MERIDEN – Whether alone or in collaboration, area swimmers have found favorable tides in the boys’ season this winter.
One team went undefeated. Another provided a conference swimmer of the year. Three could boast of being conference champions.
Swimmers from all five area teams qualified for state meets, and while no state crowns were claimed in 2022, locals punctuated the year by rewriting program records, including some had lasted for decades.
The water regains its level, they say. This year, in local pools, this level may not have overflowed, but it was still very high.
In the Central Connecticut Conference, Southington and Meriden had some of their best seasons:
■ The Blue Knights won a flawless double-contest season 11-0 and won the CCC West Championship competition. Platt.
Meanwhile, at the Southern Connecticut Conference:
■Lyman Hall junior Kendrick Lagamao was named Division II Swimmer of the Year.
The highest placement in the States went to another underclass student, Lyman Hall sophomore Jerick Lagamao, who finished second in the Class M butterfly.
Sheehan freshman Jonathan Rosano, who qualified for the Class S Championship rounds in both distance freestyles, was the de facto rookie of the year.
For the most part, however, this season has been led by senior captains like Sam Hurlburt from Meriden, Landon Colby from Southington and Anmol Sapru from Cheshire, veterans of the team who have led by example in the pool and academically in as Record-Journal varsity athletes.
In the final judging, here’s who earned the All-Record-Journal Boys Swim Team rating.
As strong as the Platt-Maloney co-op has been this winter, winning 8 of 12 doubleheaders, coach Ed Heath’s team was never quite complete until the night of the CCC South championship game.
And this Friday evening, March 4, Meriden showed his depth by winning the team title despite only one individual winner.
It was Platt Jr. Mehdi Moumenwho won the 100 butterfly in 55.57 seconds shortly after finishing second in the 200 individual medley in 2:05.19.
Moumen also competed in the 200m medley and 400m freestyle relays which placed ninth in class LL with record times in co-op – 1:43.10 in the medley and 3:25.91 in the 400m freestyle .
Seniors Sam Hurl Burt and Spencer Studleywith the second John Peralta, joined Moumen on the medley, which eventually went to the State Open. Studley and the two Peralta brothers, John and Joe, were on the 400.
Hurlburt and John Peralta also set individual program records. Both came to the LL class trials. Peralta clocked 5:05.39 in the 500 freestyle while Hurlburt lowered his own mark in the 100 breaststroke to 1:00.67.
This breaststroke time is the fastest ever, not only in Meriden Co-op history, but in Maloney’s larger swimming history. Hurlburt came out of trials to place fifth in the Class LL breaststroke and qualify for the State Open.
On track to graduate Maloney’s No. 2 class of 2022, Hurlburt will continue swimming at Eastern Connecticut State.
Coach Evan Tuttle’s Blue Knights had it all this year: versatility and depth, a fast sprinter and strong distancer, mobile stints and a top diver.
And they had this exceptional senior leader, Landon Colby. The captain led Southington to the CCC West team title by winning gold in the 200 individual medley and 400 freestyle relay.
By the end of the season, Cobly had set school records in four events: individually in the 100m butterfly (51.39) and 200 individual medley (1:58.90), in conjunction with the 200 medley relay (1:40 ,14) and the 400m freestyle relay (3:16.08).
He placed in the Top 8 in the LL class in all four. He qualified for the State Open in all four.
Among Colby’s relay mates in the 200m medley and 400m freestyle were juniors matt niro and second Pierre Zalewskitwo subclasses that also made their mark individually.
Niro, the sprinter, was CCC West champion in the 100 freestyle (50.05) and second in the 50 freestyle (22.57).
He moved up to backstroke for the Class LL competition and placed eighth in 54.79. Niro qualified for the Open in this event as well as in the 50 free. His time of 22.19 at the State Open was the fastest in the region in the 50 this season.
Zalewski, meanwhile, was the best distance freestyler in the area. In the 500, the runner-up was CCC West champion in 4:57.05 and fourth in the LL class in a season-best 4:47.34.
Like Colby and Niro, Zalewski qualified for the State Open in four events, doing so individually in the 200 and 500 freestyle as well as the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays.
The fourth member of these relays? On the medley it was in second year Mathieu Siwek. On the 400, it was sophomore Alex LeClair to meet CCC West, then Siwek to Class LL and Open as LeClair focused on IM and back in the States.
It hardly qualifies as a Pete Best-Ringo Starr moment. The two sophomores are part of the Blue Knights group.
Same for diver Alex Rosania. The junior was the region’s board chairman in 2022, placing seventh in the LL class and ninth at the State Open with nearly identical 11-dive scores (429 and change).
During the regular season, Rosania broke her own school record of 6 dives. He sits at 301.05 heading into his senior season.
The future is now for Lyman Hall and Sheehan. Both teams were led by underclasses.
The best man for the Titans was a freshman Jonathan Rosano. He led Keith Cargan’s crew in the dual-competition season and was their best swimmer in the playoffs, reaching the Class S championship series in the 200 and 500 freestyle.
Rosano was seventh in the 200 in 1:55.86. He was sixth in the 500 in 5:17.93.
Throughout the city, Donna Neary’s LH Trojans were powered by the Lagamao brothers.
Jerick Lagamao, after his stellar freshman debut in 2021, achieved All-State status this year by placing second in the M-class butterfly in 53.31. He also finished fifth in Class M backstroke (54.88) and qualified for the State Open in both events.
Kendrick Lagamao was the CSC Division II Swimmer of the Year after his versatility was demonstrated throughout the dual-competition season. Juniors have won races in IM, backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke, often against CSC Division I opponents.
In the playoffs, Lagamao focused on the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke. He qualified for the Class M competition in both.
The Rams, like their SCC rivals Wallingford, have a sizable underclass core, led by juniors Silas Wang, Alexander Fang and Kristian Adlianitsky.
Wang won this year’s SCC breaststroke championship with a time of 1:00.58. He finished fourth in the event in the L class at 1:00.39 and eventually swam a record 59.80 at the State Open to place ninth.
Fang finished fifth in the SCC in the 100 freestyle in 49.57, the region’s best time in 2022 in the event. He was also solid in the 200m freestyle, placing eighth in the L class.
Wang and Fang, in combination with Adlianitski, also swam the 200m medley and 200m freestyle relays which placed sixth in the L class and qualified for the Omnium. They posted the best times of the season in the medley at the Open (1:38.83) and the 200m freestyle in the L class (1:31.01).
The guy who tied it all together was a senior Anmol Saprou. Cheshire’s oldest statesman, Sapru, won bronze medals in the SCC competition in the 100 butterfly, 200 individual medley and 200 medley relays.
Moving on to the Class L state competition, Sapru finished sixth in the backstroke, seventh in the butterfly and sixth in the medley and 200 freestyle relays. He went to the State Open in all four events and finished eighth overall in the backstroke that day with a record 52.34.