MIDDLETOWN — It just might be that the law of averages is finally catching up with the Middletown High boys swim team.
After 33 consecutive winning seasons that began during the Reagan Administration, a stretch that included a state championship, two state runners-up, four top five finishes — including thee in the last 11 seasons — a number of state class and open individual championships, five All-American swimmers and divers, plus a trainload of league and divisional championships, it appears this team could have a hard time breaking the .500 mark.
“Yeah, it’s a little bit like the law of averages catching up,” said coach Trevor Charles following his team’s 94-82 loss to Hall of West Hartford Friday afternoon at the Baldwin-Parmelee pool at MHS. “We have a young, less experienced team this year. Our numbers are very good — we have 30 swimmers and divers — but we have a lot of work ahead of us.
“It’s not that the kids aren’t getting better — they are. We had a ton of personal bests today and a lot of the kids swam great. But we’re not competing at the level we’re used to.”
Charles expects his team to be competitive within the Central Connecticut Conference’s South Division — MHS has won that in seven of the last eight years — but other than that, the schedule looks daunting.
Hall (2-1) took the lead early and never looked back. The visitors went 1-2 in the opening event, the 200-yard medley relay and followed that up with seven more first place finishes, including a 1-2-3 finish in the 200-yard individual medley — Ian Harker (2:11.71), Jack Russo and Mitchell Baboff — and another 1-2-3 in the 100-yard backstroke — Pat Keith (:57.14), Ryan Arnold and Kobe Dominguez.
Middletown took four firsts: Tyler Wenzel in diving (230.85 points), the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Nick Lupacchino, Trevor Drescher, Cameron Moskey and Andrew Ivans, and the 400-yard freestyle relay and 100-yard breaststroke as Hall swam those last two races unofficially.
Had those races counted, MHS would have won only two firsts.
“Diving is a real highlight for us,” said Charles. “Wenzel has been great, scoring very well on high degree of difficulty dives. In our first meet he had 277 points, just 18 points off Dan Kinney’s [high school All-American now starring at UConn] and today he had 232. He’s won in all three meets..
“I also have two freshmen with a lot of promise in Eric Meyer and Dan Brock”
Meyer was second Friday, but Brock didn’t dive due to a minor injury.
“All my 200 freestyle divers had person bests today as did my breaststrokers,” said Charles. “All the splits in the relay were best times, too.”
MHS went 2-3-4 in the 200 freestyle with Moskey, Dylan Drescher and Matt Lombardo and the breaststrokers were Chris Boller, Lupacchino and Alan Cunningham.
Hall had the meet clinched after the backstroke with a 94-61 lead and swam the last two events unofficially. Had it not, the final score would have been 104-71.
Middletown (1-3) is home with Avon Tuesday.