Hunt breaks record, helps Ridgefield finish second at FCIACs

Ridgefield’s Kai O’Malley competes in the 200-yard freestyle during the FCIAC boys swimming championship meet last Thursday.

Ridgefield’s Kai O’Malley competes in the 200-yard freestyle during the FCIAC boys swimming championship meet last Thursday.

Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

With junior Connor Hunt leading the way, the Ridgefield boys swim team finished second at the FCIAC championship meet last Thursday night at Greenwich High School.

Hunt was named the MVP after winning two individual events and swimming on a first-place relay.

The Tigers scored 363.5 points to place second behind Greenwich, which had 601 points to win its 49th conference title in 50 seasons.

Darien was third with 253 points, followed by New Canaan (235) and Norwalk/McMahon (206) in the 12-team championship meet.

In the meet’s first individual event — the 200-yard freestyle — Hunt touched the wall first for Ridgefield in 1:39.07. Greenwich’s Charlie Clark placed second with a time of 1:43.75, followed by teammate Alex Plavoukos (1:43.83) and New Canaan’s Patrick Colwell (1:44.41).

“That was a great race; it was a personal best for me, which I wasn’t expecting,” Hunt said. “I came here to score points and help the team ... that’s what’s important — the team comes first.”

Gavin Egerton, a Ridgefield junior, posted a winning time of 1:53.74 in the 200 individual medley. Danbury’s Shayne Simmons took second in 1:53.96, while Thomas Lewis gave Greenwich a third-place finish in 1:54.87.

Hunt’s second individual victory came in record-setting fashion in the 500-yard freestyle. He touched the wall in 4:25.40, breaking Ridgefield graduate Kieran Smith’s time of 4:30.63 set in 2016. Smith recently set the American-record time in the event while swimming for Florida in the SEC championships.

“It was definitely a special feeling to break the record,” Hunt said. “To get the record from a Ridgefield alum and current American record holder is special.”

The meet ended with Ridgefield’s 400-yard freestyle relay team of Hunt, Luke Hruska, Andrew Yu, and Egerton winning the event in an FCIAC record time of 3:09.80. Greenwich placed second in 3:10.68.

The Tigers also got top-eight individual finishes from Matthew Johnston (seventh, 1:46.30) in the 200 freestyle; Hruska (fourth, 1:54.95) in the 200 IM; Luke Mignano (fourth, 22.0) in the 50 freestyle; Kai O’Malley (fourth, 52.13), Linney O’Malley (fifth, 52.19) and Egerton (seventh, 52.25) in the 100 butterfly; Yu (fourth, 47.86) in the 100 freestyle; Johnston (seventh, 4:50.68) in the 500 freestyle; Yu (fifth, 53.31) in the 100 backstroke; and Max Wolfenden (fourth, 59.65) and Hruska (sixth, 59.88) in the 100 breaststroke.

Hruska, Mignano, Egerton, and Hunt combined to finish second in the 200 freestyle (1:27.22), and Yu, Wolfenden, Linney O’Malley, and Mignano teamed to place third in the 200 medley relay (1:37.78).

Adding points with top-16 finishes were Kai O’Malley (ninth) in the 200 freestyle; Wolfenden (ninth) and Matthew Weiner (12th) in the 200 IM; Linney O’Malley in the 50 freestyle; Weiner (ninth) in the 100 butterfly; and Mignano (10th) in the 100 freestyle.