GREENWICH — Though their respective schedules are shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greenwich and Darien High School girls swimming teams have two meets against each other this fall — rivalry matchups that didn’t take place in 2019.
The Cardinals and Blue Wave, who weren’t on each other’s dual meet schedule last year, each compete in the FCIAC West Region this year, so they get to renew their rivalry.
Thursday marked the first meeting between two premier squads in the state and Greenwich made the first statement, recording a 115-71 victory over visiting Darien.
“It was really exciting, because last year we didn’t go against them in a dual meet, but FCIACs they beat us by a little bit, so it was exciting having a dual meet against them this year,” said Greenwich senior Meghan Lynch, one of the team’s captains. “Even though there were no spectators it was really loud and energetic and that was nice too.”
The Stanford University-bound Lynch added to her 3-0 team’s excitement. Lynch won the 50-yard freestyle (24.03 seconds), set a school-record in winning the 200-yard freestyle (1:49.61) and set the 50 freestyle team record, during her leg in the 200 freestyle relay.
Darien’s Kendall Luecke was the runner-up in the 200-yard freestyle race (1:57.51), followed by Darien’s Maggie Sedlak (1:57.52).
“I felt really good in the 2 free, I wanted to get the record, so I went out strong in the hope that I could hold the pace,” Lynch said. “I was really happy with it.”
Lynch broke her own record in the 200 freestyle, which she set her freshman season in 2017. In the 50 freestyle, Blue Wave sophomore Natalia Ferranto placed second in 24.21 seconds and Sabrina Hobert of the Cardinals took third (25.13). Lynch tied the team’s 50 freestyle record (23.89) earlier this season, then broke it during her lead-off leg in the 200 freestyle on Thursday. She clocked in at 23.79. Sedlak, Emily Kelvaitis, Ferranto and Luecke combined to win the 200 freestyle relay in 1:39.56.
“The relay was fun, it was nice to get the record, since I tied it last time,” Lynch said. “It was a great race by our relay team.”
— Greenwich Time Spts (@GreenwichSports) October 16, 2020
In the 1-meter diving event, Greenwich junior Annie Bingle continued to impress in her first season on the team. A transfer from Greenwich Academy, Bingle amassed 260.70 points over six dives to win the event. Teammate Ellie Schraff placed second (230.4), while Lilly Wurm of Darien took third (206.71).
“Overall, I thought it was a good, consistent meet,” Bingle said. “My best dive was my first dive, which I scored a 9 and an 8 on.”
Bingle has flourished on her two-and-one-half and reverse dives and has quickly made her mark on the Cardinals squad.
“I love the team, everyone has been really supportive and it’s been really fun,” Bingle said. “There are some really good divers and it’s fun to compete with everybody.”
Said GHS diving coach Kevin Thompson: “What’s impressed me so much about Annie is her leadership. We don’t have any seniors this year, after graduating three from last year, including Regina Frias, who won the State Open and with her being a junior and coming in as a new diver she’s stepped into a leadership role.”
Darien (1-1) received victories in the 100-yard butterfly from senior co-captain Hope Murray and the 100-yard freestyle from Luecke, also a senior co-captain.
Murray won the 100 butterfly in 58.73, followed by Greenwich’s Cateria Li (59.27).
“I kind of went into it thinking I was going to go as hard as I could,” Murray said of the butterfly. “I knew the girl next to me, so I was going to try to stay with her.”
Added Blue Wave coach Marj Trifone: “Hope had an off-the-charts meet for her; she’s come a long way.”
— Greenwich Time Spts (@GreenwichSports) October 16, 2020
Though defending FCIAC and Class L champion Darien has competed in only two meets so far, the team has spent a lot of time training and it’s primed for the busy portion of its schedule.
“Marj has been pushing us with the sets, so I have definitely gotten a lot stronger,” Murray said. “With all the training we’ve been doing, we have been doing very well and I was able to push myself even harder than I thought.”
Luecke touched the wall first in the 100 freestyle (53.55). Hobert took second for the Cards in 54.82.
“It’s definitely been different this year, but I’m happy with how our team is handling it and we have been working super hard,” Luecke said. “I think we have a lot of good swims left to come, which is even better. Our good team culture allows us to swim fast, which is special about our team. Our goal right now is to keep up our good training. We’re definitely expecting a lot of fast swims in future meets.”
Foster, Li, Hobert and Sofia Wang teamed up to win the 200 medley relay (1:52.19) and Foster took top honors in the 200 individual medley (2:07.12). Foster’s second individual victory came in the 500 freestyle (4:55.32). Darien’s Gracie Spataro was second in the 500 (5:15.17).
Senior Samantha Ennis (100 backstroke, 58.68) and Li, a junior (100 breaststroke 1:09.43) won their respective events for the Cardinals. Lynch anchored the winning 400 freestyle relay (3:35.13).
“It’s nice, we are really lucky with our region, we have really competitive teams and Darien swam a competitive meet today,” GHS coach Lorrie Hokayem said. “There were a ton of close races today, which produced impressive performances. We will see them again in a couple of weeks.”
Said Trifone: “It’s always great to swim against Greenwich. This is a nice facility and our team was up for it.”
STAR OF THE MEET
Lynch continues to establish school records, breaking two of her own marks (50 freestyle, 200 freestyle.
“Meghan with two records, she swam really nice races for both,” Hokayem said. “She comes out ready to go every time she jumps into the pool.”
“We haven’t gone up against Greenwich in a while, so this was very exciting,” Murray said. “This a very fast pool, we always have FCIACs here and we put up great times.”