5.
Darien was 11th in the 200 medley relay (Erickson, Barsanti, Martin, Zhang) in 1:41.55. Swimming with two freshmen, one sophomore, and one junior, this Darien foursome is the youngest among all 24 competing teams for this event.
Darien came in 15th in the 200 free relay (Thompson, Grune, Martin, Terhune) in 1:31.37.
Darien was 15th in the 400 free relay (Grune, Zhang, Thompson, Erickson) in 3:19.01.
Three Darien swimmers competed in three individual events. Erickson finished 10th in 54.29 in the 100 backstroke; Martin 23rd in 54.93 in the 100 fly; Zhang 24th in 2:02.65 in the 200IM.