NEW BRITAIN, Feb. 23 – All season long, the Avon High boys swim team has been a co-ed team with girls contributing up and down the lineup. Since Avon doesn’t have a swim team in the fall when the CIAC sponsors girls swimming, the girls are allowed to swim on the boys team.
For one night, the boys didn’t need the girls. The Falcons swamped undermanned Hartford Public, 87-69 on Thursday night at Central Connecticut State University to win the Central Connecticut Conference North White division championship.
The girls on the team were taking a break to prepare for Saturday’s Splash Classic championship meet at Plainville High – the unofficial state meet for girls that participate in swimming during the winter.
But make no mistake about it. Without the contributions of the girls this season, the Falcons (12-2, 5-0 CCC North White) couldn’t have secured its first league championship in swimming.
“We have a very deep team,” Avon coach Diana Cesaro said. “It is a very event team of boys and girls so there is a lot of flexibility in (determining) the lineup in trying to win all of the meets. Everyone had to swim different events depending on the opponents.”
Max Jaremko, Zaire Griffin, Adam Zapatka, Kyle Emery and diver Brendan Downey have won numerous events throughout the season.
The closest meet in the CCC North White this year was against defending league champion Wethersfield and the girls helped make a difference.
The Falcons won, 97-89 and led by just four points with three events to go. Emily Boswell and Megan Boswell finished third and fourth in the 100 backstroke to earn four points. Sarah Preleski and Annie Hayes finished fourth and fifth in the 500 freestyle for another three points. Avon won this meets by just eight points.
It wasn’t much of a battle against Hartford Public on Thursday. Avon won all 12 events with Justin Arroyo (200 IM, 100 free), Zapatka (200 IM), Chris Chute (50 free), Downey (diving), Jaremko (100 fly), Emery (500 free), Andre Richard (100 back) and Mason Graham (100 breast) each winning individual events.
Actually, Emery, Richard and Graham swam unofficially in their respective events as to not run up the score on the Owls. Avon swam unofficially in the last five events.
Last week, Avon used a balanced effort to beat E.O. Smith/Tolland, 95-77 with wins in seven events and three relays. Zapatka won twice (200 free, 500 free) while Jaremko (200 IM), Richard (50 free), Hogan (diving), Griffin (100 free), Emery (100 back) and Johnson won individual events.
Emery, Johnson, Arroyo and Richard won the 200-yard medley relay while Griffin, Jaremko, Arroyo and Richard captured the 200 freestyle relay. Jaremko, Zapatka, Griffin and Emery won the 400 freestyle relay for the Falcons.
The Falcons return to the pool on Friday for the CCC North White championship meet at Wethersfield High beginning at 4:30 p.m. Diving will be Thursday at Rocky Hill at 6 p.m. The Falcons won the CCC North White championship meet a year ago – their first season in the league.
The girls will be competing in the annual Splash Classic on Saturday at Plainville High, seeing their 11th consecutive Splash Classic championship.
Avon 87, Hartford Public 69
At New Britain
200 yard medley relay: Avon (Kyle Emery, Alec Traktovenko, Max Jaremko, Chris Chute) 1:52.68, 2. Avon (Andre Richard, Mason Graham, Lance Morgan, Mikey Ford) 2:07.12, 3. Hartford Public 2:33.16
200 IM: Justin Arroyo (A) 2:02.50, Zaire Griffin (A) 2:03.34, Sam Finch (A) 2:15.23
200 IM: Adam Zapatka (A) 2:15.75, Sam Johnson (A) 2:22.50, Nick Guimaraes (A) 2:37.59
50 free: Chris Chute (A) 25.70, Andrew Thomas (A) 26.47, Mikey Ford (A) 26.94
Diving: Brendan Downey (A) 220.30, Jack Hogan (A) 164, Eduard Rios DeJeus (H) 154
100 butterfly: Max Jaremko (A) 58.67, Adam Zapatka (A) 1:01.51, Sam Johnson (A) 1:05.15
100 free: Justin Arroyo (A) 53.39, Alec Traktovenko (A) 55.30, Chris Chute (A) 58.87
500 free: x-Kyle Emery (A) 5:26.82, x-Sam Finch (A) 6:22.35, x-Mike Ford (A) 6:44.35
200 free relay: x-Avon 1:39.45, x-Avon 1:45.24, x-Avon 2:02.29
100 backstroke: x-Andre Richard (A) 1:05.40, x-Zaire Griffin (A) 1:09.42, x-Neil Bratton (A) 1:18.61
100 breast stroke: x-Mason Graham (A) 1:18.46, x-Lance Morgan (A) 1:20.19, x-Nick Guimaraes (A) 1:21.03
400 free relay: x-Avon (Zapatka, Arroyo, Richard, Emery) 3:44.40, x-Avon 4:03.64, Hartford Public 5:52.09
x-Exhibition. Points not counted in overall team score
Records: Avon 12-2, 5-0 CCC North White