The Greenwich High School boys swimming team usually gains momentum as the season progresses and is at its absolute strongest during the postseason. Watching the Cardinals produce one impressive swim after another during Tuesday's meet against New Canaan, they appear to already be in championship form.
Thomas Dillinger and Alex Lewis each won two individual events for five-time defending FCIAC champion Greenwich, which improved to 4-0 on the season with a convincing 115-68 victory over visiting conference rival New Canaan.
"I thought we had a very solid meet from beginning to end," veteran Cardinals coach Terry Lowe said. "We pulled out some tough races and had some really good swims for this time of year."
Dillinger, a sophomore, won the 200-yard freestyle in 1 minute, 48.68 seconds and took first in the 500 freestyle (4:57.43). He also helped power the Cardinals' winning 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams.
"The 200 was one of my best events today," Dillinger said. "I've been working on my kick a lot and it's starting to pay off. Today, we relied on our depth to win the meet and it worked out. Our team is looking very strong at this point of the season."
Stephen Skaperdas placed second in the 200 freestyle for a young New Canaan team, which is 1-2.
"We're still trying to figure out our whole team this year," Rams coach David Fine said. "To come out here against one of the best teams in the state was a good opportunity to see where we stand. By the end of the season, I think we will all be together."
Leading from the first lap, Lewis touched the wall first in the 100 freestyle (:49.86) and won the 100 backstroke (:55.42). New Canaan's Thomas Dunstan was the runner-up 100 freestyle (:51.05), while Greenwich's Jack Montesi placed second in the backstroke (:55.82).
"It's a great win for us," Lewis said. "Coach said it was going to be a close meet, so we're proud of ourselves that we came out on top by a lot. It takes good, hard swims to win a meet like this and we came through with those."
Junior Andrew Stotesbery (200 individual medley, 2:04.30) and sophomore Ed Moss (50 freestyle, :21.93) each won their respective events for the Cardinals, who led 43-19 entering the diving portion of the meet. Junior Julian Fraser (50 freestyle, :22.79), Montesi (100 butterfly, :55.06) and senior John Enquist (500 freestyle, 5:15.04) had second-place finishes for the victors.
"We have been training really hard, we had doubles over Christmas break and it's really been paying off," Dillinger said.
The Rams received a winning performance from junior Bobby Ross on the one-meter diving board. Ross earned an impressive score of 278.30 through six dives.
"He showed a lot of composure," Fine said. "He nailed his first dive and kept steaming along. Bobby has grown and matured mentally and I think, has the makings of a champion."
Junior diver Jeff Aselin finished second for Greenwich (260.50), earning scores of 7.5, 7, 8 on one of his back dives.
"We are super pleased with Jeff's diving, it was his best by 30 points," Lowe said. "He really took some of the best divers in the state today and put forth an impressive performance."
Skaperdas won the 100 butterfly (:54.60) and Ned Thunem finished first in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.91), followed by Stephan Pla (1:03.11) for the Rams. The Cards swept the relays, winning the 200 medley (1:41.52), the 200 freestyle (1:30.01) and the 400 freestyle (3:25.11).
"We have a few adjustments to make, but the team is doing really well so far," Lewis said. "Our young guys are gaining experience and have really been coming through for us."
GREENWICH 115, NEW CANAAN 68
200-yard medley relay -- 1. Greenwich (Alex Lewis, Andrew Stotesbery, Julian Fraser, Edward Moss) 1:41.52; 200 freestyle -- 1. Thomas Dillinger (G) 1:48.68; 200 individual medley -- 1. Andrew Stotesbery (G) 2:04.30; 50 freestyle -- 1. Moss (G) :21.93; Diving -- 1. Bobby Ross (NC) 278.30; 100 butterfly -- 1. Stephen Skaperdas (NC) :54.60; 100 freestyle -- 1. Alex Lewis (G) :49.86; 500 freestyle -- 1. Thomas Dillinger (G) 4:57.43; 200 freestyle relay -- 1. Greenwich (Ben Wurst, Julian Fraser, Thomas Dillinger, Ed Moss) 1:30.01; 100 backstroke -- 1. Alex Lewis (G) :55.42; 100 breaststroke -- 1. Ned Thunem (NC) 1:02.91; 400 freestyle relay -- 1. Greenwich (Ben Wurst, Matthew Fraser, Thomas Dillinger, Alex Lewis) 3:25.11.
Records: Greenwich 4-0; New Canaan 1-2.