For the seniors on the Greenwich High School girls swimming team, Monday’s meet against Staples marked the final home dual meet of their respective high school careers, so of course, they were intent on performing at their optimum level on an occasion that’s always special to the program – Senior Day.
As the results indicate, the Cardinals’ seniors certainly enjoyed a successful Senior Day.
Winning 11 of 12 events, Greenwich capped its dual meet season with a 103-78 win over FCIAC opponent Staples. With the victory, the defending State Open, Class LL and FCIAC champion Cardinals improved their home dual meet/regular season record to 7-4. Greenwich, which has a roster that includes a lot of freshmen and sophomores, has lost to Glastonbury, Ridgefield, Cheshire and most recently, Darien. The Cardinals cap their regular season on Thursday with a meet against Fairfield Warde at Fairfield University.
Senior quad-captain Javiera Garcia was one of the seven seniors the team paid tribute to during its postmeet Senior Day ceremony. Garcia, a standout diver, once again sparkled on the 1-meter diving board for the Cardinals. She won the meet’s diving event, which included six rounds, with a score of 239.90 points.
Garcia earned scores of 7, 6.5, 6.5 on her front 1 1/2 dive from the pike position in the first round and earned a score of 7 on her second dive. Her sixth and final dive saw her earn scores of 8.5, 7.5, 7.
“It felt really good, it was my last dive here at this school, so it was very emotional, because a lot of the people who have been with me the last four years were here to watch me dive, so it felt really special to me,” Garcia said of competing on Senior Day. “It’s one of my favorite dives and I always finish every single meet with that dive, so it being my last dive at this pool was really special.”
The Cardinals’ senior diver will take her skills to Fordham University’s Division I program next season. She is aiming to have another productive and highly successful championship season for the Cardinals after experiencing an enjoyable dual meet season this fall.
“I’ve loved it so far, it’s one of my favorite seasons out of the four years,” Garcia said. “The team is really close and tight-knit and I really couldn’t have asked for a better season.”
Mia Guster finished second on the 1-meter diving board for Staples with a score of 236.40, while teammate Kate Whitaker was third (221.60). Greenwich diving coach Liv DiLascia appreciates the great effort Garcia has given to the diving squad.
“Javy has been a wonderful contributor, a wonderful person to have around,” DiLascia said. “She’s helped me, she’s helped with other girls, especially the newer ones. She’s helped encourage everyone, keeping them on the right track. Today was a really good meet for her and she won the meet. She has been a great leader for the team.”
Junior Ava Vranos finished fourth in diving for the Cardinals (191.20) and Mackenzie Newi, also a junior, was sixth (187.25).
“Ava had a great meet, she trains really hard and takes pride in her work,” DiLascia said. “Our divers have great expectations going into the championship portion of the season. We are going to keep putting in as much work as we can.”
Matilda Mancini, a senior quad-captain, posted a time of 1:06.58 to win the 100-yard breaststroke race for Greenwich. Teammate Annabelle Guarnera, a junior quad-captain, was second in 1:07.58, while sophomore Sloan Robinson of Staples placed third (1:10.03).
“Me winning my event for the first time was a special moment for me,” said Mancini, who was also happy about the squad’s Senior Day ceremony.
“It’s just so exciting, because I remember being a freshman and thinking, ‘wow that’s really far away’ and here I am now,” Mancini noted. “We’ve all come so far since my freshman year and we have all grown a lot. Just not as swimmers and divers, but also as people. My senior year on the team has been so exciting. I’ve done a lot better than I expected and I think all the swimmers and divers have too. We’ve all grown a lot as a team.”
Senior Daisy Decker gave the Cards two individual wins, placing first in the 200-yard freestyle and 500 freestyle. Decker won the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:03.33 and finished first in the 500 freestyle in 5:27.10.
“The 2 free and 5 free are my main events,” Decker said. “I was definitely happy to get a victory in both of those. My times – I dropped in the 500, which was nice, it is my season best right now. I was happy with how I swam today. It was good for our team to come out and have a win today.”
Staples’ Libby Turner was the runner-up in the 200 freestyle (2:03.92), while Cardinals freshman Wesley Wales took third in 2:06.42. Danielle Schwartz of the Wreckers finished second in the 500 freestyle (5:28.64), followed by GHS senior Samantha Ings (5:37.20).
The freshman foursome of Hannah Flakstad, Isa Guzman, Melissa Geiger and Julia Pierson combined for a winning time of 2:03.52 in the 200-yard medley relay – a great way for the Cardinals to start the meet. Junior Julia Costello produced a first-place finish for GHS in the 200 individual medley (2:27.79), while Flakstad took second (2:30.83) and Guzman placed third (2:31.42).
Sydney Jee, a junior quad-captain, continued her successful campaign, winning the 50 freestyle in 26.17, edging Staples’ Kira Tomoda (26.85). Geiger placed third in 27.14, followed by teammate Tess Furno, a junior (27.30).
Jee also took top honors in the 100 butterfly, clocking in at 1:02.49. Wreckers freshman Carly Waldman was second in 1:03.62.
Wales touched the wall first for the Cards in the 100 freestyle (58.31) and just behind her was Guarnera (58.59). Staples won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:46.44, while Greenwich freshman Julia Pierson had the meet’s best time in the 100 backstroke (1:10.89).
Decker reflected on her four-year varsity swim career as a member of the Cardinals.
“Being on the team four years now, they’ve all been really different,” she said. “My freshman year ended right before we went into COVID. We didn’t have a championship season sophomore year. Last year, I got switched into the distance group and this year, I’ve been put all over, so it’s been different every year I’ve come back to the team.
“We definitely ended on a high note tonight,” Decker continued. “With it being Senior Night, it’s sad my dual meet season is almost over, but we have championship season and I’m ready to see what everyone has.”
Greenwich’s seven seniors include: Sabina Csak, Decker, Garcia, Isy Goldfarb, Samantha Ings, Ellen Norell and Mancini.
In a meet against Darien this past Wednesday, the Cardinals dropped a 106-78 decision to the Blue Wave, who have a powerhouse squad this season.
Jee won the breaststroke race for Greenwich, posting a time of 1:07.56. She also placed second in the 200 individual medley (2:12.45), which was won by Darien junior Miller Ward (2:07.37). Ward also won the 100 freestyle in 54.88.
“It was a hard race, but I’m happy with how I did, especially the IM, because I was really tired,” Jee said, following the Darien meet. “I think that we’re a really humble team, this helped us see how we have big competition and I think that helped us. I think we did really well considering that we are in training and working hard in practice. Everyone did awesome. We’ve been working on turns and working really hard in bettering ourselves on the little things.”
Against Darien, Decker finished second in the 500 freestyle (5:31.48). Darien’s Erin Luecke was the 500 freestyle winner in 5:24.99. Decker also took second vs. the Blue Wave in the 200 freestyle (2:03.29).
“They’re a really good team, with most of our girls being sick the last week-and-a-half, two weeks, we really came out and gave it our all,” Decker said of the team’s meet against Darien.” I know I was sick the last couple of weeks and to come out and do my normal events it was definitely different than meets we’ve had in the past.”
Said GHS coach Brendan Heller: “Darien is very good. They had a great meet, they’ve very well coached and they have a lot of talent. But my team was competitive today, so I’m proud of their efforts. This was probably our best meet of the season, though it wasn’t reflected in the score.”
Categories: Fall sports, Greenwich High
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