Having only one championship meet to compete in this season, the Greenwich boys swimming team focused its attention squarely on the FCIAC Championships, a competition it has reigned supreme at for decades.
Flourishing in each event, the Cardinals continued their another season, another FCIAC championship pattern, in impressive fashion.
Greenwich captured the team title at the FCIAC Championships for an astounding 50th time in 51 years, amassing 534 team points. Ridgefield was the runner-up in the team standings with 394.5 points, followed by Fairfield Co-Op (276), New Canaan (189.5) and Norwalk/McMahon (187.5). Darien (182.5), Trumbull (137), and Wilton (117) rounded out the top eight squads at the FCIAC Championships.
“The team was really focused on working hard from the beginning of the season,” said Greenwich coach Terry Lowe, who has guided the Cardinals to all of their championships. “They accomplished a lot and they were so determined to make the most of the abbreviated season.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the regular season was shortened and the CIAC Class and State Open championship meets were cancelled. Therefore, the conference meets for each conference in the state were of utmost important to the athletes.
Because of COVID-19 safety restrictions, only two teams were allowed to compete against each other at one time, so the FCIAC championship meet followed a dual meet format, with two squads meeting in numerous meets. The results of all of the meets were combined to determine the individual and team champions. Greenwich competed against Ridgefield at GHS on Monday and the FCIAC diving competition was held on Thursday.
Greenwich’s quartet of Ryan Jee, Aiden Bucaria, James Pascale and Nicholas Malchow combined to win the 200-yard medley relay FCIAC title in an All-American consideration time of 1:33.74. Fairfield Co-Op placed second in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:35.15, followed by Darien (1:38.11).
“From the beginning to the end, the kids were excited and you could feel the energy in the pool on Monday,” Lowe said. “At every level of our team from the youngest to the most experienced, we had nothing but best times. They were really psyched to produce some great performances.”
Ridgefield senior Connor Hunt won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:39.01 and Greenwich senior tri-captain Alex Plavoukos placed second in the race in 1:42.40. Staples’ Riley Twiss finished third (1:43.44), followed by Matthew Johnston of Ridgefield (1:43.57) and Jack Clancy, also of Ridgefield (1:43.79).
In the 200-yard individual medley, Cardinals junior Ryan Jee set an FCIAC record in winning the event with a time of 1:50.67. Fairfield’s Emmett Adams was the runner-up (1:52.97), while Bucaria of the Cardinals placed third (1:53.56).
Tyler Sicignano of Fairfield Co-Op established an FCIAC record in the 50-yard freestyle, placing first in the event in 20.47 seconds. Malchow, one of Greenwich’s senior captains, was second in 20.69, which also broke the previous record in the event of 20.77, set by GHS graduate Thomas Dillinger. Mykhailo Kvashchuk from Norwalk/McMahon took third in the 50 freestyle (21.57) and Greenwich’s Hunter Johnson (21.63) was fourth (21.63).
In the FCIAC diving finals, Cardinals sophomore Whitaker Grover claimed the first-place medal. Grover produced an All-American total of 569.10 points. Senior Joel Satir was second, compiling 471.30 points on the 1-meter board, while his brother Jayden, a sophomore, took third (460.10) for Greenwich.
“Both scores are well over the minimum for All-America Consideration of 375 points,” Lowe said of the Satir brother’s results. “I will be surprised if we do not have three All-American divers after their recorded performances are reviewed by the National Interscholastic Coaches Diving Committee. A huge congratulations to diving Coach Kevin Thompson for bringing our divers to this level.”
The 100-yard butterfly saw Sicignano from Fairfield Co-Op set a conference record with a winning performance in 48.72 seconds. Jee of Greenwich took second (49.95) and teammate Pascale (senior tri-captain) placed third (51.74). Malchow swam to victory in the 100 freestyle, registering a time of 45.84. Kvashchuk of Norwalk/McMahon was second (47.40) and Yu from Ridgefield finished third (47.86). Hunt broke his own FCIAC mark in winning the 500-yard freestyle in an eye-opening time of 4:22.90. Plavoukos was second (4:33.31).
Ridgefield earned the first-place medal in the 200 freestyle relay, with a time of 1:26.43, while Greenwich took a close second (1:25.53). Johnston of Ridgefield was the 100 backstroke winner (52.31), followed by Nicky Adl from New Canaan (52.52) and Greenwich’s Ben Schinto (53.25).
In the 100 breaststroke, Fairfield Co-Op’s Emmett Adams had a winning performance (56.96) and Bucaria of Greenwich posted a second-place time of 57.78. Greenwich’s Nic DiLascia’s time of 58.34 was third.
In the 400-yard freestyle relay, Plavoukos, Pascale, Jee and Malchow combined to win the race in an All-American automatic time of 3:05.36, also an FCIAC record. Ridgefield placed second, clocking in at 3:07.92.
Ridgefield’s time also topped the previous FCIAC record in the event.
“The 400 free relay was one of those statement events,” Lowe said. “We had some shots at All-America times and they were really excited about the event. Their performance in that last relay says a lot about them. It’s amazing what these kids accomplished.”
For Lowe, the season was especially rewarding.
“The way our athletes handled themselves the entire season was great to see,” Lowe said. “They made the most of a compromised season and accomplished so much.”