Seward, Giles lead Ridgefield at FCIACs
With juniors Hannah Seward and Rylie Giles each winning two individual events, the Ridgefield girls swim team finished sixth at the FCIAC championships Tuesday night at Greenwich High School.
The Tigers had 227 points, two fewer than fifth-place Wilton.
Darien scored 335 points to win its first conference title since 2014. Greenwich, the two-time defending champion, was the runner-up with 303 points, followed by Staples (288) and New Canaan (241).
Seward got her first victory in the 50-yard freestyle, finishing first in a time of 23.87 seconds. Darien’s Natalia Ferraro was second in 24.22, followed by Blue Wave teammate Lexi Punishill in third place (24.23).
“It feels good to see that the hard work I have put in has paid off,” said Seward, who swam for Greenwich last year. “Every person on our team did so well tonight.”
Seward came right back and claimed the first-place medal in the ensuing event — the 100-yard butterfly — in an FCIAC meet-record time of 54.50. The previous record (54.91) was set by Staples’ Marissa Healy in 2018.
“I was working hard on my underwaters the whole race,” Seward said.
In the 200-yard freestyle, Giles took it out strong and won the race in 1:52.35. Morgan Lenoce of Staples was the runner-up in 1:54.16.
“I’m really happy with my time in the 200,” Giles said. “I love this meet; it’s one of the best ones, along with the state [Class LL] meet and the State Open. I’m looking for my times to keep improving.”
Giles garnered her second gold medal in the 500 freestyle, touching the wall first in 5:01.23. Wilton’s Abbey Gardner was second in 5:06.21.
“The 500 is such a long race, so you feel really tired at the end,” Giles said. “You really feel like you accomplished something special by winning it. I started off really strong, which helped.”
Adding top-eight finishes for Ridgefield were Miranda Bonitatebus (fifth, 2:12.03) in the 200 individual medley; Hanna Sotolongo (fifth, 1:07.89) in the 100 breaststroke; and Riley Riebling (eighth, 1:00.35) in the 100 backstroke.
The Tigers finished third in the 400 freestyle relay and seventh in the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays.
Notes: Ridgefield head coach Emmanuel Lanzo was presented with the 2019 FCIAC Coach of the Year Award.
Trumbull sophomore Lauren Walsh was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Swimmer.