For the second straight season, the Ridgefield High boys swim team is getting significant contributions from a female.
Senior Caitlin Inall finished second for the Tigers at the Class LL state diving championship last Thursday at Middletown High School, giving Ridgefield 27 points going into today’s swimming finals at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven.
Inall — who is eligible to compete for the RHS boys team because she plays another sport (soccer) during the girls swim season in the fall — scored 408.40 points for her 11 dives. She finished more than six points ahead of Greenwich’s Joel Satir, who was third with 402.35 points.
Neither Inall nor anyone else in the field was going to match Norwalk senior Kevin Bradley. Bradley dominated the competition, compiling 547.65 points to place first for the second consecutive year.
“It’s exciting to be the runner-up,” said Inall, who was coming off a seventh-place finish at the FCIAC championship. “I’ve been diving Class LL for four years. I worked so hard step by step to reach this goal.”
Inall, who will be diving at George Washington University in the fall, has spent the last two summers training with the New Canaan-based Whirlwind Diving program.
“Diving against the boys and with the Whirlwinds has increased my confidence,” Inall said. “The Whirlwind guys are great teammates.”
One of those teammates is none other than Bradley. Bradley, who will dive at the University of Michigan in the fall, goes for the repeat trifecta (FCIAC, Class LL, State Open titles) at the Open diving championship tomorrow (March 12) Bulkeley High in Hartford.
“I’m so happy for Caitlin. To watch her growth as a diver over the past four years is amazing,” Bradley said. “As for me, anything can happen at the State Open diving. But I’m pleased that everything is coming together.”
The turning point Thursday night for Bradley came in Round 6 when he scored a perfect 10 from one of the five judges.
“I did have a slow start. But I took things dive by dive. I know even I can’t hit all 11 dives,” Bradley said. “It’s great when things fall into place. Earning a second LL title, it feels like all the hard work has paid off.”
Notes: Inall broke her own school record for a regular-season meet (six dives) when she scored 277.25 points against Danbury on Feb. 13. Inall was competing exhibition in the event, which meant that she did not place or score points for Ridgefield.
Inall also holds the RHS record for 11 dives with 421.10 points. She set that mark at last year’s Class LL meet.
Rich DePreta of Hearst Connecticut Media contributed reporting to this story.