Greenwich Cards continue swim dynasty, ready for states

GREENWICH – A dynasty that is unto itself continues for the powerhouse that is the Greenwich High School boys’ swimming and diving program.

Coach Terry Lowe’s Cardinals have done it again – winning the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference championship for the ninth straight year and the 45th time in the last 46 years.

Jack Montesi was a double individual champion and a member on two winning relay teams and Alex Jahan also won a pair of individual events and teamed up with Montesi on a winning relay team in the meet’s first event to lead Greenwich to its team title in the 2015-16 FCIAC Boys’ Swimming and Diving Championships on Feb. 26.

Lowe has been Greenwich’s head coach for all 45 of those titles. Lowe’s Cardinals won 36 consecutive conference crowns from 1971-2006 until New Canaan dethroned them in 2007. Greenwich’s record is 47 total FCIAC championships as the Cardinals also won in 1963 and ’66.

This year Greenwich collected 457 team points and finished 60 points ahead of runner-up Darien (397).

New Canaan placed third with 299 while Ridgefield (247) and Staples (218) completed the top five.

Kieran Smith of Ridgefield was also a double individual champion and the fact that he established FCIAC records in those two victories made him a most logical choice to be selected the meet’s Most Outstanding Swimmer. Smith set his first record when he won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:40.05 and he added his second one when he won the 500 free in 4:30.63.

Montesi got his first victory in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.22 and toward the end of the meet he set a new FCIAC record of 50.6 in the 100 backstroke to break the old record of 50.77 set three years ago by his former teammate Alex Lewis.

Jahan won the 200 individual medley (1:55.57) and 100 breaststroke (58.35).

Greenwich swimmers won five of the eight individual swimming events as Nick Handali won the 100 butterfly in 53.51.

Nico Orgtega scored 33 individual points for the Cardinals by placing second in the 500 free (4:37.81) and third in the 200 free (1:44.42).

Any individual swimmer, diver or relay team placing among the top 16 in their respective events scored points for their teams.

Twenty points were awarded for winners, 17 for runner-up finishes, 16 for third place, 15 for fourth, 14 for fifth, and so on with less points for the ensuing lower places in individual events. In the relay events, 40 points went to the winning team, 34 to the runner-up, 32 for third place, etc.

Also placing high to contribute key points for the Cardinals: Nick Hyden was runner-up in the 100 free (48.75) and they received third-place finishes from diver Devon Satir (467.0 points), Aedan Lewis in the 200 IM (1:55.57), and Patrick Clisham in the 100 fly (53.71).

Montesi, Aedan Lewis, Jahan and Conrad Moss got Greenwich rolling when they teamed up to win the 200 medley relay, the meet’s opening swimming event, with a time of 1:35.89. Montesi later anchored the victorious 4×400 freestyle relay (3:14.41) that included Hyden, Handali and Clisham. The quartet of Hyden, Stephan Todovoric, Clisham and Moss teamed up to win the 200 free relay by a scant 1/100th of a second over Darien. Greenwich won with a 1:28.74 and Darien had a 1:28.75.

Patrick Brannigan won the 100 free in 47.29 and was runner-up in the 50 free (21.74) to lead Darien to second place.

Also for the Blue Wave: Steven Kreuck was the diving champion with 494.35 points, Zachary Pear placed second in the 200 free (1:42.34) and third in the 500 free (4:43.21), Cesar Pena was runner-up in the 100 fly (53.69), Timmy Luz placed second in diving (475.5) and Eric Liu was third in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.09).

Andrew Bornstein scored 34 individual points to lead Ridgefield by placing second in both the 200 IM (1:55.79) and 100 breaststroke (58.46).

Edward Rudman was runner-up in the 100 backstroke (53.57) and Luke Stewart took third in the 100 backstroke (56.4) to lead New Canaan.

Wilton got third-place finishes from Derek Benison in the 50 free (21.89) and Ryan Robb in the 100 free (49.27).

NOTES: Lowe’s Cardinals will be looking to defend their Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class LL and State Open titles in the upcoming state championship meets. Greenwich has racked up 40 state Class LL championships since 1971 and 30 State Open titles since 1973. So, all added up, Greenwich has won a combined 117 conference, state Class LL and State Open championship meets.

Alex Jahan of Greenwich swims to a first-place finish in the 200 individual medley at the FCIAC swim finals. — Dave Stewart/HAN Network photo

Alex Jahan of Greenwich swims to a first-place finish in the 200 individual medley at the FCIAC swim finals. — Dave Stewart/HAN Network photo

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