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Rocky Point Club repeats as FCSL champions

Updated 11:30 pm, Saturday, August 10, 2013

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  • Gretchen Walsh from the Rocky Point Club came in second in the Girls 10 & Under 100 SC Meter IM at the FCSL Swim Championships hosted by the Roxbury Swim & Tennis Club Saturday, August 10, 2013. Photo: David Ames / Greenwich Time Freelance
    Gretchen Walsh from the Rocky Point Club came in second in the Girls 10 & Under 100 SC Meter IM at the FCSL Swim Championships hosted by the Roxbury Swim & Tennis Club Saturday, August 10, 2013. Photo: David Ames

 

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STAMFORD -- Everyone on the Rocky Point Club swim team was involved in the squad's final task Saturday at the Fairfield County Swimming League Championships -- the jumping in the pool ceremony.

Remembering the jubilation it felt during last summer's celebratory dip in the pool, Rocky Point entered Saturday's county championship meet eager to experience a little deja vu. And when the team scores were announced before a hushed crowd following the final event, Rocky Point celebrated again in style.

On the strength of 14 first-place finishes and numerous record-breaking performances, Rocky Point repeated as champions of the FCSL for the first time, winning the 65th annual meet by amassing 1,221 points at Roxbury Swim & Tennis Club.

Roxbury, which won every FCSL Championships from 1991-2002 as well as 2006-08, placed a close second with 1,207.5 points, followed by Shore & Country Club (736), The Lake Club (549) and Middlesex Club (492).

"This is the first time we have done it two years in a row, so it's a special treat for us," Rocky Point head coach Terry Lowe said. "Roxbury had a great meet from beginning to end, but to pull it out the way we did was a tribute to the spirit and competitiveness of our team."

Rocky Point, which won last year's FCSL title with a team score of 1,106.5 points, built a 75-point lead late in the meet, but Roxbury quickly closed the gap, pulling within seven with just four events remaining. A key first-place finish by Jaimie Miller (girls 17-under 100-meter freestyle, 58.85) gave Rocky Point a 14-point edge, heading into the final two relay events. Needing to finish second in both the boys 17-and-under and girls 17-and-under 200-meter relay to clinch the meet, Rocky Point's boys relay touched the wall second, while the girls squad won, (Ursula Wise, Ainsleigh Winget, Alex Walsh, Annie Miller) posting a meet record time of 1:59.04.

"Two second-place finishes in the relays would have done it, but our girls were determined to win their event and to see them close out the meet that way was a real treat," Lowe said. "They all had their top splits."

Roxbury coach Rick Lewis couldn't be happier with his club, which on paper, went into the FCSL finals 100 points behind Rocky Point.

"I'm ecstatic with how my kids swam, top to bottom," Lewis said. "I didn't dream that we had a chance to catch up when we were 75 points down, but I knew we were creeping back. To be down only a few points toward the end of the meet was very impressive."

Rocky Point was paced by a number of swimmers. Alex Walsh was a triple winner, touching the wall first in the girls 12-and-under 50-meter butterfly in a FCSL record time of :30.26, winning the 14-under 50 breaststroke (35.60) and winning the 14-and-under 50 backstroke (31.44).

"The 50 butterfly I beat my time by two seconds and came in first, which felt really good," said Walsh, a 12-year-old Eastern Middle School student. "My best friend Kelly Montesi (Roxbury Swim & Tennis Club) came in second, so it was nice that we were so close. There are no words to describe how happy I am that we have won this title two years in a row."

Patrick Mullen also won three events for Rocky Point (boys 8-and-under 25 butterfly, 17:61; 25-meter backstroke, 18.87; 25-meter freestyle, 15.69).

"Winning counties is a lot of fun because I love jumping in the pool with all my friends after the meet," said Mullen, an 8-year-old Riverside School student. "I always have so much fun at this meet."

Before winning the girls 17-and-under 100 freestyle, Miller took first in the 100 meter individual medley (1:08.42) for Rocky Point. Gretchen Walsh, Alex's younger sister, was a double winner. She touched the wall in an FCSL record time of 14.47 in the girls 10-under 25-meter butterfly and placed first in the 50-meter freestyle (30.35).

"I was really excited to get that record," said the 10-year-old Walsh, who attends Old Greenwich School. "When I heard the announcement saying I got the record I was really happy."

Julian Fraser (boys 17-and-under 50-meter butterfly, :26.37) and Ainsleigh Winget (girls 12-under 50 backstroke, 33.89) also gave Rocky Point victories in their respective events.

"I'm so proud of everyone on the team," said Fraser, a rising Greenwich High senior. "Everyone pitched in, helping us score so many points. There were so many great races for us today."

Roxbury was powered by Jack Montesi, who was awarded with the Mark Newcombe Cup, which goes to the meet's high point winner. Montesi set FCSL records in the 14-and-under 50-meter butterfly (:26.35), the 100 IM (59.96) and the 50 backstroke (27.34).

"Jack Montesi was awesome today," Lewis said. "He destroyed those records with outstanding performances."

Will Montesi (10-under 25 butterfly, 100 IM, 25 backstroke), Cristina Frias (17-under 50 butterfly, 50 backstroke), Kelly Montesi (12-under 100 IM), Nicholas Malchow (10-under 50 freestyle), and Gillian Giangrande (14-under 50 butterfly) each won their events for Roxbury.

Innis Arden, which placed sixth in the team standings, received a first-place finish from Kevin Lydon in the boys 14-and-under 50-meter breaststroke.

"It was a close race between me and my friend Aedan Lewis (Riverside Yacht Club), it was a really tough race," said Lydon, who attends Eastern Middle School and plans on swimming at Fairfield Prep in the future. "This summer has been a lot of fun for me."

Claire Michalik won the girls 10-and-under 25 meter backstroke (17.18) for Innis Arden. She also placed second in the girls 10 U 100 individual medley and third in the 10-under 25 meter butterfly.

Iain Edmundson claimed the boys 17-under 100 individual medley title for Riverside Yacht Club, touching the wall in 1:00.92. Edmundson was also second in the 50 breaststroke. Brighid Lewis was the girls 12-under 50-meter breaststroke winner (37.79) and finished third in the 12-under 100 IM for Riverside, which finished seventh overall. Ben Schinto was third in the boys 10 U 25 backstroke, while Taylor Schinto took third in the girls 14-under 50 meter backstroke for Riverside Yacht Club.

"Best times was our mantra today," said Riverside Yacht Club coach Kerry Gruendel, who swam at Greenwich High, before competing at Princeton. "We had so many best times at this meet. It was a terrific way for us to end the season and I'm very proud of our team."

david.fierro@scni.com; 203-625-4423

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