Monday marked the second meeting between FCIAC girls swimming rivals Greenwich and Darien, and the two squads are not finished facing each other yet.
The Cardinals and Blue Wave will test their skills against each other for a third and final time at next week’s FCIAC West Regional Championships — a meet that will cap this abbreviated, atypical season.
Winning 10 of 12 events, Monday’s second round of the Greenwich-Darien rivalry went the same as the first, with the Cardinals prevailing.
Receiving two individual wins from Meghan Lynch and Payton Foster, Greenwich improved its record to 5-0 with a 125-61 triumph over visiting Darien.
“Last year we didn’t go against Darien at all and they’re a really good team and it’s always fun going against a good team,” the Stanford University-bound Lynch said. “Getting to go against them twice, especially in a year like this, is great.”
In part of the FCIAC West Region Championships, Greenwich and Darien will meet next Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at Greenwich High School. Next Tuesday, Westhill and New Canaan will visit Greenwich High for the other part of the region championships. The results from the two meets will be compared to determine the team champion and winners in each event.
Darien sports a record of 7-2, its only two losses coming against Greenwich.
“We have some work to do before we swim our last meet to get over the hump, because that was not a traditional Darien High School performance today,” said Blue Wave coach Marj Trifone, whose team won the FCIAC championship in 2019 and the Class L team title. “I am very glad we have gotten to swim against Greenwich twice, but we have to come ready to go. When you have a meet like this, it’s a learning experience.”
Lynch, a senior, touched the wall first in the 200-yard freestyle (1:53.64) and the 100 freestyle (52.40). Teammate Victoria Liu was the runner-up in the 200 freestyle (1:59.73), while Darien senior Kendall Luecke placed second in the 100 freestyle in 57.11.
“It was a fun meet, I felt a little bit tired, we had a really hard week of practice,” Lynch said. “I should feel really rested by next week and have some good swims.”
Lynch broke out to a lead early in the 200 freestyle.
“I love the 2 free, it’s a fun event. I was right on what I do in season usually, so I’m happy with that,” she said.
Foster, who is in the midst of a standout freshman season, won the 200 individual medley in 2:09.05 and took top honors in the 500 freestyle (5:06.46). Caterina Li, a Cardinals junior, placed second in the 200 IM (2:15.18) and Blue Wave sophomore Meg Erickson was second in the 500 freestyle (5:24.26).
“There was such great competition out there today,” Foster said. “It is so much fun to race them, they’re a team that pushes us to be the best we can be every time we compete against them.”
Darien’s victories came in the 50-yard freestyle and 200 freestyle relay. Sophomore Natalia Ferranto showed her speed in winning the 50 freestyle in 25.26. Right behind her was Cardinals freshman Sabrina Hobert (25.79) and teammate Samantha Ennis, a senior (26.75).
The Blue Wave’s 200 freestyle relay foursome of Sedlak, sophomore Emily Kalvaitis, Ferranto and Luecke combined for a winning time of 1:44.45.
“It’s a great meet going forward for the younger swimmers on the team and it is a great experience for the older swimmers on how to figure it out and be ready for the next meet,” Trifone said.
Greenwich began the meet by winning the 200 medley relay (Ennis, Lynch, Li, Daisy Decker) in 1:53.52. Javiera Garcia, a sophomore, was the 1-meter diving winner totaling 215.10 points over six rounds.
Ellie Scharff placed second on the board for the Cardinals (214.50), followed by Esme Merrill (2:01.82).
“Our diving is getting better and better every week,” Hokayem said. “We have a strong group of divers.”
In the 100 butterfly, Hobert touched the wall first in 1:01.79. Senior Hope Murray and Sedlak tied for second (1:02.40).
“It’s really great being a part of this team as a freshman,” Hobert said. “Everyone is so friendly and welcoming and I really enjoy the team concept and energy that’s around our team.”
Ennis posted the top time in the 100 backstroke (1:01.07), while Li was the 100 breaststroke winner (1:10.03).
“I am at a good point in the season right now. Our team as a whole has been training really well, especially the last week and we are at a good point right,” Li said. “Taper starts tomorrow, so we’re excited for that and we are ready to swim fast times next week.”
Trifone is eager to see her team face Greenwich again next week.
“The positive thing is these kind of things are a learning experience for all of them in the sport of swimming,” Trifone said. “We have a young team, with a lot of freshmen and a lot of sophomores and only five seniors and six juniors. So they are learning.”
Said Hokayem: “There were a lot of really tight races today. I don’t think the score shows how competitive meet this was. Darien is super well coached and they are a really competitive team. We swam well, I’m happy with what I’ve seen from our kids and how hard they’ve raced.”