Right in the middle of the most competitive Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference competition ever, Greenwich coach Terry Lowe told his 200 free relay team their time had come.
The Cardinals delivered, winning the race and sparking Greenwich to its fourth straight league title. Greenwich finished with 371 ½ points, followed by New Canaan with 350 ½ and Westhill/Stamford with 338. New Canaan won the league title in 2007. Greenwich has won the meet every other year since 1971.
"The 200 free really was the race we had to have,'' said Lowe, who called his swimmers over before the race to tell them it was a must-win. "I had a feeling if we won that race, we'd go out and win the 400 free relay because we had the momentum. It's nice to have Michael Dustin anchoring both of those relays."
Dustin, a senior, had a splendid meet for the Cardinals, finishing first in the 100 butterfly and second in the 50 freestyle. "I was a little disappointed in the 50 freestyle, but in a race like that everything has to go perfect,'' Dustin said. "It feels great to win the meet as a senior. We won it all four years and all of us seniors really wanted to go out on top."
Dustin's victory was the only individual win for the Cardinals, who used their depth and determination to help pull away. After the 500 freestyle, the seventh of 11 events, Greenwich trailed Westhill/Stamford by 17 points. New Canaan was just a few points behind the Cardinals. But after Greenwich won that race, the Cardinals took the lead for good and were never headed.
Andrew Dillinger (200 freestyle) finished second for the Rams, and the 200 medley relay team also finished second. Tony Martir was third in the 100 breast and Alexander Lewis was third in the 100 back. Ridgefield crowned four individual champions.
"I thought all of them did well,'' Lowe said. "We've had meets where we've had one team really coming after us, but this time there were five teams that had a chance. There were a lot of very fast times. I've never seen this meet so competitive."
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