Fairfield Warde coach Sara Peck, of the first-year Mustangs' boys swimming and diving team, is simplifying the team's goals, knowing that new teams rarely begin their histories with visits to the champions' circle in year No. 1.
In 2012-13, Warde's swimmers swam with Ludlowe on a Fairfield co-op team.
"We are excited to be on our own as a team, but our team will have to work twice as hard now," said Peck, Fairfield Ludlowe's girls swimming coach in the fall.
"With only 14 (team) members, our season will be tough. Our goal for the season is simply to define ourselves as the Warde swim team. We want to improve individual times and perform to our best ability in every competition."
Before moving to the Falcons' girls team, Peck had been as assistant girls coach for the Mustangs under coach Georg Palmgren.
Peck acknowledges that the first-year team at Ludlowe has more swimmers than the Mustangs.
There might not be enough Warde swimmers to fill all the lanes available for each event -- that's giving away points.
Through the early stages of training -- the first day of practice was Dec. 2 -- Peck has identified Niko Gupta (200-yard individual medley, 100 butterfly), Kevin Appelson (50-, 100 freestyles) and Jacob Rodier (100 breaststroke, 50- or 100 freestyle), each a sophomore, as Warde's top swimmers. Seniors Zach Roberge and Jonathon Liu are the Mustangs' captains.
Last winter, the Fairfield co-op placed sixth of 22 scoring teams at the 2012-13 Class L championship meet and 13th of 49 teams at the State Open.
Warde's first meet is a double dual-meet on Dec. 18 in Wilton against Fairfield Ludlowe and the Warriors.