Branford Boys Swim Team
State Champions 1991 & 1992
1991 BRANFORD HS BOYS SWIM TEAM
CLASS “L” STATE CHAMPIONS
The Branford HS Boys Swim team had dominated Class “M’ in the 1980’s winning the state championship in 1983, 1985, 1986, and 1987. In 1989 Branford’s school population had increased and Branford was moved to Class “L’ where the best they could finish in 1989 and 1990 was second place.
The 1991 season began with Naugatuck and Ridgefield as the heavy favorites to win the Class “L” title with Branford, Amity, and Staples figured to be swimming it off for third place. The Branford team had graduated hall of famers Sean O’Connor and Ed Dingus, who between them held half of Branford’s school records.
Before the season began Branford knew its only chance was to qualify more swimmers for the state finals than the other teams and to try and win on team depth. Every dual meet saw Branford team members focused on doing times that would qualify for the state championships. The team finished the the dual meet season with 11 wins and 3 losses with impressive victories over Amity and Staples but a four point loss to Naugatuck.
By the time state trials had arrived Branford had qualified 19 swimmers, many in two events for the state trials. The entire team put on a show at the state trials and in the end Branford qualified 14 team members for 24 places in the finals. The championship meet came down to a three team battle between Naugatuck, Ridgefield and Branford. The only two individual victories Branford had were from senior co-captain Adam Reich in the 200 Individual Medley and 100 Butterfly but as expected the depth of Branford with 2nd to 12th place finishes kept Branford close. When it got down to the final event Branford was tied with Ridgefield and held a two point lead over Naugatuck. The bottom line was that Branford would have to win the 400 yd. freestyle relay to win the meet. This was going to be no easy task because Naugatuck had the state record holder in the 100 free swimming the final leg of the relay. Branford got a jump as junior Mike Riccitelli got the lead, followed by Matt Cassella and Kevin Bokus who held the lead and anchoring the relay was Adam Reich who held on to win. Branford won the state championship with a score of 246 while Naugatuck and Ridgefield tied for second with 238 points. The four members of the final relay along with Justin Infantino were all named to the Class “L” All-State Team.
1992 BRANFORD HS BOYS SWIM TEAM
CLASS “M’ STATE CHAMPIONS
In 1991 the Branford Boys Swim team had won the Class “L” State Championship but for the 1992 season Branford found they were back in Class “M” and would have to face new opponents.
Their chief obstacle would be Darien which had won the Class “M” title in 1990 and 1991 while Branford was swimming in Class “L”. The good news was that 18 members of the 1991 state championship team were back.
Once again Branford would have to make a total team effort to win and would be counting on their ability to place the most swimmers in the finals of every event. The dual meet season saw the team post a 11 win – 3 loss record against the top teams in the state but more importantly, they were qualifying the maximum of four swimmers per event for the state championships.
The Branford swimmers and divers all hit best times at the state trials and Branford ended up qualifying two, three and even four swimmers for the finals in every event. The state championship meet got off to a great start as the opening Medley Relay of Chris Albert, Ed Remillard, Justin Infantino and Kevin Bokus placed 2nd followed by Mike Riccitelli winning the 200 yd. freestyle. Branford would only win one more individual event when Chris Albert won the 100 yd. backstroke but Branford piled up points by taking four second places finishes and five third places in the twelve event meet. Once again it all came down to the final event, the 400 yd. freestyle relay. The Branford relay led off with Kevin Bokus who had placed second in the 100 yd. freestyle, followed by Chris Albert who had placed third in the 100 yd freestyle, followed by Davin Reich who had placed third in the 500 yd. freestyle and anchored by Mike Riccitelli the winner of the 200 yd. freestyle. There was never any doubt as this foursome won the event and in the process won the state championship as they defeated Darien by a score of 278 to 256.
Branford set four school records, eight team members were named to the All-State team, including the four members of the winning relay along with Marc Clement, Justin Infantino, Aaron Redos and Ed Remillard. This completed a ten year period in which the Branford Boys won six state championships and were runners up three times.