GREENWICH -- The Greenwich High School boys swimming team has a way of turning the FCIAC Championships into a race for second place.

Though the diving portion of the league championships still has to take place and the final team scores aren't official, the Cardinals clinched yet another title and they did so by using their greatest strength -- their superior depth.

The Cardinals didn't have the most first-place finishes Thursday night, but they saw plenty of swimmers finish among the top five in both the championship and consolation heats. The result? Greenwich won the FCIAC title for the fifth consecutive season and garnered the first-place trophy for the 41st time in 42 years before its home crowd, amassing 359.50 points.

"It was a fantastic meet for our team," Greenwich senior captain Matt Fraser said. "A lot of people were saying that we were too young a team to win it this year, but our kids stepped up and really showed what they can accomplish."

"I can't tell you how delighted I am with this team," Greenwich coach Terry Lowe said. "I'm so proud of our team. So many guys gave us great swims tonight."

New Canaan was in second place heading into Friday's diving championships with 267 team points, followed by Staples, which was powered by junior Nathaniel Boley -- the meet's high-point champion.

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New Canaan began the meet in impressive fashion, defending its league title in the 200-yard medley relay. The Rams touched the wall first in 1:37.63. Greenwich placed second (1:37.87), followed by Westhill/Stamford (1:40.45). Darien senior Jack Bair followed by winning his first individual FCIAC title in the 200-yard freestyle, recording a time of 1:45.11.

Senior Jeff Anderson of Westhill/Stamford was the runner-up (1:45.50) in the 200 freestyle, while Darien junior James Baker placed third (1:46.36).

Opening up a sizable lead in the backstroke, New Canaan junior John Santoro took home the 200-yard individual medley, posting a winning time of 1:54.47. Santoro finished slightly behind Boley for the high-point title. Westhill/Stamford junior Mike Hopkins finished second in 1:58.27, while Ridgefield senior Grayson Smith took third (1:58.58).

Ian Robert, a senior gave New Canaan a victory in the 50 freestyle, clocking in at :21.71. He edged Wilton sophomore Tommy Kealy in a tight finish (:21.79). Greenwich freshman Ed Moss was right behind them, finishing third in :21.95.

After watching Robert claim the 50 freestyle title, New Canaan junior Austin Wolff was more determined than ever to win the 100 butterfly. Taking it out strong, Wolff convincingly won the butterfly in :50.98. Anderson of Westhill/Stamford was second (:52.53), followed by Wilton's Sean Higgins (55:56).

"I saw my teammates go out there and win, so I wanted to finish first as well," Wolff said. "I had second-place finishes the past two years, so finishing first here tonight was one of my main goals."

The 100 freestyle went down to the wire, as Staples' Boley (:47.16) edged Cardinals sophomore Alex Lewis (:47.44) for the top spot. Tyler Gould of Darien (:47.67) was also in the mix.

"I look forward to this meet all year," Boley said.

Grayson Smith continued Ridgefield's strong tradition in the 500 freestyle. Last year, senior Andrew Klutey won the event and Thursday, Smith garnered the first-place medal for the Tigers. Smith touched the wall in 4:44.13, Mason Molina took second (4:44.45) and Jonathon Blansfield was third 4:45.19.

"I swam behind Andrew Klutey for years, so it was nice to keep it going for the team in the 500," Smith said. "I was real happy with my time in the 200 as well. There was a lot of strong competition in that event, so finishing second was a good accomplishment."

Santoro's second victory came when he registered a time of :59.19 in the 100 breaststroke. Norwalk junior Sherman Lau placed second.

"I knew Santoro was a great swimmer and he was going to go real fast, so I was just determined to stay close to him and give it my all," Lau said.

Boley captured the backstroke crown, breaking a 14-year state record with a winning time of :51.84.

david.fierro@scni.com; 203-625-4423