Girls swimming: Warriors hold off Tigers, go to 5-0

Even though his team had begun to build a sizeable lead midway through Thursday’s meet at Ridgefield, head coach Todd Stevens didn’t want the Wilton High girls swim and dive to assume anything — especially when your opponent is the defending FCIAC champion.

“I think they started to get a little over-excited,” said Stevens, who reminded his swimmers to focus on one event at a time.

“I told them they were going to keep coming at us,” he said. “Ridgefield wasn’t going to hand it over to us. They’re a quality team and they have some great swimmers, and they gave us a good meet.”

The end result is that Wilton is still perfect after five meets, as the Warriors (5-0) defeated the Tigers, 103-83, at the Barlow Mountain Rec Center, in their first big test of the season.

“It turned out really well for us. There were a lot of close races,” said coach Stevens. “They girls didn’t want to lose — they wanted to try to stay undefeated for as long as they can.”

The win avenged last year’s meeting, when the Tigers swamped the Warriors on their way to their first-ever FCIAC title.

Wilton was led by double winner Ellen Holmquist, who was first in both the 200-meter individual medley and 100-meter breaststroke.

Also scoring wins were Taylor Loud in the 50 freestyle, Emma Babashak in the 100 butterfly, Katie Stevenson in the 100 freestyle and Marra Woodring in the diving.

Anna Turner was a double winner for the Tigers (200 free, 500 free), while Julia Weiner won the 100 backstroke.

Ridgefield got off to a strong start with a 1-3 finish in the 200 medley relay and 1-2-3 finish in the 200 free (Turner, Stephanie Bishop and Rylie Giles) to take an early 23-7 lead.

Wilton answered with a 1-2-3 finishes in both the 200 IM (Holmquist, Olivia Crisafulli, Liela Hastings) and 50 free (Loud, Stevenson, Morgan Dill) to claim the lead, 32-30.

That was followed by a sweep on the top three spots in the diving (Woodring, Amy Malburg, Suzy Malburg), a 1-2 finish in the 100 butterfly (Babashak, Arisa Cowe), and 1-3 finish in the 100 free (Stevenson, Loud) to give the Warriors a commanding 66-44 lead after seven events.

Thursday’s meet featured everything you could ask for — a lot of noise and excitement, and a lot of close races between elite swimmers who are rivals and friends.

“We don’t get to swim against Ridgefield every year because they‘re in the West Division of the FCIAC. We’re on a two-year rotation," said Stevens. "There’s no animosity between the teams or the coaches. It’s good, healthy rivalry. It was a real test for us.”

Results for the meet were:

Wilton 103, Ridgefield 83

200 medley relay — 1. Ridgefield (Emily Fox, Elizabeth Schroppe, Sara Hunt, Rachel Blieden), 2:04.57; 2. Wilton (Morgan Dill, Liela Hastings, Emma Babashak, Avery Rowland), 2:09.89; 3. Ridgefield (Julia Weiner, Janna Cohard, Elissa Clancy, Micaela O’Malley), 2:15.13; 4. Wilton (Brooke Kelly, Liz Breslin, Maddie Pennino, Lara Burke), 2:21.17; 5. Ridgefield (Annette Meyers, Hanna Sotolongo, Jenna Budicini, Maggie Rush), 2:26.78; 6. Wilton (Pauline Hendricks, Eleanor Winrow, Isabella Fischetti, Caitlin Sullivan), 2:29.6;

200 freestyle — 1. Anna Turner (R) 2:08.71, 2. Stephanie Bishop (R) 2:14.51, 3. Rylie Giles (R) 2:15.84, 4. Emily Walden (W) 2:17.39, 5. Arisa Cowe (W) 2:18.22, 6. Julianna Hune (W) 2:21.52;

200 IM — 1. Ellen Holmquist (W) 2:17.39, 2. Olivia Crisafulli (W) 2:21.52, 3. Liela Hastings (W) 2:31.76, 4. Julia Weiner (R) 2:35.96, 5. Jenna Budicini (R) 2:37.1, 6. Annette Meyers (R) 2:54.0;

50 freestyle — 1. Taylor Loud (W) 27.46, 2. Katie Stevenson (W) 27.72, 3. Morgan Dill (W) 28.28, 4. Jenna Leonard (R) 28.34, 5. Hannah Snyder (R) 28.43, 6. Maggie Rush (R) 30.26;

Diving — 1. Marra Woodring (W) 204.55, 2. Amy Malburg (W) 168.65, 3. Suzy Malburg (W) 165.65, 4. Andrea Murphy (R) 130.85, 5. Maggie Pell (R) 118.35;

100 butterfly — 1. Emma Babashak (W) 1:06.97, 2. Arisa Cowe (W) 1:08.28, 3. Elissa Clancy (R) 1:08.71, 4. Emily Walden (W) 1:10.94, 5. Jenna Budicini (R) 1:12.84, 6. Sara Hunt (R) 1:17.65;

100 freestyle — 1. Katie Stevenson (W) 1:00.33, 2. Micaela O’Malley (R) 1:00.59, 3. Taylor Loud (W) 1:00.73, 4. Stephanie Bishop (R) 1:01.34, 5. Hannah Snyder (R) 1:02.34, 6. Avery Rowland (W) 1:03.78;

500 freestyle — 1. Anna Turner (R) 4:36.6, 2. Emma Babashak (W) 4:40.34, 3. Rylie Giles (R) 4:49.5, 4. Anais Wentzel (W) 4:54.39, 5. Julianna Hume (W) 5:02.08, 6. Molly Gels (R) 5:46.99;

200 freestyle relay — 1. Ridgefield (Jenna Leonard, Hannah Synder, Stephanie Bishop, Anna Turner), 1:52.26; 2. Wilton (Morgan Dill, Ellen Holmquist, Katie Stevenson, Taylor Loud), 1:52.51; 3. Wilton (Avery Rowland, Arisa Cowe, Lara Burke, Emily Walden), 1:59.83; 4. Ridgefield (Maggie Rush, Kasey McGerald, Juliette Castagna, Rylie Giles), 2:00.1, 5. Ridgefield (Catalina Carmona, Stephanie Zacharakos Gillian Retter, McKenna Reid), 2:06.0; 6. Wilton (Pauline Hendricks, Julia Morneau, Eleanor Winrow, Amanda Hefferman), 2:15.44;

100 backstroke — 1. Julia Weiner (R) 1:08.64, 2. Micaela O’Malley (R) 1:09.12, 3. Morgan Dill (W) 1:12.63, 4. Brooke Kelly (W) 1:13.02, 5. Olivia Crisafulli (W) 1:14.34, 6. Annette Meyers (R) 1:16.8;

100 breaststroke — 1. Ellen Holmquist (W) 1:16.3, 2. Jenna Leonard (R) 1:17.23, 3. Hanna Sotolongo (R) 1:19.54, 4. Liela Hastings (W) 1:19.59, 5. Elissa Clancy (R) 1:20.09, 6. Avery Rowland (W) 1:24.74;

400 freestyle relay — 1. Wilton (Katie Stevenson, Emma Babashak, Ellen Holmquist, Taylor Loud), 4:02.24; 2. Ridgefield (Anna Turner, Stephanie Bishop, Micaela O’Malley, Hannah Snyder), 4:05.21; 3. Wilton (Arisa Cowe, Emily Walden, Olivia Crisafulli, Brooke Kelly), 4:18.81; 4. Ridgefield (Rylie Giles, Maggie Rush, Julia Weiner, Jenna Budice), 4:25.22; 5. Wilton (Hayden Roy, Chloe Hornby, Lara Burke, Anais Wentzel), 4:41.12; 6. Ridgefield (Devansi Sinha, Elizabeth Schroppe, Emily Fox, Gillian Retter), 4:58.73.