Though it already clinched the FCIAC girls swimming title heading into the 400-yard freestyle, Darien High School knew the meet wouldn't be complete without finishing it in style.

And setting a school record in the conference championship's final event, indeed fit the bill.

Darien put the finishing touch on its third consecuctive FCIAC swimming championship, winning the 400-yard freestyle relay in a school record time of 3 minutes, 32.21 seconds -- a blink of an eye faster than runner-up New Canaan -- before a large, enthusiastic crowd at the FCIAC Championships at Greenwich High School.

The Blue Wave, who are starting to build a swimming dynasty, won the conference crown with a team score of 353 points. New Canaan was the runner-up (296.5), followed by Wilton (258), Staples (248) and Greenwich (239). Ridgefield placed sixth (206) and Norwalk/McMahon took seventh (199).

"I am so proud of our team," said Blue Wave coach Marj Trifone, who was announced as the FCIAC Coach of the Year following the meet. "It wasn't pretty, but we kind of pulled it out at the end. Our 4 free relay made a statement with that performance, which is a school record. What a way to end the meet."

The victors displayed their depth, amassing points with the numerous top eight finishes.

"We came in here knowing it was going to be a fast meet, so we were very focused," said Darien senior Mackenzie Coughlin, who placed seventh in the 100-yard butterfly and eighth in the 200-yard individual medley. "The target was on our back, so we had to show the FCIAC who we are. There's a lot of great teams in the FCIAC and it's an honor to walk away as champions."

Said Darien senior Maggie Haddad: "Even though we won the past two years it doesn't mean we weren't nervous going into the meet. We knew what we had to do in each event and what times we had to get and were very intent on accomplishing our goals."

Marcie Maguire of Ridgefield was earned Swimmer of the Meet honors, touching the wall first in the 100 freestyle (51.29) and 100 backstroke (55.65).

"I'm just so happy about how well our team did," Maguire said. "Everyone swam great and I just wanted to go out there, race hard and have fun. Getting that award was exciting and pretty unexpected."

A young Greenwich team received a pair of top eight finishes from freshman Kelly Montesi (200 individual medley, 100 butterfly) and a fifth-place showing from junior Brooke Collins in the 100 breaststroke.

"We had a lot of freshmen here and a lot of young swimmers, which is really exciting because it shows we are moving in the right direction," GHS coach Lorrie Hokayem said. "We were right on with our best times."

Added GHS senior Isobel Walker: "Considering how young our team is and the fact that we have swimmers who haven't competed in this type of meet, I was really happy with how we did. Our divers performance the day before also helped us a lot in this meet."

The meet began with Ridgefield winning the 200 medley relay in 1:48.68. Darien was the runner-up, (1:50.34), followed by Staples (1:51.54). New Canaan junior Meghan Egan won the 200 freestyle title in 1:54.80. Jillian Rice of St. Joseph finished second in 1:56.09, while Aileen Coyne from Staples took third (1:57.20). Egan took the lead the final 100 yards of the race.

"Jillian came in seeded seventh in the event, so it was wonderful to watch her execute what we discussed going into the race," St. Joseph coach Michael O'Brien said. "She is right around where we want her to be at this point of the season."

In a tight race, Amelia Bullock of Staples edged Emma Holmquist of Wilton for the 200 individual medley championship. Bullock posted a time of 2:08.08 while Holmquist clocked in at 2:08.52. Phoebe Slaughter of Darien was fourth in 2:09.26, while Lindsey Gordon from Ridgefield took third in 2:09.26.

The 50 freestyle was also one of the most exciting races. Katie Colwell of New Canaan and Fairfield Ludlowe's Sarah Grinalds tied for first in 23.75 seconds. Darien's Lauren Rutlege was third in 24.34.

"Marj (Trifone) has been saying all year long that the league championship meet tests our depth as a team and tonight we really showed our depth," Darien senior Maddie Burke said.

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

FCIAC SWIMMING

Team standings: 1. Darien 353; 2. New Canaan 296.5; 3. Wilton 258; 4. Staples 248; 5. Greenwich 239; 6. Ridgefield 206; 7. Norwalk/McMahon 199; 8. Fairfield Ludlowe 138.5; 9. Trumbull 105; 10. Westhill/Stamford 59; 11. St. Joseph 57; 12. Fairfield Warde 44; 13. Trinity Catholic.

200-yard medley relay -- 1. Ridgefield 1:48.68; 2. Darien 1:50.34; 3. Staples 1:51.54; 4. New Canaan 1:51.96; 5 Norwalk/McMahon 1:52.37; 6. Greenwich 1:53.46; 7. Wilton 1:54.92; 8. Trumbull 1:56.28. 200 freestyle -- 1. Meghan Egan (New Canaan) 1:54.80; 2. Jillian Rice (St. Joseph) 1:56.09; 3. Aileen Coyne (Staples) 1:57.20; 4. Sydni Robinson (Wilton) 1:57.53; 5. Belle Stobbie (Darien) 1:57.56; 6. Sarah Dwyer (Trumbull) 1:58.75; 7. Sophia Jahan (Greenwich) 2:00.29); 8. Elizabeth Colwell (New Canaan) 2:01.86. 200 individual medley -- 1. Amelia Bullock (Staples) 2:08.08; 2. Emma Holmquist (Wilton) 2:08.52; 3. Lindsey Gordon (Ridgefield) 2:09.26; 4. Phoebe Slaughter (Darien) 2:09.41; 5. Courtney Ferreira (Darien) 2:10.00; 6. Kelly Montesi (Greenwich) 2:14.19; 7. Brooke Collins (Greenwich) 2:14.67; 8. Mackenzie Coughlin (Darien) 2:16.00. 50 freestyle -- 1. Katie Colwell (New Canaan) 23.75 and Sarah Grinalds (Fairfield Ludlowe) 23.75; 3. Lauren Rutledge (Darien) 24.34; 4. Kenzie Healy (Staples) 25.13; 5. Brianna Auray (Fairfield Ludlowe) 25.24; 6. Isobel Walker (Greenwich) 25.26; 7. Madeline Smith (New Canaan) 25.33; 8. Ainsleigh Winget (Greenwich) 25.43. One-meter diving -- 1. Rachel Burston (Westhill/Stamford) 482.40; 2. Kylie Towbin (New Canaan) 456.70; 3. Katie Kushner (New Canaan) 411.70; 4. Shannon Daine (Trinity Catholic) 389.70; 5. Anne Farley (New Canaan) 365.65; 6. Ines Villemure (Greenwich) 363.80; 7. Allie Courtney (Wilton) 356.75; 8. Jennifer Shrenker (Darien) 347.95. 100 butterfly -- 1. Amelia Bullock (Staples) 55.18; 2. Mollie Coleman (Trumbull) 59.08; 3. Meghan Egan (New Canaan) 59.37; 4. Paige Delago (Norwalk/McMahon) 59.68; 5. Kelly Montesi (Greenwich) 1:00.42; 6. Hayley Linder (Norwalk/McMahon) 1:00.73; 7. Mackenzie Coughlin (Darien) 1:01.05; 8. Maggie Kauffeld (Wilton) 1:01.87. 100 freestyle -- 1. Marcie Maguire (Ridgefield) 51.29; 2. Katie Colwell (New Canaan) 51.81; 3. Sarah Grinalds (Fairfield Ludlowe) 52.55; 4. Lauren Rutledge (Darien) 53.36; 5. Hannah Arman (Fairfield Ludlowe) 55.07; 6. Belle Stobbie (Darien) 55.18; 7. Sydni Robinson (Wilton) 55.19; 8. Sophia Jahan (Greenwich) 55.86. 500 freestyle -- 1. Maggie Kauffeld (Darien) 5:09.46; 2. Courtney Ferreira (Darien) 5:10.81; 3. Katrina Trentos (Wilton) 5:11.70; 4. Aileen Coyne (Staples) 5:17.00; 5. Mollie Coleman (T) 5:19.92; 6. Kate Murray (Darien) 5:22.07; 7. Mira Patel (Staples) 5:22.11; 8. Julia Lewis (Wilton) 5:23.53; 200 freestyle relay -- 1. New Canaan 1:39.82; 2. Darien 1:41.16; 3. Greenwich; 4. Staples; 5. Norwalk/McMahon 1:42.96; 6. Ridgefield 1:43.05; 7. Wilton 1:44.22; 8. Westhill/Stamford. 100 backstroke -- 1. Marcie Maguire (Ridgefield) 55.65; 2. Phoebe Slaughter (Darien) 59.98; 3. Paige Delago (Norwalk/McMahon) 1:00.16; 4. Becca Maroney (Darien) 1:00.35; 5. Alexis Alvarez (Norwalk/McMahon) 1:01.37; 6. Hayley Linder (Norwalk/McMahon) 1:01.66; 7. Hannah Arman (Fairfield Ludlowe) 1:02.62; 8. Isobel Walker (Greenwich) 1:03.66. 100 breaststroke -- 1. Lindsey Gordon (Ridgefield) 1:05.01; 2. Elizabeth Colwell (New Canaan) 1:05.93); 3. Emma Holmquist (Wilton) 1:08.74; 4. Brooke Hendee (Wilton) 1:09.37; 5. Brooke Collins (Greenwich) 1:10.20; 6. Willow Woods (Staples) 1:10.30; 7. Leigh Harrison (Darien) 1:1.12; 8. Lindsay Cooney (Wilton) 1:11.48. 400 freestyle relay -- 1. Darien 3:32.21; 2. New Canaan 3:32.85; 3. Ridgefield 3:38.19; 4. Staples 3:38.25; 5. Fairfield Ludlowe (3:44.43; 6. Wilton 3:44.82; 7. Norwalk/McMahon 3:44.96; 8. Greenwich 3:48.63.