On Tuesday, Cheshire High School girls swam to second place (588 points) behind Darien (789.5) in the Class L final at West Hartford’s Cornerstone Aquatics Center.
Senior tri-captain Avery Potyrala led the Rams with three gold medals. She was seeded third in her individual events, but moved up to sweep the 200- (1:54.45) and 100-yard (52.83) freestyles.
To end the night, Potyrala teamed with sophomore Natalia Gajecki, junior Julia Barto, and senior tri-captain Julianna Tyler to win the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:31.07). The team dropped over six seconds from their time in the prelims.
The same girls also opened the meet with a runner-up finish in the 200-yard medley relay (1:46.85).
For the 100-yard backstroke, Gajecki (56.87) and Barto (56.90) claimed the top spots. Gajecki lowered her previous school record (56.90) set in qualifying last Saturday.
Gajecki, who moved from Wolcott to Cheshire this year, also marked her states debut with a fourth-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle (24.58).
Cheshire utilized their depth in the 200-yard individual medley, as Barto (third, 2:04.77), Tyler (fourth, 2:07.26), and junior Grace Hanke (eighth, 2:15.25) made the top heat.
Tyler earned second in the 100-yard butterfly (56.66).
Sophomore Julia Tejeda placed eighth in the 200- (2:00.88) and 500-yard (5:21.15) freestyles. She combined with sophomore Carly Cahill, Hanke, and senior Vanessa Squillante to finish fifth in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:42.64).
Hanke posted 11th (1:02.24) in the backstroke. Carly Cahill supplied 11th in the 50-yard freestyle (25.37) and 14th in the butterfly (1:00.88), while junior Morgan McDonough picked up 12th in the 500-yard freestyle (5:31.93) and 22nd in the butterfly (1:03.18).
Squillante sprinted in the 50- (17th, 26.13) and 100-yard (12th, 56.04) freestyles. Junior Sella Cahill came in 12th in the backstroke (1:03.02) and 19th in the 200-yard freestyle (2:04.72).
Sophomore Lauren Waitkus nabbed 17th in the 200-yard freestyle (2:03.92). In the 500-yard freestyle, freshman Leah Dale (19th, 5:40.72) and sophomore Alicia Shatalov (24th, 5:52.98) also competed the finals.
To end the season on Sunday, Cheshire swimmers visit Yale University’s Robert Kiphuth Exhibition Pool for the State Open final at 2 p.m.
Boys’ Soccer (top seed, 15-3-1)
In the Class L semifinals, the Rams twice rallied from one-goal deficits to win 3-2 over Guilford (fourth seed, 13-5-2) at Jonathan Law in Milford. CHS went 4-0 against the Grizzlies this fall, but this game was a battle.
With 6:36 left in the first half, Guilford struck first on a goal by junior Andres Gutierrez. The Grizzlies carried the lead into intermission, but to start the second, the rivals combined to score four times in a span of nine minutes.
With 38:08 remaining, senior quad-captain Samir Dishnica tied the game on a feed from senior quad-captain Colin Brown. Just four minutes later, the Grizzlies retook the lead on a goal by senior Sami AbuGhazaleh, however just a minute later, the Rams drew even again at 2-2.
On a free kick by Dishnica, senior quad-captain Kevi Sulollari scored on a header.
Cheshire finally took their first lead in the 51st minute. For the eventual game-winner, Dishnica netted his second goal on a free kick from 20 yards out.
Junior goalkeeper Nolan Kappus picked up the win in net. Guilford senior goalkeeper Justin Hess had three saves.
With the win, the Rams advanced to a state final for the second consecutive year. On Saturday or Sunday at a time to be announced, they will play another Southern Connecticut Conference rival in Xavier (second seed, 18-2-2) at Trinity Health Stadium in Hartford.
Last year in the Class LL title game, Cheshire fell 3-2 to Farmington. CHS won their only crown in 1988, beating Manchester by a score of 2-1.
Thursday’s varsity slate:
Girls’ Soccer (top seed, 20-0-1)
For their first Class LL semifinal appearance since 2008, the Rams travel to Southbury to play Ridgefield (fourth seed, 13-3-3) at 7 p.m.