Meghan Lynch Sets 200 IM State Record, Cheshire Dethrones Greenwich at Connecticut Girls Open

cheshire high school connecticut state open 2019
Photo Courtesy: @CHsportsfeed Twitter (@chsportsfeed)

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The 2019 Connecticut Girls Swimming & Diving Open State Championships took place on Nov. 24 at the Kiphuth Pool on Yale University’s campus in New Haven, Conn.

The meet was highlighted by Greenwich’s Meghan Lynch setting a new state and meet record in the 200 IM with a time of 1:59.13 while Trumbull’s Lauren Walsh set a new Connecticut Open mark of 1:01.96 in the 100 breast.

Cheshire used impressive depth to snap Greenwich’s four-year winning streak, concluding the meet with a total score of 428 ahead of the defending champions’ 420 points. This is Cheshire’s first state title since 2004.

Click HERE for full results and team scores.

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Cheshire – 428
2. Greenwich – 420
3. Staples – 326
4. Darien – 323.5
5. Weston – 284

The meet began as Greenwich’s Samantha Ennis (26.88), Lynch (28.46), Caterina Li (26.12), and Jenna Handali (24.53) won the opening 4×50 medley relay in 1:45.99, nearly two seconds ahead of runner-up Trumbull (1:47.29) and third-place finisher Staples (1:47.80).

Cheshire’s Julia Stevens, who placed third in the 200 free last season, won the event this year after stopping the clock in 1:51.97 for a two-second victory. Ridgefield’s Rylie Giles took second in 1:53.93 while Lauralton Hall’s Claire Kehley finished third in 1:53.93.

Lynch found herself with an individual gold in the 200 IM as the only swimmer in the field under the two-minute mark, getting her hand to the wall three seconds faster than anyone else in 1:59.50. The junior’s prelims time of 1:59.13 broke her own meet and Connecticut state record of 1:59.30 set last year. Walsh took second in 2:02.42 and Weston’s Isabella Gary took third in 2:05.94.

Cheshire’s Sophie Murphy sprinted her way to a 50 free gold medal for the second-straight season, splashing and dashing her way to a final time of 23.68. Esme Hunter of Staples raced to second in 23.85 as New Haven’s Madeline Bergin took a close third in 23.90.

Greenwich’s Regina Frias dove to first on the 1-meter board, posting a final score of 504.25 to edge out runner-up Elisabeth Katz (503.15) of Weston. Greenwich’s Saylor Kirsch took third in 481.35.

Hannah Seward of Ridgefield flew to the top of the podium in the 100 fly, touching the wall in 55.50 for the gold medal. Hall’s Aislinn Mitchell secured the silver medal in 56.31 while Amity’s Katherine Emerick O’Connor grabbed bronze in 56.73.

Murphy successfully defended her title in the 100 free to match her 50 free gold from earlier in the meet. The junior raced to the wall in 51.08 while Ludlowe’s Kily Kernaghan (52.16) and Seward (52.26) finished second and third, respectively.

Not long after winning the 200 free, Stevens was back in the water to take the top spot in the 500 free as the only swimmer in the field under the five-minute barrier in 4:59.55. Giles again took second in 5:02.34 as Cheshire’s Nora Bergstrom was right behind in 5:02.55 for third.

It was a tight race in the 4×50 free relay as Darien’s Lexi Punishill (24.63), Lily Bradbury (24.31), Natalia Ferranto (24.08), and Kendall Luecke (23.70) won in 1:36.72 to edge out runner-up Staples’ 1:36.80. Chesire rounded out the top three in 1:38.00.

50 freestyle runner-up Hunter found herself with a victory in the 100 back, powering home in 56.16 for a narrow three-one-hundredths victory over New Canaan’s Maddie Haley (56.19). Winning medley relay leadoff Ennis also made the podium in 56.74 for third.

After taking second in the 200 IM, Walsh redeemed herself by winning the 100 breast in 1:01.96 to dethrone defending champion Lynch who took second in 1:02.74. New Haven’s Angela Gambardella got her hands to the wall in 1:02.91 for third. Walsh’s time broke Kaki Christensen of Darien’s previous meet record of 1:02.56 set in 2016 and was just shy of Weston’s Sophie Angus’ state mark of 1:01.89 set three years ago.

In another close relay battle, Greenwich’s Victoria Liu (54.20), Li (54.72), Lynch (49.79), and Handali (53.43) concluded the meet as 4×100 free relay champions. Their winning time of 3:32.14 was just enough to edge out Cheshire’s 3:32.51 and Darien took third in 3:33.85.

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