Possessing depth at each event is one of the main reasons the Greenwich girls swimming team has won four straight State Open Championships and nine consecutive Class LL titles. It’s early in the season, but the 2019 Cardinals already seem to be deep in each race.
Greenwich showed its depth once again, Saturday, posting impressive performances in each event in its 99-79 victory against visiting FCIAC foe Westhill/Stamford.
The 4-0 Cardinals began the meet by winning the 200-yard medley relay. The quartet of Victoria Liu, June Akpata, Caterina Li and Daniela Pompa combined for a winning time of 1:54.76. Greenwich also placed second in the event (2:03.18).
Sophomore Emma Robinson touched the wall first in the 200-yard freestyle (2:00.81) for Greenwich and junior Maya Watson of Westhill/Stamford was second (2:02.18), followed by sophomore Bella Malchow of the Cardinals (2:03.37).
Liu gave Greenwich a first-place finish in the 200 individual medley (2:14.44) and Li was second (2:18.79). The 500 freestyle also saw Liu place first in 5:18.29.
“The 500 free and 2 IM are my best events and I really enjoy swimming them,” Liu said. “It’s really hard to pace in the 500 free, it’s such a long race. It’s really tricky not going out too fast. The 2 IM, you really have to be good at all the strokes in the 2 IM.”
In the 50 freestyle, Westhill/Stamford sophomore Milena Judge registered a first-place time of 26.54 seconds. Pompa was right behind her (26.79), as was Akpata (26.90).
On the 1-meter diving board, Westhill/Stamford senior Abigail Desyr continued her strong season, earning a winning total of 261.90 points over six dives.
Desyr drew a score of 8.5 and two scores of 8.0 in the second round and two scores of 6.0 in the sixth round.
“My back one-and-half tuck was the best I had in a long time,” Desyr said. “I think I did a very good job today. I didn’t let the competition get to my head and I was ready to go. Having a positive mindset is the most important thing.”
Said Westhill/Stamford coach Rick Lewis: “That was a really big win for Abby in the diving, she’ll gain confidence from it. All three divers are learning new dives, so that will start to pay dividends soon.”
Back and healthy following injuries, senior Saylor Hirsch was second for Greenwich in the diving event (231.45) and teammate Francesca Kim, a sophomore was third (209.85).
“It was very exciting, because a lot of people got to dive today,” Kirsch said. “I am just coming back from an injury, so it was exciting to be back on the team again. I’ve been out since last season and the season before with hip injuries on both sides, so this is my first season back and it’s great to be back and participate.”
Robinson took first in the 100 butterfly in 1:02.62 and Westhill/Stamford’s Sophia Karides was second (1:05.82). Li was the 100 freestyle winner (55.35), followed by teammate Lilly Bjerke (58.63).
“We have a strong lineup, which is really good,” Li said. “We want as many people to score points at FCIACs and LLs and keep our streak of winning all of our dual meets going.”
Added Akpata: “It’s a good start to our season, everyone is improving as time has gone on. I am looking forward to seeing what we will accomplish this season.”
Robinson, Pompa, Liu and Li combined for a winning time of 1:44.23 in the 200 freestyle. Bella Malchow had the top time for GHS in the 100 backstroke (1:01.64) and Akpata won the 100 breaststroke (1:13.45).
“It was a really good meet, we got to see a lot of people in different events today,” GHS coach Lorrie Hokayem said. “We are still trying to figure out where we are going to have people at the end of the season. Westhill swam well and there were a lot of nice matchups.”