Blue Wave swims past New Canaan, 118-68
The goal for Darien girls swimming and diving in 2014 is simple: keep the FCIAC, Class L and State Open titles at home for a third consecutive year. And yet, en route to this fall's end-of-season medal ceremonies, the Blue Wave may accomplish something the program failed to do during its past two campaigns: an undefeated season.
In a home dual meet Wednesday, Darien toppled rival New Canaan, 116-68, to move to 6-0, one week after besting perennial state power Greenwich on the road. The Blue Wave swept both the 200-meter individual medley and 100-meter backstroke and claimed eight first-place finishes in the 12 meet events.
Both teams entered competition at 5-0 and must now await probable rematches at the conference and state title meets. In the meantime, Darien will work to keep its perfect record intact with four regular-season meets left.
"We still have meets coming up, but that's our goal," Darien senior Mackenzie Coughlin said. "We're going to stay undefeated and work harder. We're not done yet. We still have a month and a half, and we're still getting down to business."
While encouraged by the performances of his younger swimmers, New Canaan coach David Fine admitted the disappointing result revealed which areas the Rams must improve upon to win at a championship level.
"We've got a lot of work to do," Fine said. "They're the Open champions, they're the best team in the state, and if we want to be up there with them, we've got a lot of work to do and a lot of things to really work on."
Despite slipping off the starting blocks, Wave junior Lauren Rutledge took second place in the 50-meter freestyle, and raced with Darien's top-finishing 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams. Darien captain Courtney Ferreira anchored the latter relay lineup and won both the 100 freestyle and 200 individual medley. She, along with Rutledge, Phoebe Slaughter, Maddy Hauben, Maggie Orem and Becca Maroney, was a part of a group Blue Wave coach Marj Trifone said stood out on the afternoon.
"When you have a competitive meet like that you can see who steps up, who's competitive, who really wants it, who's not afraid of their races," Trifone said. "And that helps you in your championship season. I thought we swam very tough today ¦ We had a lot of really nice, tough swims."
Rams junior Meghan Egan touched first during the 200 freestyle in 1:56:22, shortly before New Canaan's Katie Colwell and Maddie Smith took first and third, respectively, in the 50 freestyle. A malfunction with the timing pads then set off a 15-minute break, after which the Rams only won one event, the 100 breaststroke. Lizzy Colwell swam an event-best 1:10:33 and later anchored her team's second-place 400 freestyle team.
Moving forward, Trifone fully expects to see New Canaan again with even more on the line.
"It's a rivalry for us so everyone gets up for it. They're a very good team, and Dave Fine is an awesome coach. They will do awesome in the championship season as they always do, and they will be right there with us in the end of the state meet and at the Open meet," she said. "I think it's going to be a battle all the way through."
Darien 118, New Canaan 68
200 medley relay--1. Darien (Rebecca Maroney, Phoebe Slaughter, Maggie Orem, Lauren Rutledge) 1:48.44; 200 freestyle relay--1. Megan Egan (NC) 1:56.22; 200 individual medley--1. Courtney Ferreira (D) 2:03.12; 50 freestyle--1. Katie Colwell (NC) 24:36; Diving--1. Kylie Towbin (NC); 100 butterfly--1. Maggie Orem (D) 1:00.14; 100 freestyle--1. Courtney Ferreira (D) 53.68; 500 freestyle--1. Katie Murray (D) 5:18.41; 200 freestyle relay--1. Darien (Emily Nixon, Emma Jacques, Mackenzie Coughlin, Courtney Ferreira) 1:41.58; 100 backstroke--1. Maggie Orem (D) 1:02.91; 100 breaststroke--1. Lizzy Colwell (NC) 1:10.33; 400 freestyle relay--1. Darien--(Lauren Rutledge, Phoebe Slaughter, Belle Stobbie, Courtney Ferreira) 3:39.84 Records: Darien 6-0, New Canaan 5-1