WESTPORT -- With a light schedule due to the holiday break, the Staples High boys swimming team had gone 15 days without competing.
The Wreckers, however, didn't let their time off go to waste.
Coming off two victories to start the season, they used some of their time away from competitions to perfect a few techniques at their home pool.
When it finally came time on Friday to return for a meet against Norwalk-Brien McMahon, Staples looked to be in top form. The Wreckers took first place in four of their first five events and went on to top the Bears 103-72 at home.
"We made the hours we were in here count," Staples head coach Frisk Driscoll said. "It wasn't a very big group that was here, so we got to work on specifics. You saw those specifics shine through: people coming off their walls very strong, fast starts, strong finishes."
Staples, which moved to 3-0, opened the meet with a victory in the 200 medley relay. Connor Rainey, Chris Mombello, Daniel Williams and Michael DeLuca clocked in at 1:58. The Wreckers also placed first in the 200 free relay as Matthew Wetmore, Max Wimer, Justin Krakoff and Jonathan Blansfield came in a 1:50.37.
"The relays are great. I love relays because you have that heightened sense of teamsmanship," Driscoll said. "People, even when they're exhausted, they step their game up because they have three guys standing up there with them."
Staples built a 49-23 lead after five events with help from Blansfield, who took first in the 200 individual medley in 2:16.51. The junior also finished first in the 100 freestyle in 56.04.
"He's been in a groove, training-wise, racing-wise," Driscoll said of Blansfield. "He's in a good place right now. We're just lucky to have someone like that on the team."
Driscoll added, "This is the swimmer that I know he's capable of being. His ceiling is so high."
The Wreckers won the first three events--200 medley relay, 200 freestyle, 200 IM--before Norwalk's Sherman Lau picked up a victory in the 50 freestyle. Lau also took first in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.91) and was part of the Bears' first-place 400 free relay team with Anthony Dell'Isola, Jake St. John and Eddie Donovan.
"We jumped out to a pretty big lead in the first half of the meet. That made a huge difference," Driscoll said.
Staples also got individual victories from Simon Ginsburg in the 200 free (2:06.78) and Williams in the 100 backstroke (1:06.23). Will Zuckerman placed first in diving (115.05), while his teammate, Jeremy Langham, took second (113.30).
With a sizeable lead in hand, the Wreckers swam the meet's final two events--the 100 breaststroke and 400 free relay--as exhibitions.
The Wreckers were pleased with how they returned following the break from competition.
"Coming off the break, I was really impressed by the amount of effort everybody put in," said Staples captain Robert DeLuca, who competed in the 50 free and three relays. "When the swims were getting closer, most of the time we took it up to a level we need to take it to to win the race."
Staples will look to continue its fast start when it takes on Wilton on Friday at the Wilton YMCA at 3:40 p.m. Driscoll believes that the meet will serve as a litmus test for his team.
"That's the one where we're really going to dig down and find out what we're made of," Driscoll said. "That's going to be back and forth, a lot of talented kids on both sides.
At that point, we'll really have a strong assessment of what this team is capable of."
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Staples 103, Norwalk/McMahon 72 (at Staples, all times in meters): 200 medley relay: Staples (Connor Rainey, Chris Mombello, Daniel Williams, Michael DeLuca) 1:58; 200 freestyle: Simon Ginsburg (S) 2:06.78; 200 IM: Jonathan Blansfield (S) 2:16.51; 50 freestyle: Sherman Lau (N/M) 25.46; diving: Will Zuckerman (S); 100 butterfly: Eddie Donovan (N/M) 1:02.96 100 freestyle: Jonathan Blansfield (S) 56.04; 400 freeestyle: Anthony Dell'Isola (N/M) 4:24.30; 200 freestyle relay: Staples (Matthew Wetmore, Max Wimer, Justin Krakoff, Blansfield) 1:50.37; 100 backstroke: Daniel Williams (S) 1:06.23; 100 breaststroke: Sherman Lau (N/M) 1:09.91; 400 freestyle relay: Norwalk/McMahon (Dell'Isola, Jake St. John, Eddie Donovan, Lau) 4:01.57. Records: Norwalk/McMahon 0-3; Staples 3-0.