MIDDLETOWN >> It was a record-breaking day at the Class LL state championship swim meet held at Wesleyan University’s Freeman Center Wednesday afternoon.
No fewer that five records were shattered — four all-time state marks and one Class LL mark — as Greenwich won its 44th class championship, easily beating runner-up Cheshire 787 to 600.
The All-time state records that went out the window — and obviously the Class LL records fell with them — were in the 100-yard butterfly, the 500-yard freestyle, the 100-yard breaststroke and the 100-yard backstroke. The LL record that fell came in the 200-yard freestyle.
The first record to fall was the 200-yard freestyle and it was broken by two swimmers, Kieran Smith of Ridgefield (1:39.25) and Karl Bishop of Cheshire (1:39.35). The old LL mark was 1:40.59.
The duo went head-to-head in the 500-yard freestyle and this time it was Bishop who won, smashing the state record of 4:29.21 which stood for 11 years. It was a terrific race with Bishop edging out Smith, 4:27.08 to 4:27.49.
“In that last lap, Kieran was closing in on me, so I did what coach said, I put my head down and just finished,” said Bishop. “That was a lot of fun.”
Alexander Jahan of Greenwich set the record in the 100-yard breaststroke, breaking a record that stood since 2009. His time was 55.14 seconds, nearly a second faster that the old record of 56.08.
“I had my eyes on that all season,” said Jahan. “I hadn’t approached that time all year; the best I had done was a 58 or so. But this feels very good.”
Greenwich’s John Montesi had himself the best of days. The Cardinals’ senior set a new state record in the 100-yard butterfly of 48.41 seconds — the old record was 48.98 — and then went out and set another record in the 100-yard backstroke of 48.44 seconds, some 15 hundredths of a second faster than the old mark.
“The kids we stuck in there held their own,” said Greenwich coach Terry Lowe, who is aiming for his 33rd State Open crown Saturday. “And the one’s we were saving came through with flying colors. Montesi won two, Jahan won two [he also won the 200-yard individual medley] and they set records in three of those four races.
“But we also had a couple of performances that came up a little short, so it will be exciting to see where they will be in the Open. Winning that is our ultimate goal.”
Cheshire coach Kevin Reeder celebrated his second place finish with his team, then said, “We swam very well. Karl [Bishop] set the tone as did our medley relay team with its best time of the year.
“As for Karl, in both of those races [200, 500 freestyles] we knew they were going to be close and it would probably take record-breaking swims to win each of them. Turned out it did. Those were great performances.”
In one of the rare upsets of the day, Xavier’s Dom Nazzaro came from the No. 3 seed to win the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 21.57 seconds. He also took a fourth in the 100-yard butterfly with a school record time of 51.47 seconds.
“It’s great to win a state championship,” said Nazzaro. “My time in the fly was also my best. It’s a great way to go out.”
Southern Connecticut Conference team Fairfield Prep was third (523.5 points), Glastonbury was fourth (423.5), and Ridgefield was fifth.
Rounding out the Top 10 were Amity, the Branford/Guilford Coop, Staples, Xavier and Newtown. Hamden finished 15th and West Haven was 18th.
The Open is Saturday at Yale at 2:30 p.m. The Open diving will be held at Middletown High School Thursday at 5:30 p.m.