Pisces win Yankee title, break seven league records

The Trumbull Pisces claimed their first Yankee League Swim Championship in commanding fashion, breaking a total seven league records, on Saturday night at West Haven High.

The Pisces won the title with 1,470 points, besting the Madison Marlins who took second place with 982 overall points. This is the Pisces first league championship after continually moving up the ranks over the past six seasons under coach Bill Strickland.

"Today our Pisces swim team achieved our team goal of taking home the Yankee League championship,” Strickland said. “After last year falling just short to take second place was tough for us, so to see the focus and hard work that our swimmers put in everyday to earn this championship is a testament of how amazing these kids are."

In total, the Pisces had 61 swimmers qualify for the league championships this season.

All the swimmers competed the weekend before at Yankee League Trials with the top 12 swimmers in each event qualifying for the championship event.

The Pisces led the Trials event with the highest total of swimmers qualifying for championship weekend. Once the big event was underway the Pisces were the story all day long, as they continued to break league records.

Girls 11/12 200 Medley Relay: Norah Hampford, Kristen Racicot, Keria Redgate, Loralai Dale

Old Record – 02/03/2018 – 2:04.36; New Record – 02/24/2018 – 2:01.86

Girls 13 & Over 200 Medley: Anna Haydostian, Elizabeth Stoelzel, Jackie Dale, Julia Nevins

Old Record – 02/21/2009 – 1:56.90; New Record – 02/24/2018 - 1:54.18

Girls 15 & Over 100 Butterfly: Julia Nevins Old Record  - 1:01.35 – 03/1978; New Record – 1:00.10 02/24/2018

Girls 15 & Over 200 Freestyle:  Nancie Ziegler Old Record – 2:00.51 – 03/1995; New Record – 1:59.00 02/24/2018

Girls 13-14 100 Backstroke: Elizabeth Stoelzel Old Record – 1:03.10 – 02/20/2018; New Record – 1:01.26 – 02/24/2018

Girls 11/12 50 Breaststroke: Kristen Racicot Old Record – 33.69 – 02/13/2017; New Record – 33.62 02/24/2017

Girls 13 Over 200 Freestyle Relay:  Elizabeth Stoelzel, Jackie Dale, Nancie Ziegler, Julia Nevins Old Record – 1:44.25 02/03/2018; New Record  - 1:42.77 02/24/2018

One of the unique aspects of swimming is that you have athletes ranging in ages from 6 through 16 on the same pool deck competing for the same team and a bond is formed.

"Being on deck when the Pisces swimmers broke seven league records, displaying the amazing sportsmanship, the team supporting each other in every race, and just the fun time we had on deck could not be topped,” Strickland said. “It was the proudest moment of my coaching career to to be able to turn and see the faces of all the swimmers, parents and coaches of the Pisces when they announced the team results and present the Trumbull Pisces with the Yankee League championship."

Along with breaking records, the Pisces took home the plenty of hardware by winning 5 of the 12 team relays and 20 individual events.

Taking home first place in their individual events were: Noelle Ivanovich 6 Under (25 Breaststroke), Ashmeen Batra 7-8 (25 Breaststroke), Sara Johnson 9-10 (100 IM), Kaya Patel 9-10 (50 Breaststroke), Norah Hampford 11-12 (100 Free, 50 Back), Alexander Ivanovich (200 IM, 50 Breaststroke) Hope Ivanovich 11-12 (200 Free, 200 IM), Kristen Racicot 11-12 (50 Fly, 50 Breaststroke), Jackie Dale 13-14 (100 Free, 100 Fly), Cameron Kosak 13 Over (100 Back), Liz Stoelzel 13-14 (100 Back, 100 Breaststroke), Blake Asaro 15 Over (100 Breaststroke) and Nancie Zeigler 15 over (200 Free).

Team President Michael Redgate was proud to see his organization bring home their first league title.

"Winning the Yankee League championship is a direct result of our swimmers believing in Coach Bill's philosophy that we are a family,” he said. “The swimmers swam for each other and not one of them was going to let their Pisces family down. They worked hard, improved their times and showed the league what Pisces Pride is all about."