Greenwich captures swimming and diving crown; Staples’ Olasewere named Most Outstanding Swimmer

GREENWICH – Greenwich sophomore Payton Foster won two races very impressively to lead the Cardinals to the team title at the 2021 FCIAC Girls Swimming and Diving Championships on Nov. 6 at the Greenwich High School pool.

Another significant highlight was that Staples’ fabulous freshman, Anna Olasewere, made quite the FCIAC Championships debut. Olasewere was the recipient of the meet’s Most Outstanding Swimmer Award after she swept the two shortest freestyle races by comfortable margins of victory and swam strong legs on the two victorious freestyle relay teams.

Olasewere and Foster were the meet’s only double champions in individual events.

After Greenwich won the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1 minute, 45.93 seconds in the meet’s opening event, Foster kept the momentum rolling for the Cardinals when she won the 200-yard freestyle by 5.32 seconds with her time of 1:50.73.

Foster later won the 100 backstroke by 2.02 seconds with her time of 56.83 to lead a Greenwich sweep of the top three places as teammates Isabella Malchow (58.85) and Sena Bozkurt placed second and third, respectively.

Olasewere had a sizzling winning time of 22.82 in the 50-yard freestyle, which was 1.29 seconds faster than runner-up Natalia Ferranto (24.11) of Darien. Olasewere then won the 100 free with a 50.18 which was 1.03 seconds faster than her runner-up teammate, Jessi Qi. It was Qi’s second runner-up finish as she earlier placed second in the 200 free (1:56.04) behind Foster.

Toward the end of the meet Olasewere was on the victorious 200 freestyle relay team (1:36.27) and 400 freestyle relay team (3:31.87).

Greenwich’s relay teams were a major strength as the Cardinals placed second in those latter two relays after having won the medley relay.

Greenwich cruised to the championship with 405 points and the tight race for the runner-up spot ended up with Ridgefield scoring 340 points to nip defending champion Darien by one point.

Lauren Walsh of Trumbull and Darien’s Miller Ward each swam in both the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly events and each of those swimmers had a victory and a runner-up finish.

Walsh won the 200 IM with 2:02.74 and Ward was runner-up with a 2:03.8. A few events later Ward won the rematch as she had a winning time of 54.88 in the 100 butterfly to beat Walsh (55.21) by 1/3 of a second.

The meet’s other individual champions were New Canaan diver Natalie Penman (439.85 points), Michelle Weissler of Greenwich in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.21), and Wilton’s Virginia Hastings in the 500 freestyle (5:04.74).

The other runner-up finishers included Greenwich diver Annie Bingle (436.7), New Canaan’s Lily Codd in the 500 free (5:06.59) and Norwalk’s Morgan Saunders in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.68).

Darien won the team championship in 2019 and was the defending champion. Last year during the pandemic year there were three regional championships meets.

Greenwich has won three of the last four FCIAC championship meets and has extended its conference record to 30 championships.

Greenwich won 16 consecutive championships from 1980-95 and then 11 straight from 1998-2008.

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