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Falcon swimmers win nine of 12 events to beat Conard for 2nd win

Swimming graphicNEW BRITAIN, Jan. 9 – Avon High’s boys swim team is off to a solid start this season with two wins in their first three meets including a 101-79 victory over Conard-West Hartford on Friday afternoon at Central Connecticut State. The win for the Falcons comes after five consecutive losses to the Chieftains dating back to 2010. 

Avon (2-1) won nine of 12 events led by junior Riley Strassner and sophomore Kyle Emery, who each won two individual events and swam on two winning relays. Sophomore Stephen Pang won the 200 yard individual medley and 100 backstroke while swimming on one winning relay. 

“We are a young team with no seniors. We have lots of depth and flexibility on this team,” fourth year head coach Diana Cesaro said. 

Strassner, the first Avon High boy to win a state title in swimming last winter in the 200 free at the Class M championships, won the 100 butterfly against Conard by nearly five seconds and the 200 freestyle by nearly six seconds. He swam on Avon’s winning 200 medley relay (Emery, Sam Johnson, Strassner, Matt Bagley) and the winning 400 freestyle relay (Emery, Bagley, Pang, Strassner). Emery won the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle. 

Brendon Downey (diving) also picked up an individual victory for Avon. 

Avon’s depth helped the Falcons pick up the victory. Since Avon doesn’t have a girls swimming team in the fall, girls swim on the Falcon team in the winter.

Sophomore Annie Hayes was second in the 500 freestyle while sophomore Sarah Preleski (200 free) and freshman Megan Boswell (100 back) each finished third. Preleski, Karina Bucci, Sarah Osiecki and Megan Foley finished third in the 400 freestyle. 

Avon began the season with a 98-80 win over the co-op team from E.O. Smith and Tolland before dropping a close 98-85 decision to Holy Cross in Waterbury. 

The Falcons hit the pool again next Friday, Jan. 16 when they travel to Bristol to take on the Bristol Central/Bristol Eastern/St. Paul co-op squad. Avon is at Granby on Jan. 20, at 8 p.m. at the Farmington YMCA in Granby. The next home meet at CCSU for the Falcons is against Hall on Friday, Jan. 23, at 4 p.m.

This is Avon’s final season as an independent team. Next winter, the Falcons will be competing in the Central Connecticut Conference (CCC) in the Northern Region’s White Division with Hartford Public, Newington, Rocky Hill, E.O. Smith/Tolland and Wethersfield. Avon has eight CCC teams on this year’s schedule including a date at Farmington on Feb. 4 at Miss Porter’s School. 

Avon 101, Conard 79
At New Britain
200 yard medley relay: 1. Avon (Kyle Emergy, Sam Johnson, Riley Strassner, Matt Bagley) 1:49.93, 2. Conard 1:50.60, 3. Avon (Megan Boswell, Alec Traktovenko, Megan Foley, Emily Foley) 1:59.26
200 yard freestyle: 1. Riley Strassner (A) 1:53.17, 2. Matthew Thomas (C) 1:59.77, 3. Sarah Preleski (A) 2:06.90, 4. Christian Bouzyk (C) 2:08.65, 5. Connor Murphy (A) 2:13.42
50 free: 1. Kyle Emery (A) 24.37, 2. Nickolas Hartman (C) 24.55, 3. Jonathan Lee (C) 26.14, 4. Matt Costello (C) 26.77, 5. Alec Traktovenko (A) 26.32
Diving: 1: Brendon Downey (A) 121.40, 2. Nathaniel Rosado (C) 120.15
100 fly: 1. Riley Strassner (A) 57.05, 2. Matt Bagley (A) 1:02.34, 3. Chris DiPietro (C) 1:02.71, 4. Matt Costello (C) 1:06.31, 5. Megan Foley (A) 1:07.72
100 free: 1. Kyle Emery (A) 53.61, 2. Nickolas Hartman (C) 55.28, 3. Alec Taktovenko (A) 58.63, 4. Kayla Bucci (A) 59.40, 5. Milo Vath (C) 59.67
500 free: 1. Matthew Thomas (C) 5:45.53, 2. Annie Hayes (A) 5:52.95, 3. Sean Burke (C) 6:01.31, 4. Wallace Phelps (C) 6:03.80, 5. Emily Boswell (A) 6:04.79
200 freestyle relay: 1. Conard (Christian Bouzyk, Matt Costello, Jonathan Lee, Matthew Thomas) 1:42.06, 2. Avon (Stephen Pang, Alec Traktovenko, Kayla Bucci, Connor Murphy) 1:46.11, 3. Conard 1:47.49
100 back: 1. Stephen Pang (A) 1:03.17, 2. Christian Bouzyk (C) 1:04.11, 3. Megan Boswell (A) 1:06.10, 4. Chris DiPietro (C) 1:08.33, 5. Jennifer Wall (A) 1:09.65
100 breast: 1. Stephen Espinal (C) 1:09.51, 2. Sam Johnson (A) 1:13.15, 3. Thomas Costello (C) 1:13.89, 4. Stephanie Rosenthal (A) 1:18.64, 5. Emily Foley (A) 1:23.20
400 freestyle relay: 1. Avon (Kyle Emery, Matthew Bagley, Stephen Pang, Riley Strassner) 3:36.34, 2. Conard 3:47.43, 3. Avon (Sarah Preleski, Kayla Bucci, Sarah Osiecki, Megan Foley) 4:02.15
Record: Avon 2-1, Conard 1-2

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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