MONROE -- Teams and athletes always want to peak at the end of the season -- championship time -- and New Canaan High School's boys' swim team seems to be doing just that. New Canaan swam in the Class L State Championship qualifying meet at Masuk High on Saturday. The team members continued to impress coach Jason Paige as they worked toward Wednesday's championships.

"We've worked really hard all year long, focusing on the end of the season," Paige said.

After losing an early-season meet to Westhill-Stamford, the Rams got the better of their opponents in the FCIAC Championships en route to a runner-up finish behind Greenwich.

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"They were smokin' fast at FCIACs," said Paige, adding that he's looking forward to carryover in the State championships. "I think they can do great things this year."

Paige has been impressed with the overall depth of his team. "They've all really been carrying their own load. The team hasn't been looking to one guy," Paige said. "It's a team effort."

Among those who have shown great improvement during the course of the campaign are Ian Robert and Jason Potter, the coach said.

In the qualifying meet, Robert earned the No. 2 seed in the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 22.01. New Canaan had a one-two placement in the 100 butterfly with Austin Wolff finishing in 52.06 and Patrick Sweeney next in 52.84. Potter got the top seed in the 100 free with a time of 47.06. The 200 free relay team of John Santoro, Sweeney, Karl Reinhardt and Potter took the top spot in 1:28.87 and the 400 relay group of Wolff, Robert, Santoro and Potter earned the No. 1 seed with a time of 3:14.49. Henry Lloyd got the No. 2 spot in the 200 free in 1:57.67.

With Greenwich out of the picture, competing in the LL finals, New Canaan's biggest competition stands to come from rival Darien.

"Throughout my four years of swimming, Darien has always been our biggest competition," Lane said. "They're always nice to race because they're our biggest competition."

No matter how the Rams and their foes from Darien do in the championships, if the preliminaries were any indication, the finals will be a thrilling experience for all of those involved.

"It's very exciting," Lane said of the overall championship season, which will continue for the best in the State Open on Saturday. "We're just pumped up to do well."