GREENWICH — Meghan Lynch produced the final chapter of her esteemed swimming career at Greenwich Wednesday night and what an ending she provided.
Lynch added to her legacy in the last meet of her high school career, breaking three individual FCIAC and school records and setting two state marks, while helping the Cardinals put the finishing touch on their perfect season.
A Stanford University-bound senior, Lynch broke records in the 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle for host Greenwich, which won the team title at the FCIAC West Region Championships with a team score of 622 points.
“I was actually pretty nervous going into this meet,” said Lynch, a tri-captain, who holds seven school records. “I knew I wanted some fast times. The 200 freestyle I was going for the FCIAC record, because I didn’t have that and the 5 freestyle, the same, because I had never done it at FCIACs.”
Darien placed second in the team standings (521), followed by New Canaan (348) and Westhill/Stamford (260). Greenwich and Darien competed Wednesday, while New Canaan and Westhill/Stamford met on Tuesday, also at Greenwich High School. The results from the two meets were combined following Wednesday’s action, which saw Lynch once again, excel.
In the first individual event of the meet — the 200-yard freestyle, Lynch posted a winning time of 1:47.83. The time broke the state mark Kristen Frost of Daniel Hand set in 2005 (1:48.53). Lynch’s finish was also an FCIAC record, previously held by Verity Abel of Staples (2013, 1:50.23).
Cardinals freshman Payton Foster placed second in the 200 freestyle (1:51.13), followed by Darien junior Maggie Sedlak (1:56.70) and Blue Wave senior Kendall Luecke (1:56.94).
State records are usually only recognized at CIAC competitions, such as the State Open or Class meet. Yet those meets were not held during this abbreviated, modified season.
“What a way to go out, breaking two state records,” Greenwich coach Lorrie Hokayem said of Lynch. “Normally they are broken only at CIAC meets, Class LL and Open, but we hope that they are recognized. What a way for her to go out.”
Lynch, who earned NISCA All-America times in the 200 and 500 freestyle during Wednesday’s championship meet, led from the outset on her way to winning the 500 freestyle race 4:46.79 (state, FCIAC, team record).
“In the 2 free and 5 free I did best times, which was really exciting,” said Lynch, who broke her own school records in both races on Wednesday. “This was my last swim here, which is really sad, that’s another reason why I wanted to do good. It’s our last time racing at this pool, which is so sad. I’ve had a great four years here.”
— Greenwich Time Spts (@GreenwichSports) November 11, 2020
Foster also finished second in the 500 freestyle (4:58.26), followed by teammate Victoria Liu (5:13.24, sophomore) and Darien’s Alexandra Spataro (5:14.17, junior).
New Canaan senior Maddie Haley was the 200 individual medley winner with a time of 2:08.42. Liu took second in 2:10.87, followed by Greenwich senior tri-captain Samantha Ennis (2:12.50) and Darien sophomore Meg Erickson (2:13.05).
Darien’s first individual victory came from sophomore Natalia Ferranto, who touched the wall first in the 50 freestyle (25.40 seconds). Westhill’s Anna Edwards was the runner-up (25.35) and right behind her were Darien’s Lily Bradbury (25.55), Greenwich’s Emma Gustafson (25.78) and Milena Judge of Westhill/Stamford (25.98).
“All things considered, I think we swam really well, they had a good time and I’m glad we got this meet in,” Darien coach Marj Trifone said. “It would have been unfortunate not to have a culminating meet, so we’re very thankful for it.”
Li took top honors in the 100-yard butterfly (58.06).
“This meet was a lot different than previous years,” said Li, a junior. “But it was nice to finally have that one last meet, where we can cheer for each other. Hopefully, it’s a lot different next year.”
Darien senior tri-captain Hope Murray had a second-place finish in the 100 butterfly (59.05) and New Canaan’s Kelci Haley was third (59.16).
“The season was definitely different than any other season we’ve ever had,” Murray said. “Everyone had to be patient and understand that we had to be ready for anything. Everyone swam well, considering the circumstances.”
The meet began with Ennis, Lynch, Li and Hobert combining to win the 200 medley relay in 1:47.35.
“The medley relay is such a strong relay, we’re happy to get a championship meet and happy to be able to suit up and do it together,” said Ennis a senior tri-captain. “We are lucky to be here and race against such a good team. I’m proud of how our team came together.”
Added senior tri-captain Julia Lucey: “Our team did really well today. We just have so much depth this year, so seeing everyone in both heats put up some good times was exciting. We all trained really hard for this.”
In the 100 freestyle Luecke recorded a winning time of 54.00 seconds, followed by Edwards (54.51)Darien’s Olivia Golden (55.21) and Hobert (55.20).
Luecke and Golden are also Blue Wave tri-captains.
“All the great memories of the team have come back to me today,” Luecke said. “Just having one last swim with my team and to finish it off with such a good group of people felt great. It was a great way to finish the season off with that victory in the 100 freestyle.”
Li’s second victory came in the 100 breaststroke, where she clocked in at 1:06.79.
“Caterina had a great meet, winning the butterfly and breaststroke, she’s a really strong junior and swam with a lot of guts and leadership today,” Hokayem said.
Sydney Jee, a Cardinals freshman, was second in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.06), followed by Greenwich junior Sophia Sichtnik (1:08.15). Haley claimed the 100 backstroke title in 56.60, Golden finished second (58.41) and Ennis was third (58.53).
“I was really excited to swim the 100 back and it was a really good way to finish my senior year,” Golden said. “It was a tough year with COVID, but it was a relief for our team to finish out the season with this championship meet.”
Darien’s quartet of Sedlak, Emily Kalvaitis, Ferranto and Luecke combined to register a winning time of 1:39.91.
Lynch’s third individual FCIAC record came in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Leading off the race, Lynch’s split of 50.55 broke the FCIAC’s 100-yard freestyle record. Katie Colwell (New Canaan, 2015, 51.23) held the previous mark. Lynch, Liu, Li and Foster combined for a winning time of 3:30.28 an FCIAC record and All-America consideration showing.
“I was really excited going into this meet and I was really happy when I saw my times,” Lynch said. “This team is my favorite part of the year. It’s sad that it’s over, but I’m hoping there will be a similar vibe and team culture at Stanford.”
— Greenwich Time Spts (@GreenwichSports) November 11, 2020
Joan Lynch, Meghan’s mother had mixed emotions at the meet’s conclusion.
“I’m happy and sad,” Joan Lynch said. “I am so glad it was the meet that she really wanted it to be. We knew that she had this in her, but we didn’t know if this meet was ever going to happen. She’s been excited for it all season. I’m glad it ended with her meeting her goals. Now, I’ll probably go cry later.”