Staples swims past Warde and Ludlowe
The Staples High School boys swimming and diving team earned a pair of wins -- and had a school record-setting performance in the process -- and visiting Fairfield Warde and Ludlowe enjoyed success in a meet on Wednesday. Staples improved to 5-0, Ludlowe fell to 1-5 and Warde is 0-5.
The Wreckers beat Ludlowe 99.5-77.5 and topped Warde 98-72. Jonathan Blansfield set the Staples record in the 100 freestyle (54.61).
"For him to be able to show that kind of speed -- and we already know he has the endurance -- is really good," said Staples coach Frisk Driscoll.
Blansfield got that record time, and some of the other swimmers had personal bests. Ludlowe coach Alan Marcel noted that about 95 percent of his team members recorded personal bests in this meet.
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"It's a good feeling that they're progressing, getting faster," Marcel said.
The times may have been good ones for the Falcons, but the team doesn't have enough depth to keep up with the bigger teams, Marcel notes. Ludlowe has just 18 swimmers and two divers, and Staples fields a squad of 32.
"What we lack is depth," Marcel said. "That's what kills us."
Staples' 200 medley relay team of Blansfield, North Woods, Max Wimer and Chris Mombello earned first place (1:57.11). Ludlowe's contingent of Jonathan Whiteside, Corbinian Wanner, Peter Berns and Eric Ahberg was a close second (1:57.30).
Staples had a one-two-three finish in many of the events, including the 200 freestyle event as Daniel Williams led the way in a time of 2:10.25. Sebastian Ortega was second (2:11.13), and Tommy Reinhardt (2:16.03).
Williams won the 200 individual medley in 2:16.30. Woods (2:19.91) and Wimer (2:24.55) gave Staples another one-two-three result.
Mombello won the 100 butterfly (1:06.25) and Warde's Niko Gupta finished second (1:06.33). The 400 freestyle was won easily by Woods (4:23.79).
Staples' 200 freestyle relay group of Daniel Williams, Mombello, Blansfield and DeLuca was first in 1:39.33.
Whiteside won the 100 backstroke event in 1:01.61. Mombello narrowly beat Ludlowe's Wanner in the 100 breaststroke, as they finished with times of 1:13.65 and 1:13.89, respectively.
Staples' 400 freestyle relay team of Williams, Woods, Blansfield and DeLuca took the top spot in 3:58.71.
The meet, because there were three schools involved, served as a good chance -- regardless of individual placement -- for participants to get a little taste of a crowded pool.
"It's close to how they're going to have to handle a championship meet with more down time between races instead of one after another," said Driscoll, adding that he was pleased with the way his swimmers stayed focused throughout the competition.
"We can swim back-to-back without getting burnt out because there's a buffer in between," Marcel said.
The two Fairfield teams, which swam collectively as a co-op until this winter, are accustomed to swimming in three-team meets, but this was a bit of a different experience for Warde since Staples' home facility is a meter venue, rather than a pool measured by yards. The Falcons are accustomed to swimming in a meter-measured pool, as a result of practicing at Fairfield University.
"They had to adjust their backstroke turns, their pacing, their breathing control," Warde coach Sarah Peck said of her swimmers handling the longer laps.