Girls swimming: Trumbull High meets rival St. Joseph

Trumbull High defeated St Joseph 99-63 at Friday’s all-Trumbull FCIAC girls swim meet at Hillcrest Middle School.

Trumbull High coach Bill Strickland mixed and matched his lineup a bit to get a sense of the versatility of his swimmers and “Just to feel out the depth of our team.”

He was pleased with the performances and said his team built off of a tough meet with New Canaan, in which the Eagles swam better than the results indicated.

“We carried that momentum into this meet and had some great times today,” said Strickland, adding that more team members qualified for postseason, a trend he anticipates continuing as the season unfolds.

St Joseph, a smaller school among its FCIAC counterparts, regularly is over-matched, but still has plenty to swim for when the Cadets compete — especially when it is against Trumbull

“It’s all about states,” said Cadet coach Nick Blade. “Our swimmers are working toward the state championships when they will match up with same class size schools. They’re a very good team (Trumbull) and it’s fun. A lot of the girls know each other so it brings out a little competitive spirit.”

The Eagles began the meet with a win in the 200 yard medley relay event, as the team of Mia Zajac, Julia Nevins, Regan Ryan and Sophia Bragg finished in a time of 2:01.78.

Trumbull’s first-place finishes continued.

Nevins won the 200 free in 2:12.14.

Karina Walsh took first in the 200 individual medley in 2:26.38.

Ashleigh Piro was the fastest to the finish in the 50 free, sprinting to a time of 27.13.

Nancie Ziegler won the 100 in 1:05.46.

Zajac was first in the 100 free in a time of 56.99.

The 200 free relay team of Walsh, Elizabeth Stankevitz, Piro and Bragg was first in 1:50.75.

Trumbull exhibitioned the remainder of the meet.

Ziegler had the fastest time in the 100 backstroke, clocking in at 1:06.16.

Blake Asaro was fastest in the 100 breaststroke in 1:17.51.

The 400 free relay of Ziegler, Anna Haydostian, Piro and Zajac clocked in with the best time of 3:57.78.

For St Joseph, Rebecca Cavanagh came in third in the 200 IM in 2:44.96.

Kimberly Wu led St Joe’s in the 50 free, placing third in 29.15.

Among other strong performances was Mackenzie Ceccarelli finishing the 100 backstroke in 1:15.09 and Gabriella Saavedra completing the 100 breaststroke race in 1:24.32.

“Great atmosphere on the pool deck – fun, loud, and the girls did well,” said Strickland, who has a large number of underclassmen, including a dozen sophomores, in the lineup. “We’re still growing. We have a bright future ahead of us and we still have more work to do. Our captains, Sophia Bragg and Nancie Ziegler are doing a great job.”

St Joe’s is building both for success in this year’s state meet and going forward in years to come.

Blade said, “Everyone is improving every day. Emily Giovannone and Olivia Scully are senior captains have been tremendous leaders. We had thirteen swimmers on the roster a year ago and twenty this season, including seven freshmen.”

“I love it. They’re so much fun to be around,” said Mackenzie Ceccarelli, one of those freshmen, adding that there is motivation with each meet. “You always want to try to beat your own time.”