In a stunning upset, the CONN masters swimming team won the New England Short Course Meters and Colonies Zone Championship held on December 8-10 in Worcester, Massachusetts, rallying from 5th place after Saturday to take the title on Sunday.

CONN won not only the individual points totals, but scored the most relay points.  A great team effort!

The weekend was filled with amazing performances.  From Galen Rinaldi’s heroic Friday night 1500 Freestyle, which she swam with one arm after injuring herself during warmups to Ben Wyckoff’s team leading  167 individual points to the arrival of Sunday reinforcements from the Westport contingent, including Mike Laux and John Schwarten who combined with Paul Epstein and William Geoghegan to win two relays in the Men’s 280-319 age group that look destined to earn high national top ten honors.  Their 200 Medley Relay set a Zone record.

Special thanks to Ally Sega and Rob Dugay, who not only scored 142 and 141 individual points, but managed to organize all the relays.

Abbr Name Swimmers Entries Points Place
Ind Relay Total Ind Relay Total %
CONN Connecticut Masters 37 210 22 232 2482 640 3122 11.01 1
CRM Charles River Masters 44 233 17 250 2420 470 2890 10.20 2
GSP Granite State Penguins (NH) 28 194 15 209 2304 462 2766 9.76 3
WAM Worcester Area Masters 27 138 17 155 1737 486 2223 7.84 4
GBM Great Bay Masters Swimming, In 37 191 21 212 1687.5 514 2201.5 7.77 5
SWMR SwimRI 29 163 16 179 1698.5 438 2136.5 7.54 6

Here are the individual totals:

Sex Age
Swimmer Individual
Men 45-49 Akers, Stephen 4 54
Women 30-34 Bernstein, Heather 7 67
Women 30-34 Bey, Madeline 8 67
Men 55-59 Burbank, Gerald 8 73
Women 35-39 Burns Gallagher, Kelly 5 60
Men 55-59 Canning, Peter 13 119
Men 18-24 Davison, Andrew 2 28
Men 50-54 Doyle, Christopher 4 58
Women 30-34 Duguay, Melissa 5 63
Men 30-34 Duguay, Robert 11 141
Women 55-59 Edison, Cheryl 5 67
Men 70-74 Epstein, Paul 12 161
Women 45-49 Fox, Amelia 6 81
Men 65-69 Geoghegan, William 4 59
Men 25-29 Gerard, William 7 108
Women 30-34 Guglielmo, Nicole 7 81
Men 55-59 Hebner, George 3 42
Men 30-34 Heisler, Ryan 2 24
Men 40-44 Higgens, Erik 4 58
Men 30-34 Hinchey, Dave 3 35
Men 55-59 Lamontagne, Robert 3 32
Men 75-79 Laux, Michael 5 75
Men 50-54 Louden, David 2 15
Women 40-44 Matarese, Christine 6 87
Women 55-59 Moss, Pam Henry 3 49
Women 70-74 Onton, Ann Louise 10 139
Women 30-34 Perkins, Sarah 4 45
Men 18-24 Rebbecchi, Thomas 7 111
Women 45-49 Rinaldi, Galen 6 15
Women 70-74 Romayko, Janit 3 14
Women 35-39 Sanchez, Cyndia 3 0
Men 50-54 Sargent, Jeff 3 9
Men 65-69 Schwarten, John 3 38
Women 40-44 Sega, Ally 12 142
Men 35-39 Spoon, Ryan 2 17
Men 50-54 Wyckoff, Benjamin 12 167
Women 30-34 Zelek, Michelle 6 81
Total 37 210 2482.


More commentary and photos will be posted later this week.

Way to Go CONN swimmers!  Let’s defend our title next year!



Steve Akers and Dave Louden

Dave Louden and Steve Akers had another epic duel in the pool. This time in the 400 Freestyle. Akers, our resident former British Olympian, bested Louden by with a 4:28.97 in a race that until the closing laps was within a body length. Akers took 2nd in the Men’s 45-49 while Louden earned a 2nd in the Men’s 50-54, Akers also took a 2nd place finish in the Men’s 200 Free.

Heather Bernstein

Heather Bernstein scored a 2nd, a 3rd, two 4ths and 5th in the 30-34 age group, getting a 5:15 in the 400 Free.

Madeline Bey and Nicole Guglielmo

Madeline Bey and Nicole Guglielmo, training partners at Cornerstone in West Hartford, both recorded personnel bests in their 200 and 400 Frees in the women’s 30-34, with both women coming under 3:00 minutes in the 200. Nicole edged Maddie out with a 2:58.65 to Maddie’s 2.59.79, but Maddie came back to top Nicole in the 400 by a second.

Gerald Burbank

Masters newcomer Jerry Burbank showed impressive back and breast strokes in scoring 73 points in the Men’s 55-59 group, including a 4th place in the 200 Back.

Kelly Gallagher Burns

Kelly Gallagher Burns helped Conn off to a great start with a 4th place finish in the 1500 Free on Friday night in the Women’s 35-59 group. She came back on Sunday to score 43 more points with high finishes in the four additional events.

Peter Canning

Peter Canning swam his first ever 200 Meter Butterfly, in 4:31.40 (with no time spent hanging on the walls) completing his 2017 Check-off Challenge (swimming in every masters event during the course of the year plus doing an open water), and notching 15 points for CONN in the process with a 2nd place finish in the 55-59 group.

Andrew Davidson

Andrew Davidson notched two third place finishes in the 18-24 group with blazing 100 and 200 Freestyle (1.02.68 and 2.19.52).

Christopher Doyle

Christopher Doyle had three 2nds and a 4th including a 59.55 in the 100 Free in the 50-54 group.

Melissa Duguay

Melissa Duguay earned CONN 40 points in three backstroke events and added another 23 points in two freetles.

Robert Duguay

Rob Dugay swam 11 events, winning 3 of them including the 200 Back, the 200 Breast, and the 400 IM. Rob also finished 2nd in the 30-34 1500 Free.

Cheryl Edison

Cheryl Edison, who trains at Cornerstone and Trinity, won a 2nd, a 3rd, two 4ths and a 5th in the women’s 55-59, including a personal best 1.16.16 in the 100 Free.

William Geoghegan

William Geoghegan won the 200 Fly in the 65-69 group and three 3rds in the 200 and 400 IM and the 200 back.

Michael Laux

Mike Laux, the ageless wonder, took two firsts (50 and 200 Breast), two thirds, and a 4th in the 75-79 group, all on Sunday, scoring 75 points for CONN.

Paul Epstein

Paul Epstein scored 161 points swimming 12 individual events (and all four relays) despite fighting a bad cold. He notched a 2nd in the Men’s 200 IM, the first time he has swum that event.

Amelia Fox

Amelia Fox took three first places in the 100 Fly, 100 and 400 Free, and two seconds in the 50 Fly and 50 Free on the 45-49 group.


William Gerard

William Gerard won three 1sts in the 200, 400 and 1500 Frees and had high finishes in four other events to total 108 points in the 25-29 group.

George Hebner

George Hebner scored three 3rd place finishes in the highly competitive 55-59 group in the 50, 100, and 200 Free

Ryan Heisler

Ryan Heisler scored a 4th and a 6th in the Men’s 30-34 group with blazing 100 and 200 Freestyle performances.

Erik Higgens

Erick Higgens gave CONN a huge Sunday boost with a 1st in the 100 Back, a second in the 50 back, and 4ths in the 100 and 200 Free.

Dave Hinchey

Dave Hinchey racked up 35 points on Sunday with a 3rd, a 6th and a 7th, besting his seed times in each event.

Robert Lamontagne

Robert Lamontagne, with his powerful leg kick, scored 32 points in the three breast stroke events in the men’s 55-59 group.


Christine Matarese

Chris Matarese came all the way from Oklahoma to swim for CONN, winning the 200 Breast, and taking a 2nd in the 50 Breast and the 400 IM — her first time swimming the event in the 40-44 group.

Pam Henry Moss

Pam Henry Moss took 1sts in the 100 and 200 Free and a second in the 50 Free, earning 49 points in three events.

Ann Louise Onton

Ann Louise Onton scored 139 points, including 1sts in the 200 Back, 100 Breast, and 100 Free in the 70-74 group.

Sarah Perkins

Sarah Perkins notched firth place in the 100 Free and three 6ths in the 30-34 group

Thomas Rebbecchi

Thomas Rebbecchi earned three 1sts (50 Fly,100 Back and 50 Breast) and 4 seconds in the 18-24 group, scoring 111 points for CONN.

Galen Rinaldi

Galen Rinaldi hurt her arm on Friday night right before the start of the 1500 Free. She swam the race with one arm in 24:37.

See the video here:

One Armed 1500


Janit Romayko

Janit Romayko delighted us all with her arrival on Sunday afternoon, after shoveling out from the storm, then went out and swam a 54.73 in the 50 Breast in the 70-74 group, earning a third place and 14 points for CONN.

John Schwarten

John Schwarten came up on Sunday and notched a third in the 100 Back in the 65-69 group and two 5ths, scoring 38 points.

Ally Sega

Ally Sega wracked up a team second best 142 points, swimming 12 events, including three 3rds (100 Fly, 200 Fly, and 400 IM) in the 40-45 group.

Ryan Spoon

Ryan Spoon took 1st place in the 50 Breast in the 35-39 group with a blazing 31.45.

Benjamin Wyckoff

Ben Wyckoff led the team with 167 points including 2nds in the 200 IM, 200 Breast,and 100 Back in the Men’s 50-54 group.

Michelle Zelek

Michelle Zelek took three 1sts in the 30-34 group including all the breast stroke events.