Fairfield Prep broke Greenwich High's 19-year stranglehold on the Class LL boys swimming title last year, but it didn't take long for the Cardinals to get the championship plaque back in their hands.
Sparked by a staggering seven first-place finishes, Greenwich rolled to its 20th LL championship in 21 years on Tuesday, amassing 922 team points before a packed house at Wesleyan University in Middletown.
Junior Alex Lewis won two individual events (100-yard butterfly, 100-yard backstroke) and was part of two winning relay teams for the Cardinals, who placed second in last year's final.
"It's definitely nice to get the title back by finishing ahead of the team that beat you last year," said Lewis, who clocked in at 49.88 to win the 100-yard backstroke, a new state record. "We got a little bit of payback today, but we know we still have a lot of work to do."
Greenwich coach Terry Lowe echoed Lewis' sentiment.
"The job's not done yet," Lowe said. "We have the State Open ahead of us. But if this team continues to swim at the rate they are competing at, they will go down as the best team I've ever had. I don't think I've ever seen a better performance from our team than what they accomplished tonight."
Fairfield Prep placed second overall with 725 points and Staples finished a distant third with 387, followed by Amity Regional (377.5), Glastonbury (355) and Ridgefield (302).
"We needed to come out and swim last night to the best of our abilities. And I think we did an extraordinary job doing that," Staples coach Frisk Driscoll said.
The Cardinals' 200-yard medley relay team of Lewis, Iain Edmundson, Julian Fraser and Ed Moss touched the wall first in a state record time of 1:34.06. Staples -- with Daniel Williams, Ethan Hunter, Michael DeLuca and Chris Mombello -- finished fourth in 1:41.71.
The Wreckers were given a lift by junior Jonathan Blansfield, who was coming off a record-setting swim in the 500 freestyle (4:35.98) at the FCIAC championships on Feb. 28. Blansfield took first again in the freestyle on Tuesday, clocking in with an even faster time of 4:34.15.
"The difference between last night's swim and even the FCIAC swim," Driscoll said, "was that he had another gear at the end where he really put (distance) between him and the field."
"I had high hopes going into this meet," Wargo said. "I've always looked up to Dillinger, who is a great swimmer. I knew it was going to come down to the two of us. Tonight, I really think we exceeded our expectations."
Westhill-Stamford's Oscar Ike registered a second-place finish in the 200 individual medley (1:54.30). Amity Regional's Alan Pite took home the title in the event, touching the wall in 1:53.78.
"I was really surprised that I did that well tonight," Ike said. "I'm very happy with the times I swam. I feel like our whole team has improved as the season has gone on."
In the 50 freestyle, Greenwich's Moss and Prep's Bjorn Davis shared the title, finishing in 20.98.
Lewis continued his sensational season for Greenwich in 100 butterfly, swimming to first in a sizzling time of 50.46. Lewis took the lead in the second lap, before holding off Bryce Keblish of Prep (51.23). Lewis also won the 100 backstroke with a state record time of 49.28.
"My goal the entire season has been to break 50 in the event," he said. "I felt I had a great chance to do it tonight."
Staples also took sixth in the 200 free relay as DeLuca, North Woods, Mombello and Blansfield were timed at 1:30.44.
Driscoll credited his team, Mombello especially, for several strong performances.
"He was someone who I think really stepped up and performed above my expectations," Driscoll said.
The Wreckers, a fourth-place finisher in the FCIAC, will now prepare for Saturday's State Open. Drisoll explained that his team has come a long way since a three-meet losing streak midseason.
"I think those losses made us more of a team than if we had won those meets," he said. "I think we learned a lot about ourselves. ... With the way this season's going, these guys definitely have gelled and matured as a team."
Class LL boys swim championships (at Wesleyan)
1. Greenwich 922, 2. Fairfield Prep 725, 3. Staples 387, 4. Amity 377.5, 5. Glastonbury 355, 6. Ridgefield 302, 7. Westhill/Stamford 282, 8. Windham/RHAM 227, 9. Norwalk/McMahon 201, 10. Manchester 194, 11. Xavier 186.5, 12. Newtown 185, 13. Trumbull 171, 14. Bristol 122, 15. Southington 119, 16. East Hartford 113, 17. Platt/Maloney 82, 19. Simsbury 80, 20. Hamden 66.
Winner in each event and regional swimmers in top six
200 medley relay: 1. Greenwich (Alexander Lewis, Iain Edmundson, Julian Fraser, Edward Moss) 1:34.06 (state record); 2. Fairfield Prep (Edward Stolarski, John Hoin, Bryce Keblish, Bjorn Davis) 1:34.76; 4. Staples (Daniel Williams, Ethan Hunter, Michael DeLuca, Christopher Mombello) 1:41.71; 6. Amity (Dylan Swanepoel, Brian Liang, Matthew Cucurello, Jamie Huang) 1:41.85; 200 freestyle: 1. Nicholas Wargo (Fairfield Prep) 1:42.47; 2. Thomas Dillinger (Greenwich) 1:42.51; 3. Jonathan Blansfield (Staples) 1:42.74; 5. Dylan Swanepoel (Amity) 1:46.36; 6. Ben Wurst (Greenwich) 1:46.69; 200 IM: 1. Alan Pite (Amity) 1:53.78; 2. Oscar Ike (Westhill/Stamford) 1:54.30; 3. Brandon Cole (Fairfield Prep) 1:55.18; 4. Iain Edmundson (Greenwich) 1:55.22; 5. Andrew Stotesbery (Greenwich) 1:56.37; 6. Michael Hopkins (Westhill/Stamford) 1:56.71; 50 freestyle: 1. (tie) Edward Moss (Greenwich) and Bjorn Davis (Fairfield Prep) 20.98 (Class LL record); 4. (tie) Bryce Keblish (Fairfield Prep) and Kevin Parker (Greenwich) 21.95; 6. Julian Fraser (Greenwich) 22.00; 100 butterfly: 1. Alexander Lewis (Greenwich) 50.46; 2. Bryce Keblish (Fairfield Prep) 51.23; 3. Julian Fraser (Greenwich) 51.78; 4. John Montesi (Greenwich) 51.81; 6. Oscar Ike (Westhill/Stamford) 52.31; 100 freestyle: 1. Bjorn Davis (Fairfield Prep) 46.15; 2. Edward Moss (Greenwich) 47.11; 3. Nicholas Wargo (Fairfield Prep) 47.35; 4. Tim Hardman (Greenwich) 47.67; 5. Sherman Lau (Norwalk/McMahon) 47.86; 6. Patrick Maguire (Ridgefield) 48.82; 500 freestyle: 1. Jonathan Blansfield (Staples) 4:34.15; 2. Thomas Dillinger (Greenwich) 4:40.39; 3. Anthony Dell'Isola (Norwalk/McMahon) 4:43.04; 4. Brandon Cole (Fairfield Prep) 4:43.07; 5. Dylan Swanepoel (Amity) 4:43.15; 6. Daniel Williams (Staples) 4:48.16; 200 freestyle relay: 1. Greenwich (Tim Hardman, Julian Fraser, Edward Moss, Thomas Dillinger) 1:25.36 (Class LL record); 2. Fairfield Prep (Nicholas Wargo, Brandon Cole, Bryce Keblish, Bjorn Davis) 1:25.41; 3. Amity (Jacob Laser, Charles Pite, Sam Guerra, Alan Pite) 1:29.55; 5. Westhill/Stamford (Oscar Ike, Justo Karell, Nikita Zemlevskiy, Michael Hopkins) 1:30.21; 6. Staples (Michael DeLuca, North Woods, Christopher Mombello, Jonathan Blansfield) 1:30.44; 100 backstroke: 1. Alexander Lewis (Greenwich) 49.88 (state record); 2. John Montesi (Greenwich) 51.72; 5. Kevin Parker (Greenwich) 53.87; 6. Edward Stolarski (Fairfield Prep) 54.01; 100 breaststroke: 1. Iain Edmundson (Greenwich) 58.48; 2. Alan Pite (Amity) 59.13; 3. Nick Lafky (Newtown) 59.64; 4. John Hoin (Fairfield Prep) 1:00.27; 6. Tim Agro (Greenwich) 1:00.71; 400 freestyle relay: 1. Greenwich (Tim Hardman, Matthew Fraser, Alexander Lewis, Thomas Dillinger) 3:09.84; 2. Fairfield Prep (Nicholas Wargo, John Hoin, Edward Stolarski, Brandon Cole) 3:11.29; 3. Amity (Jacob Laser, Charles Pite, Dylan Swanepoel, Alan Pite) 3:14.93; 5. Westhill/Stamford (Oscar Ike, Justo Karell, Nikita Zemlevskiy, Michael Hopkins) 3:18.88.