Girls swim preview: Warriors expect to improve

The Wilton High girls swim and dive team has the numbers, but the Warriors’ may not have the frontline firepower to contend for FCIAC or state titles.

The team boasts a roster of over 50 swimmers and divers, thanks to 12 new freshmen who should made an impact a the season goes along.

That, along with a strong 15-member sophomores class, sets the team up well for the future.

“I’m pleased with the freshman class we have. I feel we have good depth but there will be some events we have to work on strengthening,” said head coach Todd Stevens, whose team opens the season at home (Wilton Family Y) today. “It’s a pretty young team. We graduated Brooke Hendee, Katrina Trentos and Emma Holmquist, so those are some pretty big graduates.”

Holmquist and Trentos were two of Wilton’s top three a year ago, with both named first-team all-FCIAC.

Holmquist was the FCIAC champ in the 200-yard individual medley and also took third in the 100 breaststroke. She had top-five finishes in both events the Class L state championships.

Trentos was second in the 500 freestyle and fifth in the 100 backstroke at FCIACs, and also earned all-state honors by placing third in the 500 free at the Class L meet. She also placed fifth in the backstroke.

Hendee had top-eight finishes at FCIACs (breaststroke) and states (200 IM).

On the diving side, the Warriors graduated Riley Wadehra, who was 16th at FCIACs.

The top returning swimmer is senior tri-captain Emma Kauffeld, a distance freestyler who was first-team all-FCIAC last season after placing third in the 500 freestyle and sixth in the 200 freestyle. At the state meet, who had a pair of top-five finishes, taking fourth in the 500 freestyle and fifth in the 200 freestyle.

Also back is senior tri-captain Allie Courtney, who was the team’s top diver last season, capping it off with a fourth-place finish at the State Open.

The team’s third tri-captain is senior Grace Kauffman, whose main event is the breaststroke.

Other top swimmers returning from a year ago include sophomores Arrisa Cowe, Morgan Dill and Taylor Loud.

Dill and Loud are both sprint freestylers and Loud will also swim the breaststroke. Both finaled in the 50 free at FCIACs as freshmen, with Dill placing seventh and Loud eighth. In the 100 free, Dill finished 10th and Loud was 16th. Cowe last season was 14th at FCIACs in the 100 butterfly and qualified for the State Open in the event.

Other returning contributors who Stevens is counting on include seniors Grace Schaller (butterfly), Chloe Hornby (sprint freestyle) and NoraNoël Nolan (freestyle, individual medley, breaststroke); juniors Emily Walden (freestyle) and Brooke Kelly (freestyle, backstroke); and

Ellie Cramer (backstroke), Liela Hastings (breaststroke, individual medley), Pauline Hendricks (distance freestyle), Julianna Hume (sprint freestyle), Lily Kealy (butterfly, backstroke), Julia Morneau (backstroke), Avery Rowland (sprint freestyle) and Katie Stevenson (freestyle).

Incoming freshmen are Emma Babashak, Lara Burke, Natalie Ellenthal, Isabella Fischetti, Mandy Hefferman, Ellen Holmquist, Amy Malburg, Suzy Malburg, Madeline Pennino, Caitlin Sullivan, Eleanor Winrow, Marra Woodring.

The team also includes seniors Allison Courtney, Isabelle Ethenthal, Mia Fung, Beth Hefferman, Alex Hollander, Vedika Karandikar, Alex Keenan, Audrey Keliehor, Stephanie Xie and Grace Ziskind; juniors Elizabeth Breslin, Josy Griep and Kennedy Snyder; and sophomores Ava Kaplan, Khushi Kapoor, Mackenzie McCormick and Charlotte Rigby.

A year ago, Wilton went 4-3 in dual meets, was placed sixth at FCIACs and fourth in Class L, before taking eighth at the Open. The Warriors this season drop four opponents from their schedule (Greenwich, Staples, Danbury, Norwalk/McMahon) and add three (Ridgefield, Trumbull, Stamford/Westhill).

Stevens said Wilton should be a solid dual-meet team, with the key meets on Sept. 26 against last year’s FCIAC runner-up, Ridgefield; Oct. 29 against defending FCIAC champ New Canaan; and Oct. 26 against defending Class L champ Darien.

Stevens said the Warriors have the talent to improve on last year’s finishes at the post-season

“I think in the FCIAC championship meet we should be a top five team but I don’t think we have the frontline to carry a top three finish,” he said.

At the Class L meet, “grabbing a top-two spot would be a tough thing for us,” he said.

“It takes four great kids in every event and I don’t think we have that all down the board. We have two maybe three in every event, except maybe one event where I feel that we’re lacking,” he continued. “I don’t think we have the top talent to run three really great relays — I’m talking top two at states in all three relays. I don’t see that happening.”