NEW HAVEN -- With a comfortable lead heading into the final event of the State Open Girls Swimming Championships, Greenwich High School didn't want to finish the meet without putting a big exclamation point on its victory.

The quartet of Morgan Karetnick, Sam Hill, Kim Hill and Lauren Church did just that, leaving a lasting impression on the Cardinals' memorable 2011 campaign.

The foursome ended the Cardinals' season in style, winning the 400-yard freestyle relay in a State Open and school record time of 3 minutes, 30.40 seconds. The impressive finish put the finishing touch on a day that saw Greenwich amass 480 team points and capture its seventh straight State Open title before a packed house at Yale University.

New Canaan, which held a slim advantage midway through the meet, was the runner-up (431.5), followed by Wilton (371), Darien (331.5) and Trumbull (306).

"Today, it was truly a battle for us," Greenwich coach Dick Hawks said. "New Canaan was tough all the way through. To get ready for this meet a day-and-a-half after winning states was harder than I thought it was going to be, but our team persevered."

Said Karetnick: "This meet is always fun. Year after year it pushes you to your limits and every single year we've kept shining."

While the Cardinals ended the meet strong, its start was also impressive. Church, Katie Evans, Karetnick and Maddie Dunn won the 200-yard medley relay in a meet record time of 1:45.26. Wilton placed second (1:47.27), followed by New Canaan (1:47.82). The same relay broke the state record at the Class LL finals Thursday (1:44.37).

"Our relays are so strong," said senior tri-captain Church, who shattered a state record in winning the 100 backstroke. "We have a bunch of all-stars swimming the relays who train so hard and motivate each other."

"It feels awesome to go out there and win today," Evans said. "We definitely put everything we had out there."

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Pomperaug senior Elizabeth McDonald and Wilton senior Kaylin Moss each won two individual events. McDonald broke a state and pool record in winning the 100-yard freestyle in a time of :50.39. Church placed second (:51.65), followed by St. Joseph senior Katy Luchansky (:51.92) and Brookfield junior Madeline Smart (:52.96).

"I have been coming to these meets with these girls for years, so I knew it was going to be a big challenge for me," McDonald said. "Competing in these races at this level is a lot of fun."

Pomperaug's standout swimmer also touched the wall first in the 50 freestyle (:23.28). New Canaan junior Maddie Rusch tied for second (:23.96), with Amity junior Dana Grindall and GHS junior Maddie Dunn placed fourth (:24.30).

"I'm so proud of my teammates today," McDonald said. "Everyone dropped a huge amount of time today and really swam their best."

Moss took home the 200 individual medley (2:04.34) and 100 breaststroke (1:02.96), while Grindall broke a state and pool record in winning the 100 butterfly (:54.20).

"I knew I had to take it out fast because all of the girls swimming in that heat were real good," Grindall said. "It felt good to look up at the board and see that time."

Ahead from the start, Church won the 100 backstroke in a state record time of :55.11. Theresa Goehring of Mercy took second (:58.21) and Caroline Orem from Darien was third (:58.38) and also took fifth in the 200 IM.

"Everything just came together today," said Church, who will swim at the University of Pennsylvania next fall. "Coach was very inspiring right before the race and told me to get ready."

After helping Greenwich win the 200 medley relay, Dunn swam well in the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke (10th).

"I was real happy with my split in the 200 medley relay and tried to carry it over into the 50 freestyle," Dunn said. "I knew every point mattered today, so I tried to give it everything I had."

Rusch, who placed third in the butterfly after finishing second in the 50 freestyle, led New Canaan along with Adelyn Graf (fifth in 100 backstroke) and Erin Dunstan (fourth in 100 breaststroke). The Rams fell behind in the meet for the first time after the 100 freestyle, as the Cardinals held a 277-271.5 edge.

"It was an unbelievable meet for us," New Canaan coach David Fine said. "I couldn't have asked for anything more from our team. They did exactly what they needed to do to be successful."

This marked the third consecutive year Greenwich won both the Class LL and State Open titles after placing second at the FCIAC Championships.

"The FCIAC meet is a hard meet for us because it comes in the middle of our training and it's a little bit of a mental thing for us," Dunn said. "Our fast suits we're wearing today also make a difference."

Luchansky enjoyed her final high school meet, recording third place finishes in both the 100 and 200-yard freestyle.

"I'm real happy with my swims in those events against such tough competition," Luchansky said. "Just qualifying for the Open is an accomplishment, so to get best times is very exciting. It's definitely been a memorable four years for me."

Alyssa Storino (second in 100 breaststroke), Caitlin Cole (sixth in 200, 500 freestyle), and Shannan Ahearn (third in 200 IM) paced Trumbull.

"The past four years our seniors have put us on the map," Trumbull coach Michael Ferraro said. "From where we were to finishing fifth at the Open is incredible."

Senior Megan Gray had an eighth-place finish in the 50 freestyle for Westhill/Stamford and was sixth in the butterfly.

Hawks was to be soaking wet following the meet after taking a celebratory dip in the pool with his team.

"It's always a good sign when my clothes are wet after this meet," Hawks said. "I didn't bring a change of clothes because I thought it would be bad luck."

For the Cardinals' seniors, the meet was the end of a journey they won't forget.

"I will cherish these memories forever," the Princeton-bound Karetnick said. "It's been a great four years."