Record-breaking season for Foran swim team

The Foran High girls swim team is on a record pace to better last seasons 5-7-1 record. The Lions are off to a good start under head coach Kristin Skuches, with a 2-3 ledger, and have already shattered a few records along the way.

On Sept. 22, Foran dropped a tough 94-92 battle with Sacred Heart Academy but sophomore diver Emma Longley dusted off the record books when she broke a 13-year mark scoring a 255.50 in the diving competition.

The Lions roared out to an early lead taking first place in the 200-medley relay with the foursome of Emily Sportini, Erica Hanson, Sarah Fitzgerald and Ava Corsi putting up a winning time of 2:01.84.

Fitzgerald also took first place in the 200 IM at 2:18.06 and Corsi raced to victory in the 50 freestyle with a blistering pace of 26.66. Longley created a lot of excitement setting the new school record in diving to keep Foran out in front.

The Pacers battled back taking first place in the next four events to take over the lead. Sportini broke the string when she swam to victory in the 100 backstroke, but it wasn’t enough as Sacred Heart Academy closed out the meet winning the final two events to escape with the two-point victory.

“That was a great meet,” said Skuches. “We gave it everything we had and for Emma to break the record it was just an incredible performance. I’m pretty happy at where we are at this point in the season. Last year we had a large freshman class come in that had experience swimming competitively. They are the core of the team’s future for the next four years and they have stepped into even bigger roles this year.

“But the influence of our seniors is the reason for our success. They are the best leaders we’ve had in quite some time. They time the girls coming out of the locker room and we have never missed starting a practice on time.”

Leading the Lions are senior captains Erica Hanson and Hannah Buckley, and classmates Jessica Lavallee, Alexa Newall and Caitlin O’Halloran.

“Erica is a four-time state finalist and Hannah is a three-time state finalist,” said Skuches. “Jessica is our senior diver and she has already qualified for the SCC and is closing in on qualifying for the states. So we have girls who have been there and know what it takes to compete at that level and can help the younger girls get ready for that.”

Junior Sarah Fitzgerald is another record holder for the Lions, who set the school record in the breaststroke as a freshman and broke the mark again last year by three seconds. Fitzgerald was a top eight finisher in the Class S meet and just missed going to the State Open by less than a second.

Last week, Foran raced to its second win of the season earning a 100-80 victory over West Haven. Fitzgerald was a double winner in the 50 freestyle at 28.20 and the 500 freestyle setting a grueling pace of 5:50.24.

Corsi was also a double winner in the 200 IM and the 100 butterfly. Longley, who was a seventh place finisher in last year’s Class S meet. continued her dominance on the board scoring a first place 193.40.

The Lions put the win in the books by winning the 200 medley relay with Isabella Connelly, Fitzgerald, Hannah Buckley and Corsi racing to a 2:07.91 finish, and the foursome of Nicole Eschweiler, Maddie Buckley, Hannah Buckley and Corsi taking first in the 200 freestyle relay at 1:59.02.

Foran ran into a tough Sheehan squad last Friday and came up on the short end of a 99-85 final margin. Corsi led the way as a double winner in the 50 and 100 freestyle, with Fitzgerald taking first in the 200 IM. Longley broke the 200-point mark in diving with a score of 251.65 to finish first. The 400 freestyle relay team of Arianna Chen, Ana O’Connor, Connelly and Eschweiler finished first at 4:47.24.

The Lions have the kind of depth that will keep them competitive heading down the stretch of the season, with juniors Kylie Carino, Desiree Lazo, Sarah Luzzi, Brianna Rembert, Sydney Taylor, Juliana Tuozzola and Alexis Utz.

“We have a lot of young talent on this team and I expect that they will make a huge impact at the SCC meet,” said Skuches. “There is a lot of diversity in the group. Arianna Chen is a sprinter, Shea Phelan in the backstroke, Emily Sportini in the sprints and freestyle, Sophia Troanska in the breaststroke and Gabrielle Tunucci in the distance. Not only are we young, but we can cover all the events.”

  The Lions have a strong core of younger swimmers to pick up the slack, with sophomores Hailey McGinnis, Natasha Mora, Emma Perry, Catie Stiffler and Mikayla Perry along with freshman Reilly Deschaine, Claire Koppy and Regan Taylor.