Friday, April 16, 2021

Sports

GNH Warriors Making a Major Splash This Winter

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East Haven junior Hethon Foster won two individual events and swam on two victorious relays to help the Greater New Haven Warriors boys’ swimming and diving team sweep a virtual meet against Shelton, Amity, and Xavier last week. The Warriors have a record of 4-1 on the year. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

East Haven junior Hethon Foster won two individual events and swam on two victorious relays to help the Greater New Haven Warriors boys’ swimming and diving team sweep a virtual meet against Shelton, Amity, and Xavier last week. The Warriors have a record of 4-1 on the year. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

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Brendan Conners, a sophomore at East Haven, claimed first place in the 200 IM, the 100 freestyle, and the 100 backstroke when the GNH Warriors earned a sweep of a virtual meet last week. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

Brendan Conners, a sophomore at East Haven, claimed first place in the 200 IM, the 100 freestyle, and the 100 backstroke when the GNH Warriors earned a sweep of a virtual meet last week. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

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North Haven sophomore Christian Butler claimed first place in the diving competition to help the Greater New Haven Warriors boys’ swimming and diving team sweep a virtual meet against Shelton, Amity, and Xavier last week. The Warriors have a record of 4-1 on the year. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

North Haven sophomore Christian Butler claimed first place in the diving competition to help the Greater New Haven Warriors boys’ swimming and diving team sweep a virtual meet against Shelton, Amity, and Xavier last week. The Warriors have a record of 4-1 on the year. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

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Senior Joseph O’Connor posted a second-place finish on the diving board when the GNH Warriors earned a sweep of a virtual meet last week. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

Senior Joseph O’Connor posted a second-place finish on the diving board when the GNH Warriors earned a sweep of a virtual meet last week. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

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Senior captain Connor Coyne of North Branford turned in a pair of season-best performances to help the Greater New Haven Warriors boys’ swimming and diving team sweep a virtual meet against Shelton, Amity, and Xavier last week. The Warriors have a record of 4-1 on the year. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

Senior captain Connor Coyne of North Branford turned in a pair of season-best performances to help the Greater New Haven Warriors boys’ swimming and diving team sweep a virtual meet against Shelton, Amity, and Xavier last week. The Warriors have a record of 4-1 on the year. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

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North Branford sophomore Spencer Carroll posted a season-best time in the 100 breaststroke when the GNH Warriors earned a sweep of a virtual meet last week. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

North Branford sophomore Spencer Carroll posted a season-best time in the 100 breaststroke when the GNH Warriors earned a sweep of a virtual meet last week. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

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Senior captain Dan Kamen posted a season-best time in the 100 butterfly when the GNH Warriors earned a sweep of a virtual meet last week. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

Senior captain Dan Kamen posted a season-best time in the 100 butterfly when the GNH Warriors earned a sweep of a virtual meet last week. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

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Guilford junior Finn Henry won two individual events and swam on two victorious relays to help the Greater New Haven Warriors boys’ swimming and diving team sweep a virtual meet against Shelton, Amity, and Xavier last week. The Warriors have a record of 4-1 on the year. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

Guilford junior Finn Henry won two individual events and swam on two victorious relays to help the Greater New Haven Warriors boys’ swimming and diving team sweep a virtual meet against Shelton, Amity, and Xavier last week. The Warriors have a record of 4-1 on the year. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

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Senior David Zhang recorded a season-best mark in the 200 IM for the Warriors during last week’s sweep. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

Senior David Zhang recorded a season-best mark in the 200 IM for the Warriors during last week’s sweep. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

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Sophomore Aiden Cohen swam on two victories relays and also posted a lifetime-best time while taking second place in the 500 freestyle as part of a big sweep for GNH last week. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

Sophomore Aiden Cohen swam on two victories relays and also posted a lifetime-best time while taking second place in the 500 freestyle as part of a big sweep for GNH last week. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

The Greater New Haven (GNH) Warriors boys' swimming and diving team has been performing excellently during the first few weeks of the winter season. The Warriors are sporting a record of 4-1 and picked up a few victories by sweeping three teams in a virtual meet last week.

GNH turned in a slew of stellar performances when the team competed at Walter Gawrych Community Pool in North Haven on Feb. 23.
The Warriors' opponents for the meet—Shelton, Amity, and Xavier—competed at their respective home pools throughout the week. Led by several first-place finishes and plenty of other solid showings, the Warriors swept the meet by earning an 89.50-65.50 victory versus Shelton, a 123-62 win against Amity, and an 88-62 win over Xavier. Later in the week, GNH took a 93.5-92.5 loss against Cheshire for its first defeat of the season.

GNH is in the midst of its second year as a co-op team featuring athletes from East Haven, Guilford, North Branford, and North Haven. Head Coach Martha Phelan, who is also head coach of the North Haven girls' swimming and diving team, is impressed with the way the Warriors are competing while going up against some of the top squads in the Southern Connecticut Conference. After winning the SCC Division II title last winter, GNH moved up to Division I this year and has four victories over divisional opponents, including Xavier, which is the defending conference champion.

"This team is swimming so well, and the fact that we were bumped up to Division I and are [4-1] right now is incredible," Coach Phelan said. "Defeating Xavier was just a remarkable achievement. We are swimming really well, and being virtual has not fazed this team."

The Warriors recorded 10 first-place finishes in last week's sweep. Brendan Conners, a sophomore from East Haven who is in his first season on the team, took first place in the 200 individual medley, the 100 freestyle, and the 100 backstroke for GNH. Fellow East Haven junior Hethon Foster earned top honors in the 50 freestyle and the 100 butterfly.

Guilford junior Finn Henry finished first in the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle for the Warriors. Christian Butler, a sophomore at North Haven, claimed first place in the diving competition.

GNH was also bolstered by first-place performances from its 200 freestyle relay of Conners, Foster, Guilford sophomore Aiden Cohen, and Henry, in addition to a victory by its 400 freestyle quartet featuring those same four athletes.

Aside from all of their first-place finishes, the Warriors also saw several athletes record season-best times in last week's meet. Senior captain Connor Coyne of North Branford achieved that feat in both the 100 butterfly and the 100 breaststroke. Coyne is leading GNH as a captain alongside fellow seniors Tanner Powell, a North Haven student; and Dan Kamen, who goes to Guilford.

Kamen swam a season-best time of 1:57.35 in the 200 freestyle for the Warriors as part of last week's sweep. Henry claimed first place in the event by timing in with a mark of 1:44.81.

Henry also swam a time of 4:47.72 in the 500 freestyle to take first place in the event. Fellow Guilford student Cohen finished second in the 500 free by posting a lifetime-best time of 5:01.45.

Conners is having a great debut campaign with the Warriors this year. In last week's sweep, the East Haven resident claimed first place in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:56.73. David Zhang, a senior at Guilford, swam a season-best time of 2:17.95 in the 200 IM. North Branford sophomore Spencer Carroll finished with a season-best of 2:19.49 for the event.

Conners went on to take first place in both the 100 freestyle and the 100 backstroke for GNH. Conners swam a time of 50.16 in the 100 free and was followed by fellow East Haven student Foster, who finished second with a 50.25. Cohen swam a season best of 52.85 in the event.

In the 100 backstroke, Conners earned first place with a mark of 54.44. Zhang came in third place by swimming a time of 1:00.52.

Foster put forth a pair of first-place performances for the Warriors at the meet, winning both the 50 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. Foster recorded a time of 22.89 to finish first in the 50 free. Cohen swam a time of 23.37 for the event.

Foster came back to win the 100 butterfly for the Warriors. Coyne swam a season-best time of 56.43 in the 100 fly, and Kamen also finished with a season best by hitting the finish line in 57.13.

Coyne also recorded a season-best time in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:07.09. Fellow North Branford student Carroll swam a season best of 1:11.63 in the breaststroke.

Along with all of their success in the individual events, the Warriors also earned first place in a pair of relays during last week's sweep. The 200 freestyle relay of Conners, Foster, Cohen, and Henry took first place with a time of 1:33.23. To close out the meet, GNH's 400 freestyle relay featuring the lineup of Conners, Cohen, Foster, and Henry finished first at 3:26.46.

While their swimmers were racking up the victories, the Warriors also saw some stellar showings from three North Haven students on the diving board. Butler claimed first place in the diving competition with a score of 229.20 for GNH. Senior Joe O'Connor took second place by scoring a total of 200.10 points. In his first time competing in diving, senior captain Powell tallied a score of 105.45. Powell also swam the 100 butterfly and in relays at the meet.

Following the three-team sweep, GNH competed against Cheshire in another virtual meet and lost to the Rams by the final score of 93.5-92.5. The Warriors turned in their performances at Walter Gawrych Community Pool on Feb. 26, and Cheshire competed at its home pool the following day.

Henry took first place in the 200 IM with a time of 1:59.87 for GNH. Foster finished first in the 100 freestyle by posting a time of 49.48. Butler won the diving competition with a score of 246.15 for the Warriors. GNH's 200 freestyle relay of Foster, Powell, Cohen, and Henry took first place with a 1:35.45. The 400 freestyle relay of Foster, Kamen, Cohen, and Henry recorded a time of 3:25.18 to finish in first place.

On the heels of last week's meets, GNH is now entering the second half of its winter campaign. The Warriors have a few regular-season meets remaining, after which they will compete at the SCC Virtual Championship meet.

Coach Phelan feels pleased with the way that things are unfolding for her team thus far this year. Phelan wants to see her athletes continue giving everything they have to ensure that the Warriors finish their season with a flourish.

"At this point, I have a good grasp on how everybody is performing and how I can use people in events, so my job now is to fine-tune their technique, keep them motivated, keep the team healthy, and just finish what we started," said Phelan. "We can't relax, and we can't rest on our laurels. We have to go for it. We have surpassed what I thought we would do, but we still have more to do, and we will end our season with a bang."

 










Chris Piccirillo is the Sports Editor for Zip06. Email Chris at c.piccirillo@shorepublishing.com.

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