Boys swimming: Barlow is seventh at conference championship

Joel Barlow High’s Andrew Yu swims the backstroke leg of the 200-yard individual medley at the South-West Conference boys swimming finals on Friday, March 3. Barlow placed seventh with 181 points. — Rocco Paul Valluzzo photo

More qualifiers translated into more points for the Joel Barlow High boys swim team at the South-West Conference championship.

The Falcons had about a dozen swimmers officially compete on Friday, March 3, a few more than they did a year ago. While they again finished seventh overall, they posted a higher score, of 181 points, at the Masuk High pool.

Barlow also placed higher than Bethel (172) and New Milford (53), two teams that had beaten it during the regular season.

Defending champ Pomperaug won its fifth straight title, this time with 586. Weston was runner-up with 426 and Newtown was third with 370.

Barlow qualified for the majority of the events. Most of these featured improvement over seed times as well.

One of its better finishes was at the beginning of the meet when Max Nonnenmacher, Andrew Yu, Phil Gombos and Jake Bernard combined to place fourth in the 200-yard medley relay in 1:46.25, cutting their seed time by more than five seconds.

Nonnenmacher also beat his seed time in the 200 free in 1:53.79, taking seventh. Yu did likewise in the 200 individual medley in 2:05.41 for another seventh-place finish as well. Although he did not score, Connor Frederickson was 23rd in 2:27.14.

Phil Gombos earned Barlow’s points in the 50 free. Finishing in 22.86, he was seventh and also beat his seed time. Bernard (21st), Bryan Coppinger (25th) and Alex Goncalves (27th) also competed.

While the Falcons did not score in the 100 butterfly, James Gombos was 24th in 1:06.90. Three places later was Trevor Feltman in 1:11.95, with both improving on their seed times.

Next came the 100 free, with Phil Gombos swimming a 50.65 for sixth. He was one of four Falcon swimmers in the event, as Coppinger (25th), Goncalves (29th) and Matt Mangier (34th) also competed.

Barlow secured two bronze medals, including one in the 500 free. Beating his seed time by more than eight seconds, Nonnenmacher touched the wall in 4:54.05, taking third.

He was also part of the 200 free relay team that also included Phil Gombos, Bernard and Yu that finished in 1:36.60, taking sixth and just 0.03 second behind New Fairfield.

The Falcons’ other bronze medal was in the 100 breaststroke, with Yu finishing in 1:01.85, cutting his seed time by more than four seconds. Bernard just missed scoring, taking 19th. Frederickson was 21st.

Finishing the meet, the team of Frederickson, Goncalves, Mangier and Coppinger took ninth in the 400 free relay in 3:54.12, an improvement of more that 10 seconds.

Barlow will next compete in the state Class M qualifier.

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