RHS boys swim preview: Lanzo remains optimistic
For a coach whose team graduated two of the best swimmers in school history, Emmanuel Lanzo sounds more optimistic than nostalgic.
“I think we are still going to be really good,” said Lanzo, the head coach of the Ridgefield High boys swim team. “We have more depth this year … we look more like a normal team. But of course we are going to miss those two guys.”
Lanzo is referring to Kieran Smith and AJ Bornstein, a pair of four-year standouts who graduated in June. Smith (now swimming at Florida) won all six of his postseason individual races last season, breaking conference and state records along the way. Bornstein (now competing at Michigan) added three postseason triumphs and had a second-place finish.
“We knew they would have to leave eventually,” said Lanzo. “Now the younger guys have to keep the legacy going.”
Ridgefield’s top returnees include senior Will Bryant, junior Luke Hruska, and sophomore Connor Hunt. Bryant won the 50-yard freestyle at the FCIAC championship and was third in the event at the Class LL state meet; Hruska had five top-10 postseason finishes; and Hunt was second in the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle at the FCIAC and Class LL meets before placing third in the latter and fourth in the former at the State Open.
Senior Vidur Hareesh, junior Linney O’Malley, and sophomores Gavin Egerton, Andrew Yu and Matthew Johnston also scored postseason points in individual events last season.
“We have some good swimmers back,” said Lanzo. “And they have worked hard to get better for this season.”
Several newcomers should also contribute. The group includes senior Ethan Murray, who competed for the Tigers as a freshman before focusing on club swimming the last two seasons, and freshmen Terry Li, Presley Milton, Luke Mignano, and Kai O’Malley.
“It’s a very solid freshman class,” said Lanzo. “They are very hungry to keep our team success going.”
Ridgefield will also benefit from its divers, a contingent led by senior Caitlin Inall. Inall was sixth at the Class LL meet, seventh at FCIACs, and 14th at the State Open last season, setting a new program record at the conference championship and then breaking it at the Class LL meet.
“It’s always a big help to have good divers,” said Lanzo. “They can add important points, especially in the championship competitions.”
Notes: The Tigers finished third at the FCIAC meet and fourth in Class LL and the State Open last winter.
Bryant, Hareesh, and Inall are Ridgefield’s captains.
Ridgefield opens the season today on the road against New Canaan. The Tigers host Staples on Friday at the Barlow Mountain pool.
“Staples is always a challenge,” said Lanzo. “That meet will let us know where we are this season.”