BRISTOL - It was a match of two similarly talents boys swimming and diving teams when Berlin traveled out to Bristol to face the co-op.
But in the end, it was the Redcoats who got the best of Bristol with a 94-81 win Tuesday afternoon.
“Bristol gave us a really good meet,” Berlin head coach Daniel Thurston said. “There were a lot of tight races throughout, which is always good because you swim faster when you have somebody pushing you. Overall, it was a really good effort.”
In the first event, the 200 medley relay, the Redcoats placed first and third.
The first-place group was Kurt Bauer, Connor Recck, Andrew Roberti and Kiernan Jennings with a time of 2:09.87 and with it, the Redcoats jumped out to a 10-4 lead.
Berlin would only build on its lead from there, extending its advantage to 23-7 in the second event, the 200 freestyle.
The Redcoats’ Aaron Gauvin placed first in the race with a time of 2:04.43, while Bristol’s Lewis Sinche came close to his personal best time, finishing at 2:07.72.
Recck then placed first in the third event, the 200 IM, with a time of 2:06.37, earning his team six points.
“[Recck] is starting to hit his stride,” Thurston said. “He had a great end to the year last year and he’s got some high goals again this year. We’re getting excited about [him] getting there.”
Behind Recck was a pair of Bristol swimmers, Colton Litwinczyk and Ben Stafford.
Litwinczyk finished at 2:15.13 while Stafford finished at 2:23.62.
The seven points earned by the two still wasn’t enough as Berlin received three extra points as Bauer and Matthew Jakiel earned fourth and fifth place respectively.
Bristol’s Keagan Mullan came close to beating his personal best with his first place finish in the 50 freestyle, timing at 24.97.
“I felt the team started off really good in the beginning,” Mullan said. “A lot of us had great starts and good turns. Overall, the cheering was good. Everybody improved in their individual events.”
While he was first, the depth of Berlin continued to hurt Bristol as the Redcoats won the event 9-7 finishing with the second, third and fourth place swimmers.
Berlin’s Zachary Nielsen continued to impress this season from the diving board. As the Redcoats only diver, he posted his personal best with a score of 191.55.
“It meant a lot to me,” Nielsen said on his diving performance. “I’m closer to breaking our school record. It also means that I’m getting a lot better in diving, which I find nice that I’m improving.”
In events 6-10, Bristol had three first place finishers with Gabe Bartolome and Sinche dominating in their events.
Bartolome placed first in the 100 butterfly (1:00.02) and the 100 backstroke (1:00.75). Sinche had his best time in the 500 freestyle (5:42.29).
For Berlin’s Matthew Dennis, he was tasked with a double race, in the 100 butterfly and the 500 freestyle.
Dennis finished fourth in the 100 butterfly and came close to his best time in the 500 freestyle as he raced with only one event between the two.
“Some people would look at that and say coach ‘really?’” Thurston said. “But he didn’t anything and got up and busted his butt.”
For the Redcoats, it is their third win of the season as they continue to improve off of a tough schedule to begin the year.
“I think the team did really well stepping up,” Recck said. “We knew this was going to be a close meet.”
On the other side, Bristol is finally recovering from some illnesses and hopes it can have a strong finish to the year.
“Overall, I would say it was a good meet for us,” Bristol head coach Nick Daddabbo said. “We had a bunch of best times and then a lot of kids close to their best times. So when you look at that you have to at least be happy for that. You have to take that as the positive thing rather than just looking at the final score of the meet.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org