Exceeding expectations means a lot to most teams -- especially when the cupboard in bare.

That's why the Weston boys swimming team is ecstatic with a second place finish at the Class S championships with 382 points Wednesday at Wesleyan University.

Although Weston entered the meet as the defending champions, it didn't expect to repeat as champions, especially after losing seven swimmers from last year, five to graduation, one by moving out of the state and a current senior who elected not to return.

In the end, the Trojans knew catching Sacred Heart (591.5) was a reach but they were pleasantly surprised to beat out Foran (336), Haddam-Killingworth (327) and Plainville (315). Weston showed its talent, desire and determination in pulling it off.

"Absolutely, I'm pleased," Trojans Coach Tom Grace said. "The guys did great. They worked for it from start to finish and from December to now, their focus was to do well at this meet. Considering we lost seven great guys from last year, five who graduated, we did great. I felt second was a long shot, but once we started the season and had trials, I felt second was in reach."

Senior co-captain Spencer Kelley said, "About three-quarters of the meet, they announced we were two points ahead in second place, I was taken aback and had no idea and when they announced at the end we were in second, I was taken aback. To be honest, I thought we'd place fourth with nine swimmers and two divers. When they announced we were second, I was amazed as heaven."

Having someone finish in the top eight in 10 out of 12 events also helped Weston, including four All-State performances. Sophomore Jordan Berger won the 100-yard breaststroke for the Trojans with a time of 59.91.

"I knew the meet was going to be close and I wanted to secure a good finish for our team," Berger said. "I worked on my pullouts and stayed smooth and strong throughout the strong throughout the race."

Also placing for Weston in the 100-breaststroke were freshman Eli Carter (1:07.66) and junior co-captain Gabe Rosen (1:09.24), who placed 13th and 18th, respectively.

Kelley placed second in the 100-yard freestyle (49.41) with a personal best. Sophomore Adam Winikoff (54.23) was 21st.

"I was very happy with it and I couldn't believe it," Kelley said. "The race felt good and when I finished, it was perfect."

Sprinting was Kelley's specialty as he earned All-State in the 50-yard freestyle (22.51) by taking third place with a personal best. He fell slightly short of the school record (22.20).

"My heart was set on breaking the school record and although I didn't break it, I was happy to be an All-Stater," Kelley said. "I feel good about my 50. I practiced hard on my strokes and turnover rate. Everything came together and it worked out well."

Sophomore Marty Imber (24.09) and Winikoff (24.67) were 17th and 24th in the 50-free.

Imber, Kelly, sophomore Gabe Imber and Berger carried the 200-yard freestyle relay team (1:31.78) to second place and All-State honors.

"We had a strong lineup with fast sprinters and a combination of our efforts helped us," Berger said.

Going in, Kelley knew this could be his last race of his high school career (he'd have a race left if he qualified for State Open) and asked his teammates to make it a memorable occasion.

"We all swam well and were very happy," Kelley said. "The team came together behind the blocks. I told them it was my last race of my high school career and it got us pumped up."

Marty Imber, Carter, Berger and Kelly led the 200-yard medley relay team (1:45.63) to fourth place.

"We had pretty strong legs for all of the strokes and put in our strongest effort," Berger said.

Gabe Imber carried the Trojans in distance events by placing fourth in the 500-yard freestyle (4:57.67) and fifth in the 200-yard freestyle (1:49.60). Sophomore Dave Fleming was 20th in the 500-free (5:28.69) and 24th in the 200-free (2:01.92).

Sophomore Dean Rapp (284.65) grabbed eighth in diving and freshman Misha Moffly (215.40) was 14th in diving.

Berger took fifth in the 100-yard butterfly (53.53) with a personal best.

"It was a fast field of boys swimming it and I guess I worked really hard," Berger said.

Rosen was eighth in the 200-yard individual medley (2:12.74). He said. "I had a lot of hard practices and coach knows what he's doing when he gets us to taper."

Freshman Asher Greenberg took 13th in the 100-yard backstroke (1:03.25) and Marty Imber was 16th (1:04.85) in it. Fleming, Carter, Winikoff and Gabe Imber carried the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:41.03) to 14th place.

"The B heats gave us points, which put us over the top," Kelley said.

Rosen said, "It was great. As coach said at the end of the meet, he was the only one not surprised with how well we did. We have nine great swimmers, two great divers and two great coaches."