Staples swimming beats Darien, improves to 7-1
WESTPORT—The Staples boys swim team is even starting to surprise head coach Frisk Driscoll at this point.
Another win, another impressive showing against a team the Wreckers will be battling for a runner-up spot at the FCIAC championships in February.
The Wreckers upped their record to 7-1 by besting Darien 99-82 at home, avenging a defeat to the Blue Wave from last season and putting them on course to have a sparkling record heading into the championship postseason.
"They surprise me all the time," said Driscoll, whose team has two meets left this season—Feb. 8 against New Canaan and Feb. 10 against Norwalk co-op. "We’ve tried to develop a lot of things this season: stronger underwater, adjusting people’s turns. … A lot of the stuff we were working on in practice wasn’t translating to the meets; a lot of people took that to heart and it did today."
As he has all season long, Nico Ortega provided a bevy of points for Staples. He won the 200 (2:02.14) and 400 freestyle (4:14.97), the latter coming by more than 10 seconds.
Possessing one of the top diving teams in the state, Darien was assured those points before the meet even began. That put the onus on the Wreckers to start the meet off quickly, which they did in style. Staples went 1-2 in the 200 medley relay as Austin Twiss, Dashiell Hunter, Josiah Tarrant and John McNab posted an impressive 1:53.66, less than a second off the school record.
The Wreckers then took first, second and third in the 200 freestyle with Ortega leading the way. After Sven Hermann won the 50 freestyle, Staples had built a 44-18 advantage before the Blue Wave swept the top three spots in diving.
"We knew they were going to have some top-end divers in that event," Driscoll said. "They just put on a show; we wanted to get out ahead of them and stay there, and that’s exactly what we did."
By the time Scott Adler won the 100 backstroke in 1:04.32, the Wreckers had built an insurmountable 99-57 advantage.
Though the dual-meet record matters little when it comes time to compete at FCIACs and states next month, the Wreckers are closing in on a much-improved campaign from a year ago.
"I think it’s cool and something (the kids) take pride in," Driscoll said. "The senior class was on a team that went 10-1 and finished second at FCIACs, and that was a special season because we hadn’t been that good in about 20 years. These guys are hungry, they aren’t satisfied or complacent."