Boys swimming: Panthers overpower Falcons

Joel Barlow High’s Dan Fry swims the 200 free during a Joel Barlow High boys swim meet. The Falcons fell 91-72 to Pomperaug last Tuesday, Feb. 5.—Mark Pritchard file photo

Right from the time the starting horn sounded in the first race the Joel Barlow High boys swim team was in for quite difficult time when it visited Pomperaug.

A perennial South-West Conference power, Pomperaug had speed and depth in every event. It was not long before the Falcons were left behind in a 91-72 loss on Tuesday, Feb. 5, in Southbury.

Pomperaug not only won every event in which it officially competed, had multiple scorers in each, including the 200-yard medley relay at the start of the meet. It’s three entries took first through third.

Barlow’s fastest time came from Brendan Coppinger, Kyle Guffey, Paige Kirby and Ray Bortolot in two minutes, 14.36 seconds, good for fourth. Renee Varga, Sean Murray, Nate Varga and Mike Caruso were fifth in 2:19.86.

The Panthers also went one-two-three in each of the next two events. Day Fry was fourth in the 200 free in 2:05.93 and Marissa DiBella was fifth in 2:21.29.

The 200 individual medley had a similar scenario. Renee Varga had her team’s fastest time with a 2:35.35 for fourth. Coppinger was fifth in 2:48.93.

Barlow did break into the top three in the 50 free with Ted Hancock swimming a 24.48 for third. Fifth went to Nate Varga (27.18)

It was back to one-two-three for the Panthers in the 100 butterfly, which featured a fourth-place time of 1:03.98 by Hancock. Renee Varga followed in 1:23.27.

Bortolot’s 53.41 in the 100 free not only broke the one-minute mark it was good for second. A 1:03.04 got Nate Varga fifth.

Going the distance for the visitors in the 500 free, Fry was fourth in 5:50.55. DiBella was fifth in 6:16.32

With a 91-29 lead the Panthers decided to swim the last five events unofficially and receive no points. The result was a number of first and second places for Barlow.

Hancock, Rigby, Nate Varga and Fry combined to swim the 200 free relay in 1:46.18 for the win. Coppinger, Guffey, Kirby and DiBella were second in 2:04.22.

It was a one-two-three finish for the Falcons in 100 backstroke, starting with Bortolot’s 1:06.35. Coppinger was next in 1:14.11 and Murray was third in 1:20.17.

Kirby and Guffey scored Barlow’s points in the 100 breaststroke, the former taking first in 1:29.63 and the latter in second in 1:28.75.

Barlow had one entry in the 400 free relay. Fry, Bortolot, Renee Varga and Hancock finished in 4:08.50 as the Falcons finished within nine points of their opponent.

Now 2-7 overall, Barlow finishes the regular season on Friday when it visits Newtown at 7 p.m.

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