MONROE –Depth is significant in team swimming, especially when the all-important championship meets take place.
Well-represented in each event, Pomperaug has plenty of depth and as a result, has plenty of titles to go along with it.
And the title collection continued for the Panthers on Friday night.
Behind several first-place finishes and numerous top-five efforts, Pomperaug placed first at the SWC boys swimming championships for the seventh straight season before a packed house at Masuk High School. The victory also marked the 12th time in 13 years Pomperaug swam away with the conference championship.
Pomperaug amassed 533 team points and Masuk was second in the team standings with 369 points. Brookfield and Barlow-Bethel tied for third place with 298 points. Newtown had a team score of 297 in the 10-team meet.
“We have 60 kids on our team, which has really good chemistry, thanks to great leadership from the top,” Pomperaug coach Fran Pentino said. “Everyone contributed to this victory, even the exhibition kids who don’t score — they get the team excited. It was a great overall meet.”
Pomperaug senior William Regan earned Swimmer of the Meet honors. He won two individual events to help pace his championship squad.
“This is a really exciting meet every year,” Regan said. “Everyone brings a lot of energy into this meet and it’s one that we always look forward to. Everyone brings their best to this meet.”
The meet began with Newtown winning the 200-yard medley relay in 1:42.46. Masuk placed second by the blink of an eye in 1:42.66, followed by New Fairfield, which was also in the running for the title (1:42.74).
In the 200-yard freestyle, Regan of Pomperaug opened a lead in the second lap and proceeded to win the event in a time of 1:42.77, giving his squad 22 first-place points. Tim Joyce of Joel Barlow/Bethel posted a second-place finish in 1:44.59, while Masuk’s Joey Nizzardo took third in 1:48.37.
Senior Colin Mackellar of Pomperaug almost set a meet record in winning the 200-yard individual medley. Mackellar touched the wall in 1:55.93. Andrew Yu (Barlow/Bethel) was second in 2:03.14 and Brookfield’s Thomas Foster finished third (2:05.90).
“I wanted it going into the race and I thought about it visually and mentally and swam a fun race,” Mackellar said. “Everyone on the team really wanted this victory and swam well, which is a great sign for our team. We’re looking forward to states and the State Open after that.”
In the nine-heat 50 freestyle, Newtown’s Colby Delia, a senior, took top honors, clocking in at 22.02 seconds in the 50 freestyle. Masuk’s Matthew Hull earned the second-place medal in 22.20, while Paul Riter from New Fairfield finished third in 22.75.
“I was mainly just doing what I always do before I go on the blocks and psych myself up for the race,” Delia said. “I used 100 percent of my body and took only one breath the whole race. I got my fastest time so far.”
Hull was pleased with his performance.
“I was really focused, kept my head down and tried to compete with the other swimmers,” Hull said. “As a team, we really improved at this meet from previous years. You can tell everyone was hyped up.”
The 100-yard butterfly was a close race from the start. Newtown’s Mason Suba, a junior, garnered the first-place medal with a winning time of 54.30, followed by Michael Aiello from Masuk (54.74) and Weston’s Oscar Petersen (54.88).
“It was a really good time for me at this point of the season,” Suba said. “I’ve had a good training type of season and I’m really happy with what I accomplished tonight. It’s a privilege as a junior to win an event.”
Said Aiello: “We’ve worked so hard this year and I’m surprised to see us get second place as a team. We finished fifth last year, so we’ve improved a lot this year and we got a lot of best times.”
Delia captured his second first-place medal of the night for Newtown, topping the competition in the 100 freestyle in 49.37 seconds. Andrew Kulp (New Fairfield) was a blink of an eye behind in the meet’s closest finish (48.38) and William Briand from host Masuk was third in 49.77.
Joyce, a senior (Barlow/Bethel) repeated as champion in the 500 freestyle, posting a time of 4:39.32. Nizzardo of Masuk was second, followed by Mackellar from Pomperaug.
After the 500 freestyle, Pomperaug had 345 team points, while Masuk had 234 and Newtown had 217.
In the 200 freestyle relay, Newtown combined for a winning time of 1:28.38, topping its first-place finish of 1:31.17 from last season. Pomperaug was second in 1:30.06.
Kulp of New Fairfield earned the first-place medal in the 100 backstroke in 54.55. Brand gave Masuk a second-place finish in 57.38, followed by Timothy Regan.
William Regan gave Pomeraug a meet-record performance in winning the 100 breaststroke in 57.09 seconds. Yu of Barlow- Bethel was the runner-up in 1:00.67.
“I had that planned in my head of what I wanted to do, it was a school record and SWC record,” Regan said. “I wish it was 57.0, but I’ll take the record.”
The meet ended in fitting fashion for Pomperaug, which registered a winning time of 3:20.45 in the 400 freestyle relay.
“What a great way for us to finish the meet,” Pentino said. “We couldn’t be happier.”