The CIAC Class LL Swimming Championships returned Wednesday, following a season in which it was not held and that meant it was time for Greenwich to add yet another title to its ledger.
Yes, the Cardinals swam to the head of the class again, winning the team title at the Class LL Championships in eye-opening fashion, amassing 873 team points at Cornerstone Aquatics Center in West Hartford.
Ridgefield finished second in the team standings with 569 points, followed by Norwalk/McMahon (538), Glastonbury (424) and North Haven co-op (377). Westhill placed sixth (358) and Staples was eighth (341) in the state meet, which included 17 teams.
The Cardinals have now captured eight consecutive Class LL championships and has garnered 36 overall in their illustrious swimming history.
Greenwich began the Class LL finals by posting a first-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay. Justin Jacob, Michael Dilascia, Matthew Hake and Aiden Bucaria combined for a winning time of 1:34.84. Ridgefield was second (1:35.60). Junior Felix Flakstad earned a third-place finish for the Cardinals in the 200 freestyle, clocking in at 1:44.22. Ridgefield sophomore Jack Clancy took the first-place medal with a time of 1:40.37 and teammate Matthew Weiner, a junior was third in 1:43.21. Cardinals sophomore Kegan Clark had a fifth-place finish (1:45.68).
In the 200-yard individual medley, senior Ryan Jee placed second with a time of 1:52.88 and Bucaria, a junior, was third (1:53.44). Junior Max Wolfenden from Ridgefield claimed the gold medal, posting a time of 1:51.12.
Senior Jonathan Bergbaum had Greenwich’s best finish in the 50 freestyle, placing seventh (22.31) in the race that was won by Bristol co-op senior Mikel Palaj (21.00). Norwalk/McMahon sophomore Mike Kvashchuk was the runner-up (21.48).
The Cardinals entered the swimming portion of the Class LL Championships with 79 team points, thanks to the outstanding performances from their divers at the diving finals. Junior Whitaker Grover gave the Cards 30 points by winning the Class LL diving title with 536.05 points over 11 rounds. Jayden Satir, also a junior, gained 25 points with a fourth-place finish (449.40) and Jacob Winston, a sophomore, placed ninth (372.05).
Jee took second in the 100-yard butterfly, touching the wall in 50.66 seconds, while teammate Justin Jacob, a senior, was ninth (51.76). Palaj of Bristol co-op was the winner in 50.29.
Staples junior Riley Twiss took top honors in the 100 freestyle, winning the event in 46.58. Clark placed fourth (47.84), while Dilascia finished fifth (48.31). Flakstad, a sophomore, gave GHS a second-place finish in the 500 freestyle (4:40.03), while teammates Hunter Daur, a senior, (4:51.98) and Alexander Khilko, a junior, (4:54.97), were sixth and eighth, respectively.
North Haven co-op won the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:26.88, while Westhill-Stamford finished second (1:27.28) and Greenwich (Jee, Clark, Dilascia, Andrew Dyment) were right behind them in third (1:27.41).
Bucaria was the 100 breaststroke champion, clocking in at 56.29 and DiLascia took the silver medal (57.58) and Hake, a senior, was fourth (59.82) in the race. Jacob (52.03) and Flaherty, a junior, (52.88) were fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 100 backstroke, which saw junior Brendan Conners from North Haven co-op win the title in 50.02.
Flakstad, Clark, Bucaria and Jee capped the meet by winning the 400 freestyle relay in 3:08.58. Besides being a championship meet, the Class LL Championships also served as a qualifier for the CIAC State Open, which takes place Saturday, also at Cornerstone. The Cardinals should be in prime position to contend for another State Open team title after Wednesday’s winning performance at the Class LL competition.