MIDDLETOWN >> Overwhelmed would be the right word.
That’s what the Middletown boys swim team did to Xavier in the city championship meet held in front of a noisy full house at the Baldwin-Parmelee pool at MHS Thursday afternoon.
The “official” final score was 93-82, but that’s because with the victory secured, Middletown coach Trevor Charles opted to swim the last three events unofficially.
“We were absolutely overwhelmed,” Xavier coach Chris Haines said. “Middletown is very deep, but they also swim very well. They always do.”
Middletown, which improved to 10-3 and has won nine meets in a row, led wire-to-wire. The Blue Dragons went 1-2 in the 200-yard medley relay to take a 12-2 lead and they never looked back.
The win in the relay — the team was Jacob Forrester, Jayson DeFrance, Matt Joy and Michael Malley — was followed by one of three Xavier wins when Andrew Reagan won the 200-yard freestyle (1:50.68).
Middletown then went 1-2-3 in the 200-yard individual medley, split the points in the 50-yard freestyle, which was won by Xavier’s Chett Vogt (:24.29), then swept diving to lead 53-22.
“We had some great swims today,” Charles said. “I thought Tim Joy was great [second in both the 200- and 500-freestyles], Matt Joy was outstanding [wins in the 200 individual medley (2:13.58) and the 100-yard butterfly (:57.19) ] and Nick Luppachino had a very good breaststroke.”
Reagan won the 500-yard freestyle (5:06.71) to go with his win in the 200. In that race he nipped Tim Joy by 7/100ths of a second in the most exciting race of the day. Reagan had a lead of a body length and a half going to the final 50 yards and Joy caught him with 25 yards to go and it was just a matter of which would touch first.
“Andrew stepped up today in very tight races,” said Haines, who saw his team fall to 5-7. “It’s a sport of hundredths of a second and it’s the little things he focuses on that enables him to win, like that touch at the end.”
Haines also singled out Chett for his win in the 50-yard freestyle and his third place finish in the 100-yard freestyle, and Hunter Woitowitz for his third in the 100-yard butterfly and fourth in the 200-yard freestyle.
Middletown has recovered from its 1-3 start, a start that Charles said was due to so many young, inexperienced swimmers.
“We had so many new kids with few fundamental skills,” Charles said. “It’s been great to watch them learn, become competitive and in some cases dominant. We also had some kids like Terry Gaylord, Chris Boller and Dylan Drescher who were on the team last year but weren’t strong contributing members in terms of points become people we now rely on for points..”
Charles’ team, as usual, is blessed with good divers. Sophomore Tyler Wenzel won diving with 247.85 points followed by Tahj Mitchell-Westberry and Carleigh DeFrance.
“We have really been at our best in the second half of meets,” Charles said. “So it’s been diving that has often carried us in the first half. In fact, I can’t think of a meet in which we didn’t improve our position through diving.”
Other winners for Middletown were Jacob Forrester in the 100-yard freestyle (:52.91) and 100-yard backstroke (.59.85), DeFrance in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:07.62), the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Stephen Lombardo, Andrews Ivans, Tim Joy and Forrester in the 400-yard freestyle relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Luppachino, Dresher, and the Joy twins.
Middletown’s final dual meet is at the Bristol co-op Tuesday at 4 p.m.