MIDDLETOWN >> Middletown High’s swim team won its eighth meet in row, blasting Hall of West Hartford 98-86 at the Baldwin-Parmelee pool at MHS Wednesday afternoon. The Blue Dragons led from start to finish, opening up a lead of 28 points before going unofficial in the final event to settle for the easy win.
Had coach Trevor Charles not swam the 400 freestyle relay unofficially, the score would have been 108-78.
“We swam awesome today,” said Charles. “Hall beat us last year and I was very worried. Looking at comparative times, I figured this meet might be tied going to the final relay. But across the board the kids were great. I was really excited about our performance.
“What I was really surprised about, and very pleased with, was that we won a lot of thirds, fourths and fifths I didn’t expect. I was afraid they would 3-4-5 us all day and they didn’t.”
Besides the depth, Middletown’s blue-chip swimmers and divers had big days.
“Jack Doherty had a monster meet,” said Charles. “All three of our divers were great, Michal Ciebielski in the 500 and, of course, Matt Dagenais. were all outstanding. Dagenais is just bred to race. I don’t think it’s in his genes to lose.”
Doherty, who is only a sophomore, won the 50 yard freestyle (22.44 seconds) , the 100 yard butterfly (53.49 seconds) and a leg in both the winning 200 yard medley relay and the 200 yard freestyle relay. In the 200 IM, Doherty hit the water a length behind the Hall swimmer, and in the 50 yards of the butterfly leg, he opened up a two body length lead as MHS won the race going away.
Dan Kinney won diving with score of 248.90, Monica Marcello was second at 239.15 and Adam Gauthier was just edged for third by Hall’s Charlie Blaschinski, 209.30 to 207.65.
“I thought the divers were great,” said diving coach Matt Quinn. “The kid from Hall was a top 10 diver last year, but I thought Gauthier was consistent and was surprised he didn’t beat him. Monica has been consistent in practice all year and that is now paying off.”
Kinney has yet to lose a dual meet competition this season. “Dan and all our divers gave us a boost,” said Charles.
Dagenais, a junior, breezed to easy wins in the 200 yard IM with a time of 2:05.83. 16 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, and in the 100 yard backstroke, with a time of 54.89 seconds. He also swam a leg of the winning 200 yard medley relay.
Ciebielski won the 500 yard freestyle with a time of 5:18.86, seven seconds ahead of Reid Beukeboom, whose time of 5:25.30 was equal to the time he swam at the state meet in 2013, according to his coach John McClure. Ciebielski also won the 200 yard freestyle in a time of 1:56.76, four seconds ahead of the second place finisher.
Charles said that among the strong performances of his second-tier swimmers were those turned in by Nevin Sanchez [second in the 100 yard freestyle; third in the 50 yard freestyle), Tom Boller (fourth in the 500 yard freestyle and the 100 yard breaststroke) and Kenny Vaughn (fourth in the 100 yard backstroke).
Middletown won all three relays, including the 400 yard freestyle, even though it was an “unofficial” win.
Brendan McClure of Hall won the 100 yard freestyle in a time of 56.27 seconds and Ethan Swain won the 100 yard backstroke in a time of 1:06.92 for the Warriors.
“On the whole, we did not swim well,” said McClure, who saw his team drop to 6-5. “We haven’t been swimming well for three weeks. I’m not sure why. We’ve had an erratic practice schedule because of the storms, but so has everyone. That we have three meets this week is no help.
“But I thought we got some good swims from Sean Ennis in the 200 IM (fourth) and from Beukeboom in the 500 free. But other than that, I can’t come up with much.”
Middletown is now 10-2 and swims Bulkeley at home Friday at 4 p.m. The Blue Dragons wind up their dual meet season with Xavier at Wesleyan on Feb. 18.