Woodland boys swimming finishes fifth at Class S state meet


NEW HAVEN — A pair of fourth-place performances by sophomore Alex Weisenbacher and an afternoon full of depth propelled the Woodland boys swim team to a fifth-place finish at the Class S championships on March 16 at Southern Connecticut State University.
“[They] saved their best for last,” Woodland coach Brendan Heller said. “The guys delivered. All nine that made the finals were able to swim their best races of the season. It was great to see the last 15 weeks come to light in the last meet.”
The Hawks, who placed second in Class S by just a few points last season and were coming off their second straight Naugatuck Valley League title, finished with 400 points. They trailed champion Weston (556.5), Holy Cross, Northwestern, and Berlin.
Weisenbacher placed fourth in the 100-yard freestyle (49.88 seconds) and fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.85) to lead the Hawks’ individual performers.
Other top-12 individual finishers for Woodland included Nolan Bernier (fifth in the 500 free, 5:06.95, and sixth in the 200 freestyle, 1:52.29), Chase Starzman (seventh in the 100 butterfly, 54.84, and 11th in the 100 backstroke, 1:00.68), Ryan Iannone (10th in the 500 free, 5:15.39, and 11th in the 200 individual medley, 2:11.53), and Nick Christiano (12th in the 200 free, 1:56.57).
“They worked really hard, so I was so proud to see them have such success,” Heller said. “Nick Christiano had an all-time best meet, saving his best individual swims for the last meet. He really stepped it up for the guys.”
Woodland also enjoyed success in the relays. The 400 free relay squad of Christiano, Bernier, Starzman and Iannone was best with a third-place finish in 3:25.42, setting a school record in the process.
The 200 free relay squad of Andrew Princic, Starzman, Iannone and Weisenbacher was fourth (1:33.49), while the 200 medley relay team of Christiano, Weisenbacher, Bernier, and Andrew Princic was sixth (1:47.03).
The Hawks had two qualifiers for the State Open, which was set for March 18. Weisenbacher met the mark in the 100 breaststroke, while Woodland’s 400 free relay team also qualified.