MIDDLETOWN, March 18 – Avon junior Riley Strassner won his second consecutive Class M championship Wednesday night leading from start to finish in the 200-yard freestyle at Wesleyan. Strassner also took second in the 100 freestyle and swam on Avon’s 400 freestyle relay team that took fourth and qualified for Saturday’s State Open championships.
Strassner helped the Falcons finish sixth in Class M – their highest finish ever in Class M. Avon set a new school record for most points scored at a CIAC state championship meet with 286 points. Brookfield dominated as they won the Class M title with 703 points. Notre Dame-West Haven was second with 466.
Strassner led the 200 freestyle from start to finish and beat Brookfield’s Rory Collins by a whopping 3.10 seconds. The race was a bit closer in the 100 freestyle where Strassner lost to Middletown’s Doherty by 1.4 seconds. Strassner swam a 47.45 in the event.
Strassner qualified for Saturday’s State Open championships at Yale’s historic Kiphuth Pool beginning at 2:30 p.m. He also qualified with Avon’s 400 freestyle relay team (sophomore Matthew Bagley, Stephen Pang, Kyle Emery, Strassner) that finished fourth with a time of 3:23.78, nearly three seconds than their qualifying time on Saturday.
It’s the best finish by an Avon High relay team at the Class M meet. There was a Falcon 400 freestyle relay team that finished third in Class S in 2000.
Strassner wasn’t the only Falcon to earn points on Wednesday night.
For the second straight year, Emery finished fourth in the 100 backstroke with a time of 54.96 seconds. That was also good enough to earn a berth at the State Open. Pang was tenth in 1:00.45 seconds.
Emery, sophomore Sam Johnson, Bagley and sophomore Jared Culbertson finished sixth in the 200 medley relay. The 200 freestyle relay (junior Connor Murpy, sophomore Annie Hayes, freshman Emily Foley, Culbertson) was 16th.
In the 200 individual medley, Bagley was tenth and Pang was 20th. In the 100 butterfly, Bagley was 11th while Megan Foley was 18th with a time of season-best time of 1:01.98. Foley was the only individual Avon girl to qualify for the finals.
Since 2001, other Avon girls have qualified to swim in the finals, primarily in the backstroke and some freestyle events. But Foley was the first to qualify to compete in the butterfly.
Emery also finished seventh in the 100 freestyle with a time of 50.58. In the 100 breast stroke, Sam Johnson was 18th.