SWIMMING NOTEBOOK Westhill/Stamford’s Feldman continues to shine
Ben Feldman began excelling in the pool as a youngster with coach Rick Lewis’ Connecticut Sharks swim team and today, as a high school competitor, he’s still leading Lewis’ squad.
Now a member of Lewis’ Westhill/Stamford squad, Feldman is one of the top-tier swimmers in the state — recognition he earned last season with one impressive performance after another.
The 2017-18 high school swimming season saw Feldman, a junior, win the State Open title in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 50.08 seconds and finish third in the 100 breaststroke (56.51). He also won the 100 butterfly at the Class LL Championships in an All-American time of 49.62 and was second in the breaststroke (55.61).
Westhill/Stamford’s standout swimmer has picked up where he left off last season so far for the team, producing strong finishes in each event he has competed in.
In the team’s most recent meet — a 90-79 win against Wilton — Feldman continued to thrive, winning the 100-yard backstroke in 1:02.21 and 200 individual medley (1:51.97). He helped key some of the squad’s relay events and has shown his versatility, swimming in several individual events.
“Ben has always been a good flyer and breaststroker,” Lewis said. “What I see from him now is he is also becoming better in the freestyle and relay events. He is really growing as an all-around swimmer. Ben works really hard, is a leader and practice and he loves to race — he’s race driven.”
Feldman swam with Lewis’ Sharks swim team until he was 12 and has competed for Chelsea Piers Athletic Club Swim Team since.
“Even as a young swimmer, he was always one of the top swimmers in Connecticut,” Lewis said of Feldman. “He was always a very good swimmer in the butterfly and breaststroke and he’s always had a strong, competitive spirit.”
Lewis sees the competitive drive in each meet, especially the postseason events.
“Watching him jump out of the water after competing in a tough race at the State Open last year and then go out there and perform beyond what is expected of his was impressive.”
Feldman’s time of 55.61 in the 100 breaststroke was ranked 46th on the NISCA/Speedo Boys High School All-America list last year. His swim of 49.62 was 95th on the All-American list.
“Ben and I just started talking about some of his goals,” Lewis said. “He wants to repeat as champion in the 100 butterfly and we’ve talked about winning two events this season. The competition is going to be even tougher than it was at last year’s Open, so it will be a good challenge for him.”
Feldman, who has aspirations of swimming at the Division I level in college, has been complemented in the pool by Westhill/Stamford seniors Sebastian Brice, Kevin Zyskowski and Jordon Jang, all of whom are in the midst of solid seasons for the squad.
Brody Biebel, Fairfield Prep: The senior registered a first-place finish in the 50 freestyle (25.91), then took top honors in the 100 freestyle (56.12) in the team’s 98-61 win against Branford/Guilford. He also helped lead the team’s 200 medley relay (1:55.22) and 200 freestyle relay (1:45.65) to victory.
Patrick Colwell, New Canaan: Colwell won the 200-yard individual medley in 1:57.10 and touched the wall first in the 100 butterfly (51.23) against Greenwich. He swam on the Rams’ first-place 200 (1:29.75) and 400 freestyle relay teams (3:19.83).
Jack Crocamo, Seymour: A junior, Crocamo was the winner in the 100-yard freestyle (49.93) and 200 individual medley (2:19.70) in the team’s 86-81 loss to Woodland. He also competed on Seymour’s winning 200 freestyle relay (1:39.91) and 400 freestyle relay (3:59.52) squads.
Aleksej Cupic, Seymour: The senior won the 100-yard butterfly (55.51) and 100 backstroke (1:00.19) against Woodland. He was also part of the winning 200 medley relay squad (1:49.88) and 400 freestyle relay team (3:59.52).
Ben Feldman, Westhill/Stamford: A junior, Feldman touched the wall first in the 200 IM against Wilton in 1:59.47. He also won the 100 backstroke (1:02.21) and sparked the team’s winning 200 freestyle relay squad (1:35.27).
Ian Harker, Hall: The senior placed first in the 200-meter individual medley (2:07.23), won the 100 butterfly (55.61) and was on the team’s winning 200 medley relay (1:44.48) and 400 freestyle relay (3:57.59) for Hall in its 102-79 victory against South Windsor.
Aidan Henry, Branford/Guilford: A junior, Henry posted the top times in the 200-meter IM (2:15.93) and the 400 freestyle (4:07.91) against Fairfield Prep.
Justin Jacob, Greenwich: Won the 100-yard backstroke (54.00) and was part of winning 200 medley relay team (1:36.80) for the Cardinals against New Canaan.
Michael Kotlyer, New Canaan: Placed first in the 50 freestyle (22.05) and 100 breaststroke (1:00.08 vs. Greenwich.
Thomas Lewis, Greenwich: The junior won the 100 freestyle (49.54) in the Cardinals’ 97-89 win vs. New Canaan. He also helped Greenwich’s 200 medley relay team finish first (1:38.80).
Sam Lovejoy, Hamden Hall: Lovejoy recorded winning efforts in the 200 freestyle (1:51.07) and 500 freestyle (5:13.21) in the team’s 90-90 tie vs. Canterbury.
Spencer McLean, Canterbury: McLean was the 200 individual medley (2:05.63) and 100 butterfly (55.91) winner against Hamden Hall. He also competed on the winning 200 freestyle (1:34.52) and 400 freestyle (3:26.50) relay teams.
Andrew Mitchill, Xavier: Mitchill, a sophomore, registered first-place finishes in the 200 individual medley (2:03.48) and 100 freestyle (49.92) in the team’s 103-77 win over Amity. He also swam on Xavier’s winning 200 medley (1:43.39) and 400 freestyle (3:26.92) relay teams.
William Ondrey, Canterbury: Ondrey placed first in the 50 freestyle (23.06) seconds and won the 100 freestyle (51.16) vs. Hamden Hall.
Edward Platonov, Foran/Law: The sophomore had a first-place finish in the 200 freestyle in 1:46.77, then won the 100 butterfly (55.67) against Bethel.
James Ragusa, New Canaan: Ragusa, a junior, won the 1-meter diving event against Greenwich, totaling 282.30 points.
Jake Ritz, New Canaan: The senior finished first in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle (1:46.11; 4:51.58) for the Rams vs. Greenwich. He also swam on the winning 200 freestyle (1:29.75) and 400 freestyle (3:19.83) squads.
Tyler Roy, Amity: Roy won the 50-yard freestyle (23.38) and placed second in the 100 freestyle against Xavier. The junior was also on Amity’s winning 200 freestyle relay squad (1:35.02).
Deniz Tek, Hopkins School: Tek produced first-place finishes in the 200 freestyle (1:53.35) and 500 freestyle (5:04.48) for Hopkins in its 101-77 win against Hotchkiss.
Mitchell Wollen, Xavier: Wollen won the 500 freestyle for Xavier (4:57.82) and was part of the team’s winning 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay squads in its meet against Amity.
Ethan Woolbent, Hopkins: Posted winning times in the 100 freestyle (49.80) and 100 breaststroke (1:01.46) vs. Hotchkiss.
Will Zhu, Hopkins School: Zhu won the 50 freestyle in 22.58 and topped the competition in the 100 butterfly (53.08) against Hotchkiss.
MEETS TO WATCH
Fairfield Prep at Greenwich, Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
Xavier at Conard, Friday (Jan. 18), 3:30 p.m.
Amity at Cheshire, Monday, 7 p.m.
Darien at New Canaan, Wednesday, 3 p.m.
Xavier at Fairfield Prep, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.