Hand's Zeng Wins SCC Diving Crown
Published March 12, 2014. Last updated 04:03 p.m., March 11, 2014
Boys' Swimming and Diving
The Tigers' Tianyi Teddy Zeng captured the SCC diving championship on March 4 at Hamden with a score of 539.65, easily outdistancing himself from runner-up Robert McCrory of Fairfield Prep (355.25), and marking Hand's first conference diving crown for the boys' program.
"I am very happy and glad to earn this honor for my school," said Zeng, whose team also won the SCC Division II title this season-the first division championship in team history. "This is also recognition of my effort. I can tell that all my teammates work very hard in their daily training and I think that they deserve this division title. Honestly, I wouldn't think of which trophy I was going to get during the competition. I only think of how to do the best on each dive."
At the Swimming Championship the next night at Southern Connecticut State University, Hand finished sixth with 497 points.
In the 200 medley relay, the Tigers' group of Ethan Crans, Noel Haren, Michael Healey, and Doug Wu was fourth (1:46.34) while the 400 free relay with Wu, Crans, Jack Lynch, and Haren saw eighth (3:35.13).
For solo events, Haren was fifth for the 100 breaststroke (1:03.36) and fourth in the 200 IM (2:04.54). In the 100 free, Wu came in seventh (51.16) with Crans right behind him in eighth (51.65) as Wu was also sixth in the 50 free (22.92). Also, Crans came in 10th (59.96) and Lynch 14th (1:00.50) for the 100 backstroke.
Hand (142.7 points) finished second to Woodstock Academy (150.5) at the State Open on March 8 at New Milford and, with that placing, the Tigers advanced to their first New England Championship since 2006 on Saturday, March 15.
On the vault, Stefani Taschner was seventh (9.175) while for the bars Abby McGuirk came in fifth (9.4) and behind her was Taschner (7th, 9.35). Moving to the beam, Taschner and Maria Iennaco finished in a dead heat for third (9.2), Kendall Jerzyk was sixth (9.075), and Erin Maxwell saw 10th (8.8). For the floor, Jerzyk finished seventh (9.25) and Taschner eighth (9.225). With the all-around, Taschner came in fifth on a mark of 36.95.
Seeded 12th in the Class LL State Tournament, Hand scored a 57-37 win over No. 21 Southington in the first round at home on March 3. In the second round on March 6 versus No. 5 Amity, the Tigers took a tough 46-43 loss to end the year 18-7 overall.
Against Southington, Sophie Joel led the Tigers with 12 points, plus six rebounds and a pair of assists. Gege Catalano notched a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds and Cassidy Wygonik added nine points and 12 boards. Lauren Brandau chipped in six points, 13 rebounds, and two assists while Gabby Martin went 3-of-3 from the floor for seven points, four rebounds, and five steals.
Things did not start well for the Tigers as Southington opened up a 10-0 lead before Hand got on the board with a Catalano layup inside with four minutes to go in the first. In the second, Hand shrunk the deficit to just 24-20 heading into the half. With Hand up 28-27 late in the third, it proceeded to go on a 16-2 run over the next six minutes. By the time the dust settled, the Tigers were up 44-29 with just over three minutes to go and Hand outscored the visiting Blue Knights 25-8 in the final frame to win going away.
At Amity, Joel led the Tigers with 22 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals while Michelle McCloskey came off the bench for seven points, four boards, and four blocks. Lily Taylor had six points, three rebounds, and three blocks.
Amity took an 11-9 lead while putting five different players in the scorebook, but Hand stayed close behind Joel's five early points. The Tigers took a 22-21 lead into the half and both teams continued the battle in the third with Joel scoring another six points and Taylor hitting her second three-pointer to maintain the one-point lead heading into the final frame. Unfortunately, Amity's Elise Graham scored eight of her 12 points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of free throws with 10.6 seconds left, to give the Spartans a three-point cushion. Hand was unable to get a last-second shot and its season came to an end with the loss.
Hand competed in the Connecticut Interscholastic Skiing League State Championship on March 5 at Mt. Southington, where the girls finished 10th (325.95 points) and the boys 13th (338.15).
For the girls, competitors included Mel Rennie (7th, time of 48.94), Carly Fischer (17th, 50.07), Caitlyn Harvey (30th, 51.84), Hannah Walton (60th, 54.53), Anna Baker (85th, 59.74), Grace Krause (89th, 60.83), Nicole Harvey (93rd, 61.23), Jen Fedus (94th, 61.52), Abigail Smith (96th, 62.24), and Isabel Baird (97th, 62.98).
On the boys' side, Stefan Pelletier was the top Tigers' finisher (10th, 48.42), as he was followed by Jared Newton (68th, 53.41), Jeremiah Mead (70th, 53.90), Ryan Garb (95th, 60.17), Mike O' Sullivan (99th, 60.57), Chris Parker (102nd, 61.68), Matt Parker (105th, 62.58), and Connor Dickson (109th, 64.26).
Both foil squads competed in the Team State Championships on March 8 at Guilford. The girls finished second while the boys were fourth.