NEW HAVEN >> Fairfield Prep’s dominance at the Southern Connecticut Conference swimming championships could have come to an end on Friday.
As expected, the meet was competitive. But the Jesuits emerged victorious again, winning their 11th straight league title at Southern Connecticut State’s Moore Field House. Prep tallied 1,083 points to runner-up Cheshire’s 903. The 180 points that separated the two was the Jesuits’ closest margin of victory since 2010.
“I actually think we swam really well, all the way down the line,” Fairfield Prep coach Rick Hutchinson said.
Despite entering the meet seeded first in five events, Prep came away with just two wins on the evening, both by senior Bryce Keblish. He repeated in the 200-yard freestyle (1:41.25) and also placed first in the backstroke (54.17) and was named the meet’s most outstanding swimmer.
Keblish was especially pleased to win the league title all four years.
“That’s something no one else in the state, other than Greenwich, can say; that they have been on a team that has won four straight conference titles,” Keblish said. “It’s definitely something special. It shows how meaningful the tradition of this swim team is.”
Cheshire junior Karl Bishop won the 500 freestyle (4:43.38) to pace the Rams to a second straight runner-up finish. Bishop also teamed with Kyle Shadeck, Dara Malone and Ben Brewer to win the 400 freestyle relay.
Notre Dame placed third for the second year in a row. Sophomore David May won both the individual medley (1:57.58) and the breaststroke (1:00.81) for the Green Knights.
“It’s kind of something you don’t expect to happen,” May said. “If it happens, it happens. I just wanted to do my best.”
May also teamed with Ed Falcigno, North Hansen and Mike Secchiaroli to win the medley relay (1:41.21) and with Falcigno, Secchiaroli and Hansen to place first in the 200 freestyle relay (1:31.55). Falcigno was also second in the 50 freestyle and third in the backstroke.
“Dave, Mike, North and the rest of the team really worked hard over the past few weeks to get where we are today,” Falcigno said. “Winning any event at a meet like this is a great feeling, but to be able to win a relay with my teammates makes it even better.”
Guilford sophomore Corey Gambardella won the butterfly (51.86) and was second in the IM. Since Guilford does not have a swim team, Gambardella trains with Branford.
“It’s great,” Gambardella said. “It’s my first time swimming (at the SCC meet), so it’s great having all the competition here and being a part of this.”
Hand sophomore Teddy Zeng won diving by compiling a meet-record 627.50 points. Xavier junior Dominic Nazzaro won the 50 freestyle (22.40) while Sheehan senior Robert Hacku placed first in the 100 freestyle (48.64).
Hacku fended off Hamden’s James Ahn and Nazzaro to win one of the night’s most thrilling races.
“I know those guys, I swim with them outside of high school,” Hacku said. “They’re fast, but they’re definitely not indomitable. The past couple of days I’ve been thinking about this race and how I was going to swim it. It came through for me. For us, we’re all the same, it just came down to who wanted it more. Thankfully it was me this time. I’m so happy, it’s my favorite event.”
(at New Haven)
Team scores: 1. Fairfield Prep, 1,083; 2. Cheshire, 903; 3. Notre Dame-West Haven, 770; 4. Xavier, 622; 5. Amity, 538; 6. Hand, 470; 7. Branford, 466; 8. Hamden, 434; 9. Lyman Hall, 342; 10. Shelton, 341; 11. Sheehan, 337; 12. Foran, 311.5; 13. Haddam-Killingworth, 298.5; 14. Guilford, 172; 15. North Haven, 129; 16. West Haven, 118; 17. Law, 107.
Individual results: 200 medley relay: 1. Notre Dame (Ed Falcigno, David May, North Hansen, Michael Secchiaroli), 1:41.21; 2. Cheshire, 1:42.48; 3. Fairfield Prep, 1:42.78
200 freestyle: 1. Bryce Keblish (Prep), 1:41.25; 2. Karl Bishop (Cheshire), 1:45.05; 3. Connor Robison (Sheehan), 1:45.85
200 individual medley: 1. David May (ND), 1:57.58; 2. Corey Gambardella (Guilford), 2:01.08; 3. Kyle Shadeck (Cheshire), 2:02.01
50 freestyle: 1. Dominic Nazzaro (Xavier), :22.40; 2. Ed Falcigno (ND), :23.02; 3. Mike Pimer (Xavier), :23.23
100 butterfly: 1. Corey Gambardella (Guilford), :51.86; 2. Kyle Shadeck (Cheshire), :54.38; 3. Robert Driscoll (Lyman Hall), :55.39
100 freestyle: 1. Robert Hacku (Sheehan), :48.64; 2. James Ahn (Hamden), :49.38; 3. Dominic Nazzaro (Xavier), :49.85
500 freestyle: 1. Karl Bishop (Cheshire), 4:43.38; 2. Connor Robison (Sheehan), 4:43.64; 3. North Hansen (ND), 4:56.40
200 freestyle relay: Notre Dame (Ed Falcigno, Michael Secchiaroli, North Hansen, David May), 1:31.55; 2. Cheshire, 1:32.85; 3. Fairfield Prep, 1:33.25
100 backstroke: 1. Bryce Keblish (Prep), :54.17; 2. Ryan Mostoller (Cheshire), :55.66; 3. Ed Falcigno (ND), :56.82
100 breaststroke: 1. David May (ND), 1:00.81; 2. Ben Clemens (Amity), 1:02.22; 3. Hunter Wronski (Shelton), 1:02.55
400 freestyle relay: 1. Cheshire (Kyle Shadeck, Dara Malone, Ben Brewer, Karl Bishop), 3:20.67; 2. Fairfield Prep, 3:21.22; 3. Branford, 3:29.82.