Darien girls swim team claims Class L crown
Updated 2:55 pm, Thursday, November 17, 2011
MIDDLETOWN -- Winning state swim titles is all about strength in numbers.
Darien finished with 839 points to outlast FCIAC archrival New Canaan (689). Cheshire (648) was third followed by Pomperaug (471).
"This is a huge win for us," said Darien head coach Marj Trifone. "This roster has 11 freshmen, four seniors and seven juniors. I'm so proud of our entire team. We're learning on the fly. But the girls worked so hard all season. This was a just reward.
"Two years ago, we had 15 seniors and won the Class M title," Trifone continued. "Last year was a rebuilding season. But to do a feat like this just two years later is amazing."
New Canaan had quality, but the Rams couldn't overcome Darien's quantity.
"Winning state meets are always about depth. Darien has depth," New Canaan's coach David Fine said. "We won all three relays. To take second place is great. We put everything out there. I couldn't ask our girls for anything more."
New Canaan's Erin Dunstan was crowned Class L champ in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:05.67. Darien's Olivia Leunis was second in 1:05.69 with Darien's Cammie Kirby third in 1:08.09. That extended Darien's team lead to 785-629 over New Canaan.
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Darien settled the issue in the 100 yard backstroke when Caroline Orem won in 57.83 with NC's Adelyn Graf second in 58.34. After 10 events, Darien led New Canaan, 692-599.
In Event 9, the 200-yard free relay, New Canaan cut Darien's lead to 607-546 by winning in 1:40.27 through the work of Jenna Egan, Cara Egan, Alex Aliapoulios and Grace Duncan. Darien was third in 1:40.78.
In the 500 free, Darien's Julia Stoeble was fifth in 5:16.13 with New Canaan's Cara Egan seventh in 5:19.01.
Pomperaug senior Elizabeth McDonald added the 100 free title (51.23) to her victory in the 50 free (23.51) -- both meet record times. In the 100 free, Darien's Amanda Bieler (53.53) and New Canaan's Jenna Egan (53.71) were third and fourth respectively. After seven events, Darien still led NC, 492-437.
With the diving already completed earlier in the week, the sixth event was the 100-yard butterfly.
New Canaan dominated with Maddie Rusch as Class L champ in 57:05 with teammate Emma Tobey third in 58.68. Darien placed 4th, 5th, 8th in the event. Through six events, Darien led NC, 423-387 in the team title race.
In the fourth event, the 50 yard free, New Canaan's Maddie Rusch was runnerup in 24.05 with Egan third in 24.77. After four events, Darien led New Canaan in the team race, 257-252.
In the third event, the 200-yard IM, Darien's Orem was runnerup in 2:06.95 followed by Leunis (3rd, 2:07.40) and New Canaan's Graf (4th, 2:09.97).
In the second event, the 200-yard freestyle, Darien sophomore was crowned Class L champ in 1:55.65. For New Canaan, Aliapoulios was third in 1:56.71 with senior Cara Egan fourth in 1:57.22.
In the opening event, the 200-yard medley relay, the New Canaan High quartet of seniors Graf, Alex Rusch, Emma Tobey and Dunstan won in 1:48.01.
The Darien foursome of seniors Caroline Kearney and Cammie Kirby along with juniors Orem and Olivia were runner-ups in 1:50.06.