Greenwich dominates in winning another Class LL swimming title

WEST HARTFORD — Greenwich didn’t take the traditional splash in the pool after it took home the CIAC Class LL boys swim championship at the Cornerstone Aquatics. Greenwich coach Terry Lowe didn’t downplay how pleased he was with his team, but Greenwich has one more meet — the State Open — before it will celebrate.

“They swam well. They did the job they had to do to get us ready for Saturday,” said Lowe after his 52nd squad never wavered in posting 873 points to out do Ridgefield (569) and Norwalk-McMahon (538). “There are great swimmers here, and I’m impressed with swimmers from the other divisions. Every year the State Open is a challenge.”

Greenwich has met that challenge 36 times.

“These kids faced a lot of adversity” Lowe said. “At one point because of COVID quarantine we only had four kids at practice. Our 2020 team didn’t get a chance, so seniors Justin Jacob and Ryan Jee were the only members on the team that had swum in a state meet. Our process comes at leagues, states and the Open. This season has been a learning experience.”

Greenwich can look ahead. It was here and now for Mikel Palaj from Bristol coop and Ridgefield’s Jack Clancy.

For Palaj, a senior, it was his last chance to win a title.

For Clancy, a sophomore, it was his first bite at the apple. The tandem came away with a pair of gold medals each.

Palaj won the 50 freestyle in 21 seconds flat. He took the 100 butterfly in 50.29.

“The energy from my family, coaches and teammates powers me,” said Palaj, who will swim at Iona. “I began swimming when I was six-years-old, so this has been a long ride. I thank God every day that I get to wake up and do what I love. These times today were my personal best. I had a hard time going to sleep knowing that this was going to be my last time being with my team at states.”

Clancy finished first in the 200 freestyle (1:40.37) and 500 freestyle (4:32.88).

“My times surprised me. I dropped times in both events from FCIACs (where he was champion),” said Clancy, who was part of Ridgefield’s second place 400 freestyle relay. “In league meets you go against the best. Same thing today. Finishing first and putting together my best times was unexpected but I’m real happy.”

Also earning titles were Greenwich’s Justin Jacob, Michael Dilascia, Matt Hake and Aiden Bucaria (200 medley relay), Ridgefield’s Max Wolfenden (200 IM), Staples’ Riley Twiss (100 freestyle), North Haven coop’s Brendan Conners, Aiden Cohen, Hethon Foster and Finn Henry (200 freestyle relay), North Haven coop’s Brendan Conners (100 backstroke); Greenwich’s Aiden Bucaria (100 breaststroke); and Greenwich’s Felix Flakstad, Kegan Clark, Aiden Bucaria and Ryan Jee (400 freestyle relay).

Whitaker Grover from Greenwich was diving champion with a score of 536.05.

The State Open is Saturday with competition scheduled to begin at 3:15 p.m. at the Aquatics Center.

Class LL Boys Swimming

Team Scores: 1. Greenwich 873; 2. Ridgefield 569; 3. Norwalk-McMahon 538; 4. Glastonbury 424; 5. North Haven Coop 377; 6. Westhill-Stamford 358; 7. Southington 351; 8. Staples 341; 9. Bristol Coop 245; 10. Hamden 227; 11. Platt-Maloney 197; 12. Danbury 113; 13. Trumbull 98; 14. NFA 92; 15. Fairfield Coop 81; 16. West Haven 76; 17. Bunnell-Stratford 70.

200 Yard Medley Relay: 1. Greenwich (Justin Jacob, Michael Dilascia, Matthew Hake, Aiden Bucaria), 1:34.84; 2. Ridgefield (Derek Yin, Max Wolfenden, Kai O’Malley, Luke Mignano), 1:35.60; 3. Norwalk-McMahon (Kalen Anbar, Kris Flores, Finn Cunniffe, Mike Kvashchuk), 1:36.64; 200 Yard Freestyle: 1. Jack Clancy, Ridgefield, 1:40.37; 2. Matthew Weiner, Ridgefield, 1:42.21; 3. Felix Flakstad, Greenwich, 1:44.22; 200 Yard IM: 1. Max Wolfenden, Ridgefield, 1:51.12; 2. Ryan Jee, Greenwich, 1:52.88; 3. Aiden Bucaria, Greenwich, 1:53.44; 50 Yard Freestyle: 1. Mikel Palaj, Bristol Coop, 21.00; 2. Mike Kvashchuk, Norwalk-McMahon, 21.48; 3. John Frankowski, Westhill-Stamford, 21.77; 100 Yard Butterfly: 1. Mikel Palaj, Bristol Coop, 50.29; 2. Ryan Jee, Greenwich, 50.66; 3. Matthew Weiner, Ridgefield, 51.19; 100 Yard Freestyle: 1. Riley Twiss, Staples, 46.58; 2. Mike Kvashchuk, Norwalk-McMahon, 47.10; 3. John Frankowski, Westhill-Stamford, 47.60; 500 Yard Freestyle: 1. Jack Clancy, Ridgefield, 4:32.88; 2. Felix Flakstad, Greenwich, 4:40.03; 3. Campbell McFall, Glastonbury, 4:44.15; 200 Yard Freestyle Relay: 1. North Haven Coop (Brendan Conners, Aiden Cohen, Hethon Foster, Finn Henry), 1:26.88; 2. Westhill-Stamford (Peter Mottolese, Peter Christian, Jaden Jang, John Frankowski), 1:27.28; 3. Greenwich (Ryan Jee, Kegan Clark, Michael Dilascia, Andrew Dyment), 1:27.41; 100 Yard Backstroke: 1. Brendan Conners, North Haven Coop, 50.02; 2. Kalen Anbar, Norwalk-McMahon, 51.81; 3. Nicolas Bennett, Hamden, 51.89; 100 Yard Breaststroke: 1. Aiden Bucaria, Greenwich, 56.29; 2. Michael Dilascia, Greenwich, 57.58; 3. Nathan Stellmach, Bristol Coop, 58.69; 400 Yard Freestyle Relay: 1. Greenwich (Felix Flakstad, Kegan Clark, Aiden Bucaria, Ryan Jee), 3:08.58; 2. Ridgefield (Matthew Weiner, Kai O’Malley, Jack Clancy, Max Wolfenden), 3:11.27; 3. North Haven Coop (Hethon Foster, Aiden Cohen, Finn Henry, Brendan Conners), 3:11.87.

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