One aspect that separates the Greenwich High School girls swimming team from most of its opponents is depth.
In the relays, individual events and on the diving board, the Cardinals have several athletes pushing each other for the top spot and to compete at their highest level.
Greenwich’s depth surfaced once again Friday in an impressive 112-63 win over Westhill. The Cardinals are 5-0 following the victory, which brought the team past the midway point of the regular season.
“I was happy with how everyone was supporting each other and enjoying being here,” Greenwich first-yer coach Brendan Heller said. “That was our second meet this week, so we are tired and we are training very hard and there was a lot of enthusiasm. I was happy with how our relays were competing against each other.”
The Cards’ first meet of the week took place Wednesday, when they edged a tough Ridgefield team at home, 101-86.
“The meet against Ridgefield was great, it was a great challenge for the team,” said Greenwich senior Emma Robinson, also a captain. “Everyone realized what we have in store and what we have to work for in the next few weeks looking towards championship season. I think that meet pumped us up and got us ready for the following weeks.”
Greenwich started the meet in typical fashion, winning the 200-yard medley relay in 1:54.65. Payton Foster, Sophia Sichnik, Robinson and Daniela Pompa teamed up to post the winning time for the Cards. Right behind them were teammates Michelle Weissler, Sydney Jee, Sofia Wang and Tess Furno, who combined for a second place time in the race, clocking in at 1:54.83.
In the meet’s first individual event, the 200-yard freestyle, senior captain Bella Malchow touched the wall first, posting a time of 2:02.24. Sabrina Bozkurt placed second for the Cards in 2:04.62, followed by teammate Annabelle Guarnera (2:06.59).
“I swam the 2 free, the 5, free and the 2 free relay, which is a little different than what I swam the past few meets, but it was a good in-season time,” Malchow said. “Our teammates were pushing each other in the pool and it was good going up against people I’ve been practicing with.”
Robinson’s time of 2:18.44 was good for first place in the 200-yard individual medley. Westhill’s Sophia Likvornik was the runner-up (2:24.16), while Greenwich’s Julia Costello finished third (2:27.09).
Sophomore Annie Edwards won both the 50-yard freestyle for Westhill (25.48), then earned top honors in the 100 freestyle (55.39). Cardinals junior Daisy Decker took second in the 50 freestyle, clocking in at 25.85 seconds.
In the diving competition, Westhill junior Hannah Chuckas compiled a first-place total of 247.66 points. Cardinals senior Annie Bingle finished second (231.83 points) and teammate Javiera Garcia, a junior took third (221.18).
Chuckas drew scores of 7.5 and 8 with her inward pike dive in the first round. Bingle earned two scores of 7 with her inward pike dive and scored a 7 with her 1 1/2 somersault dive from the tuck position.
Like Bingle, Garcia was consistent with all of her six dives. Foster, a sophomore, tallied two individual wins. She led from the first lap on in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing with a time of 5:04.57. In the 100 backstroke, Foster touched the wall in 1:00.61. Malchow finished second in the 500 freestyle (5:13.91), while Westhill’s Milena Judge was the runner-up (1:01.31).
Jee, a sophomore, was the 100 breaststroke winner (1:10.12), while teammate Evangeline Norman, a senior finished second (1:15.89). Weissler won the 100 butterfly (1:02.94) and Robinson was second (1:03.26).
“I swam 2 IM and this is the first time I swam it this season and I really enjoyed it,” Robinson said. ‘Then I swam the 1 fly and it was good. I think the team is coming together, we are all pushing ourselves in practice, working hard and I think it’s going to be a great season.”
The foursome of Bozkurt, Pompa, Wang and Furno combined for a winning time of 1:44.52 in the 200 freestyle relay. Greenwich also placed second in the race (1:46.18). Greenwich capped the meet with Guarnera, Weissler, Bozkurt and Foster winning the 400 freestyle relay in 3:47.55. Again showing their depth, the Cardinals were second in the event (3:50.14).
“I was very proud of our team spirit with each other and the team has been working well with each other in and out of practice,” Malchow said. “Our spirit is what’s been great, especially at this meet. That really helped us in this meet.”
Up next for Greenwich is a home meet against Trumbull at 4:30 p.m.