Fall sports

Greenwich’s girls swimming/diving team tops Trumbull in season-opening meet

Photo by David Fierro: Sydney Jee helped spark Greenwich’s swim team to victory over Trumbull on Sept. 8, 2022.

Winning every event, while receiving contributions from athletes from each grade, Greenwich High School’s girls swimming team certainly began its 2022 season in style on Thursday against visiting Trumbull.

The defending State Open, Class LL and FCIAC champion Cardinals opened their dual meet season with an impressive 97-80 triumph over Trumbull in an FCIAC matchup.

Greenwich (1-0) received two individual victories from junior captain Sydney Jee, who also swam on the team’s winning 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relay squads.

“I thought that we really outdid ourselves,” said Jee, who is coming off a stellar junior season. “I had a lot of confidence in our team, but I was shocked at how the freshmen kicked it off. I think this is the best first meet I’ve ever had.”

A trio of freshmen – Melissa Geiger, Ainsley Sahrbeck and Kaleigh Murphy – teamed up with Jee to win the meet’s opening event – the 200-yard medley relay in 1:56.34.

Photo by David Fierro: Ainsley Sahrbeck was the butterfly winner and swam on the first-place 200-medley relay for GHS.

“It was pretty good, our relay won, so that was good,” Sahrbeck said. “I had a good start I feel like and just tried my best.”

Sahrbeck is pleased to be part of the varsity squad as a freshman.

“I love being on the team,” she said. “It’s been a really good experience and I am really excited for the season. I think it’s going to be a really fun season.”

In the 100-yard butterfly race, Sahrbeck posted a first-place finish, touching the wall in 1:03.89.

The 200-freestyle relay saw Greenwich junior captain Annabelle Guarnera earn top honors with a time of 2:06.80. Senior Abigail Adams placed second for Trumbull in 2:07.97, followed by GHS senior Samantha Ings (2:10.03).

Jee won the 200-yard individual medley for Greenwich, clocking in at 2:13.19. Senior Daisy Decker produced a first-place finish in the 50 freestyle for the Cards, registering a time of 25.73 seconds. Trumbull freshman Alexis Abellard was a blink of an eye behind her in second place (25.81), while Cardinals junior Tess Furno took third (27.09).

Greenwich senior Daisy Decker finished first in the 50-yard freestyle event against visiting Trumbull.

“I definitely was happy with my 50 free, it was my first ever time going 25 with a regular suit – my best time is a little bit lower than that,” Decker said.

On the 1-meter diving board, senior captain Javiera Garcia earned a winning performance, totaling 216.68 points over six rounds. Teammates Ellie Scharf, a junior, Mackenzie Newi, also a junior and Ava Vranos (junior) also executed impressive dives throughout.

“We warmed up and I felt really strong in the warm-up,” Javiera said. “I think I did pretty well overall, but it was only the first meet, so I know it’s only going to go up from here.”

Garcia was highly impressed with her teammates’ efforts on the board.

“All the other divers did really well, so that got me motivated,” she said. “They all did so well, especially for the first meet, because the first meet it’s always a lot scarier than every other meet. They all got really good scores, so I’m really proud of them.”

Javiera Garcia produced a winning effort on the 1-meter diving board for Greenwich against Trumbull.

Coached by Brendan Heller, the Cards received a winning time of 56.15 from Jee in the 100 freestyle. Abelland was second for Trumbull (58.10), while GHS sophomore Emma Stehmann placed third (58.70). Ings won the 500-yard freestyle, showing her endurance in posting a time of 5:36.90. Junior Kristen Racicot was the runner-up for Trumbull (5:46.52) and Guarnera finished third (5:51.48).

Freshman Wesley Wales, Decker, Furno and Murphy combined for a winning time of 1:48.07 in the 200 freestyle relay for the Cardinals, who stopped scoring after the 200 relay (they swam exhibition thereafter).

Geiger had the meet’s top time in the 100 backstroke (1:05.37).

Greenwich freshman Melissa Geiger enjoyed a strong varsity debut in the pool.

“I swam the 100 back and I got close to my best time, so I was happy with that,” Geiger said. “It’s a really great team to be a part of because everyone is supportive and fun.”

Stehman finished with the meet’s top time in the 100 breaststroke (1:12.98), while teammates Julia Costello, a junior, (1:18.76) and freshman Hanna Flakstad (1:19.86) posted solid finishes.

Decker, Guarnera, Jee and Geiger swam a 3:53.31 in the 400 freestyle relay.

Greenwich’s Sydney Jee provided a pair of individual victories for the Cardinals in the season-opener.

“Last year, I wasn’t really in relays, so it’s hard to get back into swimming four events, but I think that it definitely went well,” Jee noted. “We have been training really hard and it went better than expected.”

Greenwich visits Norwalk/McMahon on Tuesday, then will face Fairfield Ludlowe on Friday at Fairfield University.

“It was a good meet, we have a lot of strong freshmen and everyone came out today and showed their best,” Decker said of the season-opening meet against Trumbull. “We have great freshmen who have shown excellence in practice and here in the meet. They showed great energy and fast swims in the pool today.”

Greenwich was victorious in its season-opening meet against Trumbull.

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