The eight years together as the Fairfield co-cop boys swimming team, with athletes from Fairfield Ludlowe and Fairfield Warde competing together, ended last winter with the team's most successful season.
Fairfield placed sixth of 22 scoring teams at the 2012-13 Class L championship meet and 13th of 49 teams at the State Open. This year the co-op team has been replaced by separate teams for the Falcons and Mustangs.
Alan Marcel is Ludlowe's first head coach, and seniors Charlie Haviland and Corbinian Wanner will serve as the Falcons' first captains. Without a roster as deep as most established teams in the FCIAC, Ludlowe will focus on "the improvement of swimming technique for all swimmers, no matter the skill level," Marcel said.
"With a strong technique base, we can build a platform to perform elite training for championships."
Sophomore John Whiteside was third in the 100-yard backstroke at last year's FCIAC championships to earn all-conference. He was sixth in the event in Class L and 11th at the Open. He owns the co-op team's record in that event. Whiteside and Wanner were two of the co-op's swimmers who combined to place sixth in the State Open 200-yard medley relay and was part of the co-op's 11th-place 200-yard freestyle relay team in the Open. Marcel says Whiteside will compete in the 100 and 200 freestyles as well.
Senior Eric Ahlberg will swim in the sprint freestyles as well as the 200 individual medley. Last winter, he was part of the co-op's 10th-place Class L 400-yard freestyle relay. A year ago, Peter Berens, then a sophomore, took six seconds off his time in the 100-yard butterfly and five seconds off in the 100 freestyle. He is aiming for times of 54 seconds (fly) and 23 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle.
Haviland is seeking to break 53 seconds in the 100 free and 24 seconds in the 50 free. Wanner was 15th in the Class L 500-yard freestyle and 16th in the 100-yard breaststroke last season. He was part of the sixth-place medley relay in the State Open last season.
Ludlowe's first meet is a three-way on Dec. 18 in Wilton along with Fairfield Warde.