Boys swim preview: Wilton looks to remain force despite losses

Coming off an impressive 2012-13 season that included an 8-2 dual-meet record, a third-place finish at the FCIAC championships, a second-place finish at the Class L state meet, and a fifth-place finish at the State Open, the Wilton High boys swim team will have to compensate for some big departures this winter.

Lost to graduation were Mason Molina and Sean Higgins, who each had top-four finishes in two individual events at last year’s Class L meet, including Molina’s victory in the 200-yard freestyle. Also matriculating was Max Bloom, who added points in two events at the Class L championships.

Another hit came when junior Stephen Holmquist opted not to swim for the Warriors this season, deciding to focus instead on club swimming with the Wilton Y Wahoos. Holmquist won the 500 freestyle and was second in the 200 freestyle at the Class L meet and also placed second in the 500 freestyle at the State Open.

Even with the losses, Wilton should still be a force this season thanks to a strong front line. The issue for the Warriors will be depth.

“We only have 19 swimmers on the roster and no divers,” said head coach Todd Stevens, whose team opens the season against Fairfield Ludlowe and Fairfield Warde today at the Wilton Y at 3:40.

“I don’t see any event at states where we will have four swimmers scoring points.”

Wilton’s top returnee is senior Tommy Kealy. He won the 50 freestyle and the 100 butterfly at last year’s Class L meet and then finished fifth in the 100 butterfly at the State Open.

“Tommy had a great season and should be a standout again this year,” said Stevens. “He is a talented swimmer.”

Also back is classmate Bobby McDowell, who was fourth in the 100 backstroke and sixth in the 100 butterfly at the Class L championship. “Bobby is another strong front-line swimmer for us,” said Stevens. “He should be even better this season.”

The same can be said for senior Callum Breene, who had two top-seven finishes at last year’s Class L meet and will provide leadership along with fellow captains Kealy and McDowell, as well as senior Jack Abbott, who was 14th in the 100 butterfly in Class L.

Wilton’s sophomore class includes two swimmers, Charlie Owens and Derek Benison, who scored points at the Class L meet. And a highly regarded freshman class features Robbie Giller, Kyle Wilson and Will Suchy, who could all be immediate contributors.

“We have some good young swimmers, who can help us right away,” said Stevens. “That is a plus to help offset the losses.”

Notes: Kealy also won the 50 freestyle and the 100 butterfly at last year’s FCIAC championship, helping the Warriors finish third in the team standings.

Wilton’s roster also includes seniors Chris Hume, Trevor Kratz and Andrew Rowland; juniors Jack Gressle and Daniel Xie; sophomores Albert Cai, Spencer Goodwin and Ryan Robb; and freshmen Anthony Horicka and Harrison McCool.