NORTH STONINGTON — Senior Mike Urgo was much more in scholastic swimming circles than a big fish coming for the smallest of ponds at Wheeler High.
As a one-person Wheeler High entry to the Fitch co-op team, Urgo wrapped up his career as the ECC's best swimmer and one of the best in the state for the second straight season.
In the ECC Meet, Urgo won the 50 freestle (21.94) and 100 freestyle (47.5) to go with two winning relay efforts while landing Swimmer of the Meet status again as Fitch repeated as ECC champs. The Fitch co-op included 12 Falcons, Urgo from Wheeler as well as three from Ledyard and one each from Stonington and St. Bernard.
Urgo added a third in the Class L 100 freestyle (47.64) and fifth in the 50 freestyle (21.95). He earned All-State by teamming with Fitch's Julian Mileski, Matt Nowak and Ben Chidley to win the 200 freestyle relay.
Urgo topped off his stellar post-season with a fourth in the State Open 100 freestyle (47.24) to solidify All-State status. As impressive as his performance was, Firch coach Katey Kokomoor believes an equal impact was his mentorship to fellow co-op swimmers.
"Beyond being a standout, Mike is an incredible leader for younger members of the team," Kokomoor said. "He leads by example, working hard in practices and showing the right way to attack a workout. He also was a sounding board. If any of the younger swimmers had questions, he was also there to help them out."
With swimmers from five different schools, Fitch needed leadership at the top to form a cohesive unit, Kokomoor said.
"Mike was a liaison between coach and team and added a sense of maturity as a captain and helped create a culture where the swimmers from different schools adopted each other," Kokomoor said. "He was very much a team player, willing to swim in any relay for the betterment of the team."
Fitch's second straight ECC title was rare in an era when East Lyme has dominated area boys' swimming. In past years, multiple Stonington swimmers have contributed to the co-op but only one this season. Kokomoor is thankful Wheeler's lone entry was so dominant in the pool and influential in all aspects.
"The co-op works out for everyone," Kokomoor said. "Fitch only had 14 swimmers, and the competitors from schools without a team are able to practice with a team and compete at the ECC and state level. It was definitely a special time to have someone of Mike's caliber and character. He excelled but also did what was better for the team before what was better for him."
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