The FCIAC Championships is a forgone conclusion, Right? In most years we all could sit back and wait until Greenwich was etched on the champion plaque but this year that doesn’t seem to be the case. This year will be different as New Canaan and Staples have sent the message that they will be in the mix.
The last year Greenwich lost the FCIAC Championship was in 2006-07 season when New Canaan won the meet. Sound familiar? Well it should because this year New Canaan beat Greenwich in a dual meet, but will that translate to the FCIAC meet? New Canaan won nine of the twelve events against Greenwich and used their depth to beat the goliath so one would think they are a sure winner. But what happens when you sprinkle in the frontliners from the other FCIAC schools will New Canaan’s frontliners be able to stack up? If we look back to the Staples v New Canaan swim meet the Wreckers captured eight of the twelve events behind swims from Ortega, McNab, Hunter and others. Could Staples creep up and bite the rest of the FCIAC teams with a surprise win? Three teams bubble up to be the favorites, Greenwich, New Canaan and Staples will battle for the FCIAC crown. On March 2nd one of these three headlines will be written;
Staples ends 47 year drought!
New Canaan ends Greenwich reign again!
Greenwich continues FCIAC Dominance!
If you were to handicap this event you have to place New Canaan as a slight favorite over Staples and Greenwich but the dark horse position has to go to Staples. This meet will probably come down to three key issues;
If you were to look at these three factors, diving points will go to New Canaan due to their depth in this event although the top spot may end up with Greenwich as Sodokoff sits in the favorite seat. This will be the event where Staples could lose the meet as their diving does not stack up against the other two teams.
Relays will play a major part in deciding the champion, Greenwich will be the favorite in the 200 MR with a time of 1:38.5. Staples is probably sitting in the two spot unless Ridgefield were to throw their best together. Smith, Bornstein, Riebling, Hruska could be the fastest relay in the state other than Fairfield Prep. I think the 200MR would go to Greenwich. The 200 FR Relay could be a crap shoot! The three teams could all win this event but the favorite is New Canaan as they have the reigning state champ in the 50 free, Ed Rudman and the fastest time so far this season with a 1:30.13. Greenwich will probably post the second fastest team in this event. Now the 400 FR Relay, Who Knows? New Canaan probably has the edge in this event but don’t count Staples or Greenwich out with the right combination either could steal this one! Wow, I’m getting excited just thinking about the potential final heat.
As for Frontline wins, this is a tougher prediction. The line up decisions of some other teams will heavily affect the frontline wins. Ridgefield has a swimmer Kieran Smith who could win just about any event and that could throw a wrench in the gears of the top three teams. If Kieren were to swim his strongest events the 200 and 500 free that would affect Staples the most as Nico Ortega could be favorite in those events without Smith. Smith could also swim the 100 Back and that would hurt New Canaan’s Rudman.
So who will be the FCIAC Champion this year? Based on the relay points and diving points the favorite would have to be New Canaan.