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Blansfield sets record as Staples falls to Greenwich

Published 10:30 pm, Friday, January 24, 2014
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Jonathan Blansfield's name sits atop the record list of the 400 freestyle inside the Staples High School pool as the senior has made the event his own over the past two seasons.

Blansfield -- with a time of 4:05.58 -- broke the record once again in a meet with visiting Greenwich on Friday afternoon. In a battle between two undefeated teams in the FCIAC, The Cardinals prevailed 106-68.

Blansfield was behind Greenwich's Thomas Dillinger (4:11.93) for three quarters of the race, but used a powerful surge over the final few laps to coast to victory. Blansfield also won the 200 freestyle for the Wreckers.

"That's always nice when you are the standard and you can break your standard," Wreckers coach Frisk Driscoll said. "It means you're moving forward. Sometimes you have that much talent it's tough to keep yourself motivated, but a great motivating factor is yourself and challenging yourself and be a better you every time. He was the best Jonathan Blansfield that he could be."

Alex Lewis won the 200 individual medley (2:13.66) and the 100 freestyle (54.76) for Greenwich, edging Staples' Daniel Williams (2:14.62) in the former. Greenwich won 10 of 12 events, including a sweep of all three relays.

"We knew we had an advantage on (Staples); we tried to create some matchups that would make for some interesting races," Cardinals coach Terry Lowe said. "I'm sure (Driscoll) is happy with Blansfield winning the 200 and the 400 over (John) Montesi and Dillinger. We were happy with our relays doing the job for us."

The Cardinals have destroyed the competition so far this winter and appear destined to claim a 43rd FCIAC title in the last 44 seasons. Greenwich has also won 30 State Open championships.

"Overall we've been really strong," Lowe said. We know we want to peak in March and we expect to be there. We expect to be swimming really fast coming the state open. All indications are we'll be ready."

The Cardinals (8-0) took the top three spots in diving behind impressive performances from Jeff Aselin, Andrew Bologna and freshman Justin Sodokoff. Aselin was participating in just his second meet of the season as a result of a back injury.

"Diving is a real strength for us," Lowe said. "We have two all-American divers that returned this year (in Aselin and Bologna). They practice a lot and work well. We hope to get three or four divers in the state open."

The Wreckers close the season with three difficult meets against Ridgefield, Darien and New Canaan and Driscoll believes facing the Cardinals was good preparation for the tough stretch.

"Coming in we knew we were going against what is considered by most people the best team in the state," Driscoll said. It was both an opportunity to step our game up and be challenged for the first time all season, and also learn from a team that's better than us what it takes to get to that next level."

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