A 33-3 record over the past three seasons has Wethersfield head coach Lee Schwartzman asking for more: Make noise in the Class M and State Open.
"We have a lot of depth — both front-end depth and all the way through the lineup," said Schwartzman.
The team's losses in the past three years have come to Glastonbury. This year Wethersfield has scheduled dual meets with Class M powerhouses Wilton and Branford. The coach said that even if those meets amount to losses, they would be worth the experience
"[The goal is] to put the kids in the situation of 'You're going to have to swim fast or we're not going to win,'" said Schwartzman.
Two returners already hold school records. Pat Orkins owns the mark in the 500 freestyle and Chris Curtin in the 200 individual medley.
Schwartzman said the team's weakness is sprint events, but a new program he plans to implement should help to remedy that. The plan involves shorter, faster workouts emphasizing proper sprint technique.
"We did that with the girls and the proof is in the pudding," said Schwartzman.
Rebuilding Mode: Xavier, Cheshire
Leandra Manos enters her first year as the coach of Xavier with a focus: technique and race strategy.
Manos said Xavier graduated a lot of talent, including Class LL 200-yard Individual medley champion Kevin Kosciuk, but she and the team are looking forward to the challenge.
"For me it's really exciting because you never know who is going to take those No. 1 and No. 2 spots," said Manos.
Cheshire is in a literal rebuilding mode — its swimming facility can't be used until the bubble for the pool is fixed. The team been practicing at Albertus College, which coach Fran Connolly said has made it difficult to recruit swimmers. This year's roster has just 13.
"It'll be tough in the dual meets because we just don't have the numbers," said Connolly.
"I just want to compete well and let the seniors leave with best career times."
Connolly said he expects the team to perform well in the class and state meets as he is returning State Open qualifiers Brendan Smalec and Ray Chen, both seniors.
The team will be without state qualifier Greg Han, who has decided to swim for a club team for his junior season. Connolly said Han is hoping to make it to the Olympic trials.
Manchester Infusing Youth
This year, Machester coach Mel Ciebold will look to two freshmen to contribute from the get-go.
Robert Michaud and Quinn Packer have joined a Manchester team with 44 swimmers — the most in school history.
"They've been swimming USS and have been working hard as younger swimmers and are very accomplished for their age," said Ciebold.
Packer follows in the footsteps of two record-holding sisters, Phoebe Packer with the medley relay team and Hannah Packer, now a junior on Central's swimming team, who holds the record in the 100 backstroke.
Loaded CCC West
Conard is returning Gregory Youngstrum, state finalist in the 50 and 100 freestyle, to a team coming off an undefeated 13-0 season.
"We did lose some very stong seniors, but I've already seen some great improvement in the first few weeks," said John Schiammetti.
Farmington and Hall, who both had nine wins last season, will be gunning for Conard.
"We have plenty of talent on the team," said Farmington coach Scott Ferrigno, "So it's just a matter of building and getting it ready for when the time is right."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun