When you walked into the GHS pool immediately you felt the importance of this meeting between Fairfield Prep and Greenwich. The meet did not have any consequences except bragging rights but the feel was anything but meaning less to the swimmers. The first thing that strikes you is the number of swimmers these teams have as the pool was filled in every lane, the water churning but surprisingly all that was heard was the sound of swimming. Coaches quietly looking on trying to show they were relaxed and ready just as in every other meet, mission failed. The fans were buzzing but in an eerily quiet manner. I think it’s safe to say there were nerves all around. Let the games begin!
The two power houses sent their teams up to the blocks for the 200 Medley Relay each knowing this could set the tone for the meet. “Take your Mark…. Beep, it was on! Liam Colleraon gave the Jesuits and Oliver Rus a half body length lead and by the time Rus finished his leg the lead grew to over a body length, Yarmoussik and Duffy finished the race with a strong 1:37.07 win. Patrick Clisham would balance the excitement when he dominated the 200 Free in 1:49.00 to heighten the Cardinals emotions. Freshman Richard Nolan had the task of grabbing some of that electricity in the air for Prep and he did not disappoint when he motored to a 1:58.64 200 IM win. Greenwich then put Aedan Lewis and Conrad Moss on the blocks in attempts to remedy the Cardinals short fall, Lewis and Moss garnered a 1 –2 finish in the 50 Free posting a 22.55 – 22.59 to out do the 22.88 of Prep’s Duffy. Low and behold the meet was tied 31-31 going into diving.
Greenwich would take no prisoners in the diving event as they ran the table with a sweep putting Greenwich up by ten points, 44 – 34. Greenwich was lead by Justin Sokoloff with a score of 318.45 highlighted by 8’s and 9’s on one of his dives. Although anticipated Prep seemed to be feeling this result heavily.
This could be the straw that broke the camels back for Prep but only the back half of the meet would tell. The 100 fly would make Patrick Clisham the first to win two individual events in the meet when he posted a 53.69. This set up a heads up between the two teams best swimmers, Aedan Lewis and Oliver Rus, in the 100 free. Rus would get out to a quick lead and never looked back as he one the 100 free in the season’s best time of 47.43. The Jesuits were down by ten with four events left and many thought the result had been cast except Prep’s 500 free swimmers. Nolan, Riina and Biebel did the unthinkable when they swept the 500 free giving Nolan his second individual win with a 4:56.12. Prep’s emotional energy elevated 10 fold after the score was tied once again.
The next event was 200 free relay and Moss, O’leary, Clsiham and Lewis knew they needed to win and they did in spectacular fashion with a time of 1:29.93. Greenwich added the 3rd place to put the Cardinals up by six with 3 events left.
In the next event Prep needed grab some points. The favorite Liam Colleran did not disappoint as he posted a season best of 53.03 but Ethan Keyes of Prep became the star in this event as he out touched Matt Li of Greenwich to take second place which put Prep up by two points. Oliver Rus would secure his second win of the meet in a blistering 59.32 100 Breast swim.
Well it happened, in one of the most anticipated meets of the year it all came down the final event. Greenwich needed a first and third place to win the meet and Prep needed to win the event. The team of Nolan, Yarmoussik Colleran and Rus did what they needed to do by winning the 400 Free Relay in 3:18.72 to win the meet. It was Prep that took first and third to walk away with a 98-88 win against perennial power Greenwich, this was only the fifth time Pre has enjoyed a win against Greenwich.
These tow teams will meet again in the Class LL Championships and if history is any indication, Greenwich will be back in force and we will see round two!
200-yard medley relay — 1. Fairfield Prep (Liam Colleran, Oliver Rus, Stanislav Yarmoussik, Martin Duffy) 1:37.07; 200-yard freestyle — 1. Patrick Clisham (G) 1:49.00; 200-yard individual medley — 1. Richard Nolan (FP) 1:58.64; 50 freestyle — 1. Aedan Lewis (G) 22.55; Diving — 1. Justin Sodokoff (G) 318.45; 100 butterfly — 1. Patrick Clisham (G) 53.69; 100 freestyle — 1. Oliver Rus (FP) 47.43; 500 freestyle — 1. Richard Nolan (FP) 4:56.12; 200 freestyle relay — 1. Greenwich (Conrad Moss, Brian O’Leary, Patrick Clisham, Aedan Lewis) 1:29.93; 100 backstroke — 1. Liam Colleran (FP) 53.03; 100 breaststroke — 1. Oliver Rus (FP) 59.32; 400 freestyle relay 1. Fairfield Prep (Richard Nolan, Stanislav Yarmoussik, Liam Colleran, Oliver Rus) 3:18.72.