After swimming a competitive meet but bowing to FCIAC power Trumbull in its season opener last week, the Ludlowe girls' swim team captured its first win of the season against St. Joseph, taking seven races and two relays.

"Trumbull's strength is in their numbers," Falcons swim coach Sara Peck said. "They have 37 swimmers, we have 22. There were a lot of races that they would finish first and third and we'd finish second or they would take second and third and we'd take one. And not having two strong racers per event like they did, they just accumulated more points."

But against St. Joseph, Ludlowe was paced by sophomore swimmers Hannah Arman, who won the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke,

Ingrid Duffy, who won the 200 free and the 500 free and Brianna Auray, who won the 100 breaststoke, the 50 freestyle and was part of the winning 200 free relay team.

"Hannah, she's definitely a standout. She swims wherever I need her. She's so flexible in that regard," said Peck. "She's a great all-around swimmer. She usually swims the 100 backstroke and her second event changes depending on who were swimming, what we need.

"Brianna, another sophomore. She's very strong as well. She usually swims the 50 freestyle and the 100 breastsroke. Both of them qualified for states last year."

Arman and Auray are part of a massive sophomore class of 10 swimmers that all joined the team last season as freshmen.

Peck knows that if all of them stay with the program, the next three seasons (including this one) could be pretty special.

"They just took over the team," Peck said. "I'm not going to say that we're in a rebuilding year because since I've been there we've only been getting stronger and trying to compete harder against the other teams in the FCIAC. We've got more numbers and kids have more experience, so we're building up."

Along with the sophomores, seniors captains Melanie Albright, Cella Blumenfield and Annabelle Wanner lead a squad that won three meets last year and look to equal or better that total this season.

"The captains, Wanner, Albright, Blumenfield ... all three of them have been there since I have and it's been great to see them grow up a little bit and see their swimming skills develop," Peck said. "They've been great and really enjoy working with the underclassmen."

After swimming two meets in three days, the Falcons don't return to the pool until Sept. 23 against Ridgefield at the Rex Plex pool at Fairfield University.

Against St. Joseph, Cella Blumenfield, Riley Blumenfield, Leandra Granthsam, Anastasia Jankovsky were on the winning 200 medley relay team (2:05.58) while Auray, Natalia Nawrocka, Katie Thornton and Sarah Grinalds were on the winning 200 free relay team (1:48.22)

"We're definitely getting much better as the years are going on," Peck said. "We are in such an extremely difficult and competitive league with Greenwich and Darien and New Canaan and ... we're not there yet. Those teams are huge and they have talent galore and we're building to get there but we're not there yet."


Warde swim coach Georg Palmgren did not respond three emails over a two-day period seeking comment about the Mustangs.