NEW HAVEN >> The Cheshire and Amity girls swim teams have alternated winning Southern Connecticut Conference titles for the last three years. The Rams entered Wednesday’s meet as the reigning champs.
Cheshire made sure Amity wouldn’t have its turn.
The Rams beat out the Spartans on the campus of Southern Connecticut State to win their 19th conference crown in school history.
Amity, which took second place, won the league title in 2011, the only time in 20 years Cheshire didn’t. Coach Dan Mascolo said the Rams are where they need to be at this point of the season.
“It’s wonderful,” Mascolo said. “We always try to swim fast at the end of the season.”
Cheshire’s Laura Mongillo won the 200 individual medley in 2:14.36 and the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:03.04 and Lindsay Smalec won the 100-yard butterfly (58.98) and the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:14.36.
Sacred Heart Academy’s Jaime Robinson took the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:58.03 and a time of 5:17 was good enough to claim the 500-yard freestyle.
Amity’s Dana Chung captured the 50-yard freestyle (24.41) and 100-yard freestyle (53.43). and even though the Spartans finished second for the second straight year, coach Todd Rainey said he was proud of his girls.
“I knew it was going to be tough and Cheshire had a lot of bodies in the meet,” Rainey said. “We were just looking for some good swims to get ready for states.”
Rainey said his Spartans are well-positioned for the state race.
“We definitely have our state team set, as far as what our races our going to be,” he said. “We’re coming in on a high and I think we should do very well there.”
However, Wednesday was the Rams’ day, as they opened with a victory in the 200 medley relay as Mongillo, Smalec, Lily Kurtz and Ellie Senft placed first with a time of 1:52.53. Mascolo said starting fast was the race strategy.
“We saw Amity was really strong at the back end of the meet,” Mascolo said. “We knew we had to come out of the chutes real fast and pad a nice lead.”
Mongillo said taking the relay was key in the Rams’ win.
“The medley relay set the tone for the entire race,” Mongillo said. “And it was an amazing race. When people see that, it just inspires you to do better and it was a snowball effect.”
Smalec said the snowball effect could carry into states. However, it’s all about the SCC. After dominating the meet for 17 straight years, and now winning back-to-back titles, she said this is the race all the Rams circle on their calendars.
“In our perspective this is what really matters,” Smalec said. “We’ve worked all season for this meet. A dual meet is just a meet, this is the actual championship.”
SCC championship meet
(at New Haven)
Team results: Cheshire 1,342.5; Amity 1123; Hand 616; Branford 598.5; Sacred Heart Academy 594.5; North Haven 398.5; Mercy 432; Sheehan 356; Hamden 290.29; Lyman Hall 277; Foran 296.22; West Haven 270; Shelton 222; Law 298; East Haven 177; Career 11.
Individual results: 200 Yard Medley Relay: Cheshire: (L. Mongillo; L.Kurtz; L. Smalec; E.Senft) 1:52.53; 200 Yard IM: Smalec (2:14.36); Marisa Daly Sheehan (2:14.71); Danielle Grenon Cheshire (2:17.69); 50 Yard Freestyle: Dana Chung Amity (24.41); Lauren Rasile Branford (25.27); Erika Maercklein Branford (25.55); 100 Yard Butterfly: Smalec Cheshire (59.98); Jessica Poole Shelton (59.65; Paige MacNeil Branford (1:01.94); 100 Yard Freestyle: Chung Amity (53.43); Ellie Senft Cheshire (55.65); Claire Anderson Sacred Heart Academy (55.72); 500 Yard Freestyle: Jaime Robinson Sacred Heart Academy (5:17.35); Madeline Snow Amity (5:23.54); Olivia Smith Amity (5:24.35); 200 Yard Freestyle Relay: Amity (M. Lasto; M. Lasto; M.Snow, D.Chung) 1:41.55; Branford: P.MacNeil; C.Daley ; E. Maercklein ; L.Rasile) 1:43.49; Cheshire (E. Murphy K. Lynch M. Fountain K. Reid) 1:44.50; 100 Yard Backstroke: Mongillo Cheshire (1:00.36); Marisa Daly Sheehan (1:00.85); Catherine Dube Foran (1:00.89); 100 Yard Breaststroke: Maercklein Branford (1:09.28); Kurtz Cheshire (1:09.58); Holland Driscoll Lyman Hall (1:09.72); 400 Yard Freestyle Relay: Cheshire L.Smalec L. Mongillo D.Costello E. Senf (3:42.74); Amity M. Lasto J. Kochiss M. Snow D. Chung (3:43.55); Hand C. Wolek G. Jensen A. Wagner G. Hesse (3:52.55)