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Senior captain Angela Gambardella finished her high school swimming career by placing in the top four of two individual events on behalf of North Haven at the State Open Championship at Yale University on Nov. 24. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
Junior Maddie Bergin finished third in the 50 freestyle and took fourth in the 100 freestyle to help the North Haven girls’ swimming and diving team come in 11th place at last week’s State Open meet. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
Senior Ava Santacroce scored a lifetime-best total of 452.40 points to claim sixth place for the Indians at the State Open Diving Championship at Middletown High School on Nov. 21. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
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A few days after winning its first state title in program history, the North Haven girls’ swimming and diving team sent several athletes to compete at the State Open Championship last week. The Indians earned a total of 191 points to finish in 11th place out of the 51 teams that were represented at the State Open. Cheshire finished in first place by scoring 426 points, edging out runner-up Greenwich with 420 points.
The proceedings began when senior Ava Santacroce competed at the State Open Diving Championship at Middletown High School on Nov. 21. Santacroce posted a lifetime-best total of 452.40 points for her 11-dive performance and finished in sixth place among the 25 athletes who dove at the Open.
Santacroce was coming off of a second-place showing at the Class M State Championship, where she scored 402.55 points. Earlier in the postseason, she became the first diver in school history to claim first place at the SCC Championship by finishing with a score of 401.70. During the regular season, Santacroce also broke the school record for a six-dive performance multiple times, ultimately ending up with a top score of 246.65 in a meet against Shelton on Oct. 25.
On Nov. 24, the Indians were represented by several athletes when the State Open continued with the swimming competition at Yale University. Senior Angela Gambardella and junior Maddie Bergin both finished in the top four of a pair of events for North Haven. Gambardella finished third in the 100 breaststroke and fourth for the 200 individual medley, while Bergin placed third in the 50 freestyle and fourth in the 100 freestyle.
Gambardella swam a time of 1:02.91 on her way to taking third place in the 100 breaststroke. Lauren Walsh of Trumbull won the event with a time of 1:01.96. Gambardella also finished fourth in the 200 IM by timing in at 2:06.95.
Gambardella had recently set school and Class M records while winning both the 200 IM (2:04.62) and the 100 breaststroke (1:02.77) for the third-straight year at the Class M State Championship. She also won both events at the SCC Championship for the third season in a row.
Bergin hit the finish line with a time of 23.90 to take third place in the 50 freestyle at the State Open, finishing behind Sophie Murphy of Cheshire (23.68) by less than a quarter-of-a-second for first place. In the 100 freestyle, Bergin recorded a mark of 52.31 to come in fourth place.
Bergin had previously won the 50 freestyle (24.01) and the 100 freestyle (52.52) for the second-consecutive year at the Class M meet. She also won the 100 freestyle for the third year in a row and the 50 freestyle for the second-straight year at SCCs.
North Haven also saw two relays compete at the State Open. The Indians’ 200 medley relay of sophomore Brooke Nebor, Gambardella, freshman Mikayla Rapuano, and Bergin finished in eighth place with a time of 1:49.61. North Haven’s 200 freestyle relay of Gambardella, sophomore Taya Laborde, junior Riley Jooss, and Bergin posted a time of 1:41.21 to finish in 15th place.
The Indians’ 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay had recently taken first place with school-record times of 1:48.26 and 1:39.76, respectively, at the Class M State Championship after both relays had finished in first at the SCC Championship.
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