The Greenwich High School boys swim team looked a little worried as it held onto a slim two-point lead over the Westhill/Stamford High co-op team entering the final race of the day. Its captain wasn't. Tri-captain Michael Dustin swam a clutch 47.72 split to overtake Westhill/Stamford's Igor Sytnyk to secure a narrow 95-91 victory for the Cardinals.
"I thought the hole might have been too deep, but Dustin is a gutsy, gutsy swimmer," Greenwich head coach Terry Lowe said. "I was sitting there wondering if he could really catch Sytnyk. But man, does [Dustin] have heart. He does a lot of things so well, and he was able to pull by him."
It was a dramatic finish to a meet that the Cardinals said they knew would come down to the wire. Westhill/Stamford needed to take first and at least third in the final relay to claim victory, and it almost did just that. Greenwich's relay team of Mark Nietzel, Andrew Dillinger, Eric Minowitz, and Dustin sealed the victory with a time of 3:17.82.
"It's a good feeling that my coach trusts me as a closer, so to speak," Dustin said. "It's pretty cool to be up only two points going into the final [race], and it's up to me. I'm glad I didn't let my team down."
It became clear how close the meet would be after Westhill/Stamford emerged from the diving portion tied with the Cardinals, despite a spectacular 331.10-point effort by Connor Brisson. The Greenwich fans started to squirm when Westhill/Stamford surprisingly dominated the 500 freestyle, the 100-yard backstroke and the 100-yard breaststroke. Those high finishes set up the drama of the final relay.
Lowe praised Greenwich's key players, who gave the team critical points to put it over the top. Robert Peterson, who had not swum the 50-yard freestyle since time trials, finished a solid second in 22.61. Freshman Alex Lewis finished fourth in the 100 freestyle in 57.71. The six points earned between the two proved to be the difference.
Greenwich will have to gear up quickly thanks to Wednesday's storm wreaking havoc on its schedule . The Cardinals travel to Norwalk to take on Norwalk/McMahon today at 3:15 p.m.
Do you think the Greenwich High boys swim team has reason to worry about holding onto their Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference crown after such a close call? Start the discussion below!
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