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Wednesday, March 21 Sports

Staples swimming finishes regular season 11-1 with win over New Canaan

The Staples boys swim team dominated host New Canaan Wednesday, securing victory after nine events en route to a 92-86 win, wrapping up an 11-1 regular season in the process.

Staples coach Frisk Driscoll made the most of the relatively easy win by mixing up his lineup in spots, something he believes will assist the team down the road.

"You never want the guys just to get key-holed into a couple of races," Driscoll said. "You can learn a lot from doing different things, so that's what we try to do in meets like this."

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One of the benefits of putting swimmers in races that are not their best is that it gives them a chance to try different angles on turns, perhaps leading them to find better strategies, the coach said.

Another advantage is that it gives competitors experience with different strokes and distances which will allow the coach to move team members around for the benefit of the team when the situation calls for it. This stands to come in handy in the case of particular matchups, especially in the postseason, Driscoll notes.

Sophomore Sebastian Ortega, typically a distance freestyle swimmer, competed in the 200 yard individual medley event and the 100 breaststroke. Senior Michael DeLuca, who generally is a sprint freestyle swimmer, swam in the medley relay race.

In addition to swimmers getting a feel for unfamiliar events, newer-to-varsity competitors were afforded the chance to hit the water in a competitive environment for the first, second, or third time in their varsity careers.

Freshmen Cole Quinn, Bryan Penwell and Daniel McVaney, along with junior Pedro Da Silva all got a rare taste of varsity racing.

"I feel like we had a really great meet. It really is a tribute to how hard we've been working," senior captain Chris Mombello said.

Mombello and fellow senior captain John Wisniewski both noted that it was great to see so many team members have a chance to contribute.

"We did really well as a team," said Wisniewswki, who watched the meet in street clothes while nursing an injury.

There was plenty for Wisniewski and the Wreckers' fans to cheer for, and the applause, as always carried onto the pool deck with team members rooting for each other throughout the competition.

Driscoll said he was pleased to see the Wreckers supporting one another regardless of who was competing, and the score of the meet at a given time.

"That's the type of attitude we want to have, regardless of the circumstances," the coach said.

The 200 medley relay team of DeLuca, Mombello, North Woods and Jacob Nadel earned first place with a time of 1:47.45.

In the 200 freestyle, Jackson Daines made his final touch in 1:58.39 and was runner up to New Canaan's Stefan Pla (1:56.65).

In the 200 individual medley race, Ortega was first in 2:07.80 and Mombello placed second with a time of 2:09.12.

Staples had another one-two finish in the 50 freestyle as Woods and Daniel Williams completed their races in 23.16 and 24.79, respectively. Williams added a first-place finish in the 100 butterfly, in a time of 57.00.

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In the 500 freestyle, Max Wimer was first in 5:16.58. The 200 freestyle relay team of DeLuca, Mombello, Nadel and Williams was first in 1:38.79.

Although the final few events were exhibitions, giving the Rams points in those races and making the final score a deceptive one, the Wreckers had plenty of strong showings.

Staples had the three fastest times in the 100 backstroke event as Woods finished in 1:02.20, Harrison Knapp completed the race in 1:03.51, and Ortega made his final touch in 1:06.05.

The Wreckers also had the three fastest times in the 100 breaststroke race. DeLuca finished in 1:06.26, Mombello was just behind in 1:06.70, and Simon Ginsberg finished in 1:12.70.

In the final race of the day, the 400 freesyle relay team of Williams, Wimer, Ortega and Woods had the fastest time, 3:36.52.