The Staples boys swimming and diving team had its best finish at the FCIAC championship in years.
Staples placed fifth with 256 points Thursday at Greenwich. The Wreckers were in third after the swimming part of the meet, but dropped to fifth after diving Friday at Westhill. They fell short of fourth-place Westhill (257) and third-place Darien (264). Greenwich (380.5) won, and New Canaan (294) took second.
Junior Nathaniel Boley was the high-point champion of the meet, and gave Staples a chance of finishing third by winning two events.
Boley broke a 14-year FCIAC record by striking gold in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 51.84 seconds.
"We're all very proud of what we've accomplished this week," Boley said. "We had a bunch of kids swim much faster they've ever swan before, along with one of the best finishes as we've had in a while."
Boley also won 100-yard freestyle (47.16). Senior Matt Wisher took fourth in the 100-back (55.25) and 13th in the 100-free (51.80). Also scoring in the 100-free for the Wreckers were senior captain Kyle Bacon (50.93), and sophomore Justin Krakoff (50.96), placing 11th and 12th, respectively.
Sophomore Jonathan Blansfield was Staples' second-highest scorer. Blansfield grabbed third place in the 500-yard freestyle (4:45.19) and sixth in the 200-yard freestyle (1:48.21). Bacon took ninth in the 200-free (1:50.88), and freshman Danny Williams placed ninth in the 500-free (4:49.85).
The Wreckers took fourth in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:32.55) with Bacon, Krakoff, Blansfield and senior captain David Katter.
Wisher, junior Matt Wetmore, senior captain Joss Abel and Boley led the 200-yard medley relay team (142.18) to sixth place. Williams, junior Marcus Russi, sophomore Michael DeLuca and Katter led the B-relay team to the ninth-fastest time (1:45.6), but they swum exhibition, and their performance didn't count.
Williams (2:01.70) led the way in the 200-yard individual medley by taking sixth. Abel (2:03.10), sophomore Chris Mombello (2:06.08) and freshman North Woods (2:08.15) were ninth, 12th and 16th, respectively, in the 200-IM.
Mombello took sixth in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:02.28). Abel (1:03.07) and freshmen Ethan Hunter (1:03.78) were seventh and 11th, respectively in the 100-breast.
Junior Tanner Blank placed seventh in diving (308.30).
Katter was 14thin the 50-yard freestyle (23.52).
Boley, Blansfield, Bacon, Wisher, Abel, Wetmore, Mombello, Krakoff and Williams earned First Team All-FCIAC honors.
Placing fifth at FCIACs is an accomplishment because the meet is renowned for being one of the most competitive of the championship season. Many of the state's best teams (Greenwich is currently ranked No. 1) are in the conference.
Staples also had a chance to score in the 400-yard freestyle relay, but its performance was ruled null and void by the official.
"The official disqualified the relay because one of our swimmers did not exit the water promptly after his leg of the race," Wreckers coach Jeff Schare said. "This turned out be a 30-point loss for us in the team totals, and we dropped two points in the standings."
If this incident didn't occur, the Wreckers would have grabbed third place for the first time since 1990. They would have finished only eight points behind second-place New Canaan.
Despite facing a few obstacles, the Wreckers are proud of their accomplishments.
"I am very happy with how each individual swam, and I am proud of the team as a whole," Bacon said. "We did what we needed to do, and we worked [hard]at practice so that were able to have a successful meet,"
Schare said, "Staples was big winners in this meet, and proved that we are one of the best teams in the league. We are proud of everyone and are looking forward to the state tournament."