Swimming and diving: Foran adding to record-setting ledger

The Foran High girls swimming and diving team continues to raise the bar, in spite of losing some All-State swimmers over the past two seasons.

Head coach Kristin Skuches’ Lady Lions set seven school records and landed five athletes on the All-State team, along with having their first ever SCC champions in 2015, finishing sixth in Class S with 296 team points, their highest ranking in 20 years.

For an encore, Foran ended the 2016 season with five more All-State athletes and a fifth-place showing in Class M scoring a team total of 424 points.

The Lions came into this season needing to replace state finalist Nicole Eschweiler and Sarah Fitzgerald, a two time All-State swimmer and three time state champion.

“With the graduation of our last senior class, we’re working to fill those spots with a large freshman class full of strong contributors,” said Skuches.

Foran is brimming with talent, led by senior captains Gaby Tunucci, Emma Longley, Emily Sportini and Ava Corsi along with seniors Arianna Chen, Shea Phelan, Natasha Mora and Letizia Braglia.

Longley, a two-time All State diver, is the school record holder, 2015 SCC champion and 2016 state champion.

Corsi, a two-time All State swimmer, holds the school record in the 50 freestyle.

She earned All-State honors a year ago as a member of the medley relay team.

Sportini is an All-State swimmer and 2016 state medley relay champion.

Sophomore Jordan MacDonald is an All-State swimmer and 2016 state champion in the 100 butterfly and medley relay. She recently recorded a new school record in the 100 freestyle.

“We want to add some new records to our record board,” said Skuches, who along with assistant coaches Meghan Condon and diving coach Pat Simon have the Lions at 5-5 on the season. “Sophomore Jordan MacDonald took down the 100 freestyle record in a dual meet against Daniel Hand with a time of 55.25.”

Foran also returns 2016 state finalists seniors Brianna Laggis (diving) and Sophia Troanska (breaststroke) along with juniors Claire Koppy (diving) and Ana O’Connor (distance freestyles) and sophomore Emma Bell (distance freestyles).

“We are still looking to add about three or four more girls to our list of state qualifiers,” said Skuches.

A total of 10 athletes have already qualified for this year’s state swim meet, including seniors Corsi, Longley, Laggis and Troanska, juniors Koppy, O’Connor and Regan Taylor, sophomores MacDonald and Bell along with freshman Kaya Vital.

“Our depth is what keeps us competitive in each meet,” said Skuches, about the contributions from juniors Isabelle Connelly (backstroke), Jeunne Mariano (fly/free) and Reilly Deschaine (diving) along with sophomores Jessica Anderson (backstroke), Lexi Burwell (diving), Bella McPadden (fly/breaststroke) and Renee Robles (free/fly).

In their last meet in Wallingford, the Lady Lions dropped a tough 94-92 decision to Lyman Hall. MacDonald led the way as a double winner, taking first in the 200 freestyle in 2:02.00 and in the 100 fly in a time of 59.43.

Longley won the diving competition, putting up a score of 276.15.

Corsi had a first place effort of 57.63 in the 100 freestyle.

The 400 freestyle relay team of Arianna Chen, O’Connor, Bell and MacDonald raced to a first place finish.

Skuches is excited about the development of the large freshman class that is showing versatile talent. Amay Bernal and Jenna Cichowski (diving), freestyle swimmers Chloe Oliver, Brittany Soriano and Brianna Verdejo along with Kaitlyn Adkins (breaststroke), Jillian Goldbeck (backstroke) and Emily Eschweiler (distance freestyle).

Foran will meet crosstown rival Law next Monday for a Senior Night celebration to end the regular season.