Never in doubt.
That was one of the themes of Thursday's FCIAC boys swim championships, as host Greenwich High once again reigned supreme.
For the sixth straight season and the 42nd time in 43 years, the FCIAC title remained at Greenwich as the Cardinals swam away with the conference crown in convincing fashion, totaling 471 team points.
New Canaan was the runner-up with 289 points, followed by Wilton in third (275) and Staples in fourth (241).
"It was a really solid meet for us for this time of year considering it was a meet that we knew we had pretty good control of," said Greenwich coach Terry Lowe, who has guided the Cardinals to all of their titles. "Our team showed what it was made of with some great swims and really displayed a lot of determination and motivation."
Greenwich sophomore Thomas Dillinger won the first individual event of the night -- the 200-yard freestyle. Leading from the first lap, Dillinger the first lap, Dillinger clocked in at 1:42.53. Jonathan Blansfield of Staples was the runner-up (1:43.08).
"I really wanted to win the 200 freestyle badly," Dillinger said. "This was a great meet for our team. A lot of guys dropped their time and we had a lot of personal-best swims."
One of the meet's highlights was Blansfield's record-setting swim in the 500 freestyle. Opening a lead in the fifth lap, Blansfield won the event in 4:35.98, surpassing the mark of 4:38.97 set in 2011. The Staples junior was later named co-MVP of the meet, sharing honors with Lewis.
"I knew what the record was going into the meet, so I was aware that I could break it," Blansfield said. "It was painful, I put everything I had into that race. I know there is still room for improvement and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can swim at states."
Calling Blansfield a "superstar," Staples coach Frisk Driscoll said that Blansfield's times have continued to decrease, despite his extensive training.
"Considering where he is in his training, we haven't even gotten to the point where we're bringing down his training volume," Driscoll said, continuing, "He's still at a very high volume right now."
Staples' strong finish came on the heels of an impressive showing at the FCIAC trials on Tuesday, Driscoll said.
"We had a very good trials meet," the first-year coach added. "We were one of the few teams that had participants in every single event. ... That put us in a very good position to succeed."
Westhill-Stamford received a first-place finish from sophomore Oscar Ike in the 200 individual medley (1:56.55). Sean Higgins of Wilton placed second (1:56.90), followed by Daniel Williams of Staples (1:59.08).
"I always swim better in the first half of races, so I knew it was very important for me to get off to a strong start," Ike said. "Higgins is such a great swimmer and I knew holding him off was going to be a huge challenge. Everyone on our team really stepped up in a big way tonight."
Greenwich, which held a 193-132.5 lead over New Canaan in the team standings after the 50 freestyle, got a second-place finish from Lewis in the 100 butterfly. Lewis clocked in at 51.94, finishing behind Kealy, who captured his second individual title in 51.11.
Norwalk-McMahon got a win from senior Sherman Lau in the 100 freestyle. Opening a lead during the second lap, Lau touched the wall in 48.29.
Another FCIAC record fell when Greenwich's Lewis registered a winning time of 51.65 in the 100 backstroke, beating the 2012 record of 51.84.
"A lot of people stepped up for us in this meet, which served as good preparation for the LL meet," said Lewis, who also broke his own school record in the event. "Last year, I went up against Nathaniel Boley (from Staples), so I had to motivate myself this year to beat the record. I'm very happy with my time."
Westport news sports editor Doug Bonjour contributed to this story; firstname.lastname@example.org; 203-255-4561 ext. 114; twitter.com/DougBonjour
FCIAC championships (at Greenwich High School)
Individual results (top 3 each event)
200 IM: 1, Oscar Ike (Westhill-Stamford) 1:56.55; 2, Sean Higgins (Wilton) 1:56.90; 3, Daniel Williams (Staples) 1:59.08.
100 Free: 1, Sherman Lau (Norwalk) 48.29; 2, Patrick Maguire (Ridgefield) 48.91; 3, Edward Moss (Greenwich) 49.07.
500 Free: 1, Jonathon Blansfield (Staples) 4:35.98; 2, Stephen Holmquist (Wilton) 4:39.30; 3, Thomas Dillinger (Greenwich) 4:39.42.
100 Backstroke: 1, Alexander Lewis (Greenwich) 51.65; 2, Jack Montesi (Greenwich) 53.28; 3, John Whiteside (Fairfield) 54.33.
100 Breaststroke: 1, Edward Thunem (New Canaan) 59.59; 2, Stefan Pla (New Canaan) 1:00.05; 3, Sherman Lau (Norwalk) 1:00.59.
400 Free Relay: 1, Greenwich (T. Hardman, M. Fraser, A. Lewis, T. Dillinger) 3:14.98; 2, Wilton 3:16.01; 3, New Canaan 3:17.63.