Girls swimming: Cheshire wins 6th straight SCC title
NEW HAVEN — The dynasty continues.
Cheshire continued its domination of the Southern Connecticut Conference by winning its 23rd girls swimming title in 24 years and sixth straight in record-setting fashion Wednesday night at the Moore Fieldhouse on the campus of Southern Connecticut State University.
The Rams scored 1630.5 points to break the meet record for the second consecutive year. Cheshire scored 1405 points in 2016 to easily outdistance Amity. Wednesday night, Lauralton Hall finished second with 845.5 points, while Amity was third with 789.5 points.
“We scored about where we expected,” Cheshire coach Dan Mascolo said. “I didn’t even know that we broke the record, but the record is challenging because they’ve changed the format over the years where everyone in the top 32 scores.”
Cheshire raced out to a commanding lead halfway through the meet, leading Lauralton Hall 807.5 points to 443. It was pretty much over then.
“I was very happy with the way they swam,” Mascolo said. “A lot of girls swam their in-season bests. It’s been my experience when they are having fun, they swim fast.”
They must have been as Cheshire’s Liz Boyer was beaming from ear to ear after the team championship photo was taken.
“It’s such a fun meet for us,” Boyer said. “The atmosphere is so great. It’s my favorite meet of the year.”
Cheshire (Alexandra Tyler, Boyer, Julia Stevens and Esther Han) started off by winning the 200-yard medley relay (1:49.99) topping North Haven (Maddie Bergin, Angela Gambardella, Jasmine Nguy, Laura Borelli) who swam 1:51.90.
Katherine Begg of Lauralton Hall barely outpaced freshman Sophie Murphy of Cheshire in the 200-yard freestyle. Begg swam a 1:56.62, out-touching Murphy by 17/100ths of a second. Emma Parkes of Shelton was third (1:59.1) and Ruby Redlich of Hand fourth (1:59.22).
Angela Gambardella of North Haven, who took three firsts and was the high scorer of the night, won the 200-yard individual medley (2:06.70), while Samantha Grenon of Cheshire was second (2:07.66). Kayla Mendonca of Hand was third (2:12.06) and Caroline Sargent of Lauralton Hall placed fourth.
Louise Kim of Shelton took the 50-yard freestyle (24.05), edging teammate Simona Visinski (24.27). Maddie Bergin of North Haven was third (24.32) and Allie Mascia of Hand placed fourth (24.70).
Julia Stevens of Cheshire (58.38) squeaked by Jordan MacDonald of Foran (58.40) in the 100-yard butterfly. Tyler of Cheshire was third (58.80) and Visinski of Shelton placed fourth (59.26).
Bergin won the 100-yard freestyle (53.27), nipping Kim (53.28). Mascia was third (54.29) and Begg and Parkes tied for fourth (54.75).
Boyer (4:59.72) rolled to an easy victory in the 500-yard freestyle as she won by more than one length of the pool. MacDonald was 12.8 seconds behind in second place at 5:12.52. It was Boyer’s best time of the year. She’s been at 4:52 before.
“It was fun and I was excited to get points for the team,” Boyer said.
Jillian Stevens of Cheshire was third at 5:15.78 and Shannon Lindsey of Cheshire came all the way out of the third heat to finish fourth (5:16.65).
Shelton won the 200-yard freestyle relay (Parkes, Kim, Caitlin McGuire and Visinski) in 1:39.24. Cheshire was second (Jordyn Deubel, Lindsey, Murphy and Tyler) at 1:39.93.
Kayla Mendonca of Hand captured the 100-yard backstroke (56.98), while Laura Rosado of East Haven/Wilbur Cross was second (57.93). Murphy was third (1:00.20) and Boyer fourth (1:00.30).
Gambardella won the 100-yard breaststroke (1:04.33), while Emma Glover of Cheshire (1:09.92) was second. Nicole Cislo of Lyman Hall was third (1:10.15) with Tori Newton of Cheshire fourth (1:10.47).
“I swam my two best times of the year,” Gambardella said. “Our whole team swam great and dropped times too.”
In the final race of the night, Shelton edged Cheshire by 1/100ths of a second in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The Gaels won it at 3:36.07 with Parkes, Kim, Alyssa Bretan and Visinski. Duebel, Murphy, Stevens and Boyer were the foursome for Cheshire.
In diving, which was contested earlier in the week, Emma Longley of Foran won the event (414.45 points), outdistancing Sienna Breton of Cheshire (392.65). Stephanie Silin of Cheshire took third (346.90) and Ava Santacroce of North Haven fourth (342.65).