GREENWICH — Following its annual eight-day training trip to Aruba, the Greenwich boys swimming team is more prepared than ever to face the challenges the championship portion of the season has to offer.
“That’s the final set for our team before the postseason,” said Thomas Lewis, one of the Cardinals’ senior captains. “We look forward to that trip every year, because we know what it does for us. We were there for eight days and we had two practices each day. It’s hard, but we knew that once we come back from that trip, it’s going to set us up to do well and get the times we are looking for.”
Greenwich provided a glimpse of how ready it is for the postseason in its regular-season finale against visiting Norwalk/McMahon on Friday.
Winning nine of 12 events on their Senior Day, the Cardinals put the finishing touch on an undefeated regular season, topping Norwalk/McMahon, 126-60.
“Finishing the dual meet undefeated is special for us, especially our seniors,” said Jack Jee, also one of the Cards’ senior captains. “Coming back from Aruba, we had the toughest training of the season, so we are in great condition, after doing doubles every day for a week.”
While in Aruba last week, the Cardinals trained at the Roly Bisslick Olympic Pool — a large, outdoor facility.
Greenwich’s Senior Day meet commenced with its 200-yard medley relay team of Justin Jacob, Lewis, James Pascale and Alex Hanna combining for a winning time of 1:38.22. Norwalk/McMahon was second in 1:42.49, followed by Greenwich (1:42.52).
Junior Tom Cass of Greenwich (12-0) finished first in the 200-yard freestyle with a time 1:47.20. Teammate Nick Malchow, a junior, was the runner-up (1:49.09), followed by sophomore Ryan Jee (1:52.74). In the 200-yard individual medley, Lewis touched the wall first in 1:58.49. Norwalk/McMahon’s Henry Velazquez finished second with a time of 1:58.62 and Aidan Bucaria of the Cardinals took third (1:59.86).
“We swam really well today, all things considered,” Lewis said. “We are tired after a long week away last week, but after our taper comes, we are going to feel really good.”
The 50-yard freestyle saw senior Chris Dauser of Norwalk/McMahon win in a close finish. Dauser posted a winning time of 22.15. Greenwich’s Thomas Hoffmeister finished second (22.61), followed by Hanna (22.72).
“The idea behind this meet is to prepare for the FCIAC meet in a week-and-a-half,” Norwalk/McMahon coach Marco Minnocci said. “A lot of boys swam the events they are looking to swim at the conference meet. Overall, we hit the times we want to — either right at, or better than our season-best times.”
The 1-meter diving event saw Cardinals freshman Whitaker Grover continue his standout first season on the team. Teammate Joel Satir, a junior was second for the home team, followed by freshman Jayden Satir.
“Whitaker has been doing a phenomenal job, especially as a freshman,” GHS diving coach Kevin Thompson said. “He has turned a lot of heads through his work ethic and commitment to the intricacies of performing a nice dive.”
Grover earned high scores with his front two-and-a-half, which had a degree of difficulty of 2.6 and his twister.
“I expect him to be one of the top competitors at the FCIAC and state meets,” Thompson said. “New Canaan has strong divers too, so it should be fun to watch.”
Ryan Jee took top honors in the 100-yard butterfly (53.55), while teammate Spencer Plavoukos took second in 56.33 for Greenwich. Senior Henry Valazquez was the 100 freestyle (48.33) winner for Norwalk/McMahon, followed by Greenwich’s James Pascale (49.49).
Junior Alex Plavoukos opened a lead midway through the race in winning the 500 freestyle for the Cards in 4:51.80 and freshman Kalen Anbar took second for the visitors (4:56.01).
Lewis, Ryan Jee, Hoffmeister and Cass combined for a winning finish in the 200 freestyle relay and Ben Schinto gave GHS a first-place finish in the 100 backstroke (56.56).
A school record was achieved by Norwalk/McMahon in the 100 breaststroke. Dauser clocked in at 59.50 a winning time and school record.
“He has been chasing that record four years that he’s been on this team,” Minnocci said. “We were excited to face Greenwich at their pool at the end of the season. It gives us a chance of what to expect at the FCIAC Championships.”
CELEBRATING THE SENIORS
After the meet, the Cardinals, who have won the FCIAC title every year since 2008, paid tribute to their 11 seniors.
“Being one of the captains of this team was a great opportunity,” Jack Jee said. “Enjoying being with my teammates is the most special thing about the season.”
Greenwich has captured the Class LL and State Open titles every year since 2013.