Swimming: Strong diving effort puts Weston in good position at Class M meet

weston swimming
Nathan Katz of Weston was first in both the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard butterfly at last Saturday’s Class M boys swimming preliminaires at Masuk High School. — Andy Hutchison photo

A dominating performance by its divers left the Weston High boys swim and dive team in strong shape going into the swimming portion of this week’s Class M state championships.

Led by a first-place effort by Liam Simmons, the Trojans came out of last Friday’s diving championships at Bulkeley High School with 82 points.

The Trojans ended the day with 82 points to lead in the overall standings — and with a 66-point cushion over its main rival Daniel Hand in the battle to win the Class M title. It also gave Weston a 21-point lead on Wethersfield, another top contender.

Simmons won his second state title in three years with 438.8 points, and three other Weston divers finished in the top 15. Parker Smith was sixth with 338.25 points, followed by Nikita Moffley (ninth, 325.2 points) and Owen Simmons (15th, 296.2 points).

“We have four strong, really great divers,” said Weston diving coach Jeanine Oburchay. “All four scored points for the team. I couldn’t be prouder of them. They showed up at the Class M meet with their absolute best list, and it was the best I’ve seen them dive all year. They showed up when it really counted.”

The swimming finals were postponed from Tuesday to Wednesday (too late to be included in this week’s paper) at Cornerstone Aquatics Center in West Hartford. Weston is going for its sixth straight state title, and second straight Class M title.

Nine Trojans qualified for the Class M finals, including six swimmers who qualified for A finals in two events each.

Leading the way at last Saturday’s preliminaries at Masuk were double winners Nathan Katz and Charles Palsho.

Katz was first in both the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard butterfly, while Palsho won both the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke.

Mateusz Babinski placed second in the 100 butterfly and seventh in the 50 freestyle, while Oscar Petersen finished fourth in both the 200 free and 100 free.

Josh Franco was third in the 500 free and fifth in the 200 freestyle, and Mitchell Levi took sixth in both the 50 free and 100 free.

Weston won the 400 freestyle relay with the team of Petersen, Franco, Palsho and Katz, while the 200 freestyle relay team of Levin, Petersen, Franco and Babinski took second.

In the medley relay, the Trojans were fourth at prelims with Tyler Randall, Palsho, Babinski and Levi.

Two Weston swimmers qualified for the B finals in two events each. Randall was 12th in the 100 butterfly and 15th in the 100 backstroke, and Allen Hawkins was 11th in the 100 breaststroke and 12th in the 200 IM.

Camden Archambeau made the C finals in the 100 breaststroke, lowering his season-best time by about 3.5 seconds to finish 18th at prelims.

Class M diving championships

1. Liam Simmons 438.8 points

6. Parker Smith  338.25 points

9. Nikita Moffley 325.2 points

15. Owen Simmons 296.2 points

Class M swim preliminaries

200 medley relay — 4. Weston  (Tyler Randall, Charles Palsho, Mateusz Babinski, Mitchell Levi), 1:41.59;

200 freestyle — 4. Oscar Petersen 1:48.60, 5. Joshua Franco 1:49.51;

200 IM — 1. Nathan Katz 1:56.03; 12. Allen Hawkins 2:09.58;

50 freestyle — 1. Charles Palsho 22.43;  6. Mitchell Levi 22.94; 7. Mateusz Babinski 2.97;

100 butterfly — 1. Nathan Katz 52.97; 2. Mateusz Babinski 53.68; 12. Tyler Randall  57.66;

100 freestyle — 4. Oscar Petersen 49.45; 6. Mitchell Levi 50.33;

500 freestyle — 3. Joshua Franco 4:52.00;

200 freestyle relay — 2. Weston  (Mitchell Levi, Oscar Petersen, Joshua Franco,  Mateusz Babinski), 1:31.64;

100 backstroke — 15. Tyler Randall 59.68;

100 breaststroke — 1. Charles Palsho  59.16; 11. Allen Hawkins 1:05.38; 18. Camden Archambeau 1:08.64;

400 freestyle relay — 1. Weston (Oscar Petersen, Joshua Franco, Charles Palsho, Nathan Katz), 3:19.81.

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