Record set as Panther swimmers shine in state championships

The Panthers had a strong showing with eight swimmers at the Class M State Championship finals. Pictured are, from left, front: Carter Adragna, Owen Smith, Riley Sheppard and Sam McHugh; and back: Alex Malecki, Jack McHugh, Brendan Kirberger and Keller Hall.

NEW HAVEN, CT — Masuk High’s boys swim team put together an impressive showing at the Class M State Championship and State Open meets in mid March.

Brendan Kirberger broke the Masuk team record in the 200 yard freestyle race with an All State qualification finals time of 1:46.83, good for third place. Kirberger bested Joey Nizzardo’s 2019 mark of 1:46.90.

The Class M finals took place at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven on March 16. Class M highlights, including some season-best results from the preliminaries are as follows:

Masuk placed sixth as a team in Class M, scoring 315.5 points; Pomperaug took first with 834.

Masuk swimmers proudly wear their medals at the Class M meet. This group advanced to the State Open. Pictured are, from left: Brendan Kirberger, Jack McHugh, Riley Sheppard, Sam McHugh and Carter Adragna.

Masuk swimmers who qualified for trials: Carter Adragna, Sean Cammarano, Jonathan Ganino, Keller Hall, Brendan Kirberger, Alex Malecki, Jack McHugh, Sam McHugh, Riley Sheppard, Owen Smith and Kyle Zarkar.

Adragna, Hall, Kirberger, Malecki, Jack McHugh, Sam McHugh, Sheppard and Smith all reached the Class M finals.

The 200 medley relay of Jack McHugh, Adragna, Sam McHugh and Sheppard came in fifth in Class M with a season best time of 1:42.92, which the medley group improved upon in the State Open.

In the 50 freestyle Class M preliminaries, Sheppard had his best time of 23.72, Jack McHugh had his best time with a 24.21, and Malecki logged his best time with a 25.14.

Sam McHugh had his best 100 yard butterfly time in the preliminaries with a 53.87, then took eighth in the finals with a time of 54.33.

Hall had his best time in the preliminaries of the 100 butterfly, recording a 54.90. Ganino also took home his season-best time in the prelims of the 100 fly with a 1:05.42.

Kirberger had his best time in the 500 free finals, making his final touch in a fourth-place time of 4:47.73.

In the finals of the 200 free relay race, Jack McHugh, Hall, Malecki and Kirberger clocked in with a seventh-place finish and season best time of 1:34.26.

Masuk swimmers pictured at Yale during the State Open are, from left: Jack McHugh, Brendan Kirberger, Riley Sheppard, Sam McHugh and Carter Adragna.

In the 100 backstroke finals, Hall placed eighth in 57.98, yet another best time for a Masuk competitor. Also in the backstroke finals, Jack McHugh was 11th in a best time of 57.61. Sam McHugh recorded his fastest time in the backstroke preliminaries with a 58.60.

In the 100 breaststroke finals, Smith was 20th in the finals with his best time of 1:09.05.

The 400 relay of Adragna, Sheppard, Sam McHugh and Kirberger, was fourth in the finals with a best time of 3:22.04, just one second off the Masuk record.

The State Open, which was held at Yale University on March 18, brought together all of the tops swimmers from every state class size. Masuk came in 31st among 48 teams with 40 points.

The 200 medley relay was 20th and had its season-best time with a 1:42.78.

Kirberger was 22nd in the 200 free, clocking in with a time of 1:47.86. Kirberger was 14th in the 500 in a time of 4:52.23.

Masuk’s 400 free relay came in 18th with a 3:23.01.

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