Greyhounds poised for late-season surge
NAUGATUCK — The Naugy boys swim team’s most recent dual meet may be the best proof yet that the Greyhounds are a team prepared to make a late-season splash within the Naugatuck Valley League.
The ‘Hounds lost by a mere 19 points earlier this month to perennial state title contender Cheshire. Naugy produced at least 43 best times — many from key individuals — and nearly pulled off a win.
“We had a great meet,” Naugatuck head coach Jim McKee said. “I’m not saying we should have won, but we could have.”
The 200-yard medley, 200 and 400 freestyle relay races alone could have put the Greyhounds ahead.
In the 200 medley relay, the team of Mitchell Santos, Adam Branco, Matt Hall and John Dean produced a season-best time of 1 minute, 47.75 seconds, and lost by only .02 second.
Naugy also won the 200 free race with the team of Jake Morrissey, Marcus Cruz, Scott Sill and Eric Hanley in 1:39.44. Dean and Morrissey both produced personal-best split times in the 200 free relay.
George Vygoder, Dean, Vinny Thoren and Mikhail Bourdev just missed a higher point total with a time of 1:39.76 and a third-place finish in the same race. Cheshire finished just ahead at 1:39.58 in second place.
Naugy narrowly missed additional points in the 400 free relay. The team of Vygoder, Thoren, Hall and Sill finished in a time of 3:41.91 in second place. Cheshire’s team recorded a time of 3:41.38.
Other impressive times in the Cheshire meet included Sill cutting nearly 11 seconds off his 500 free time and Dean shaving 2 seconds off his split in the 400 free relay. Additionally, Simon Brondum and Martin Lippai have improved tremendously in the backstroke.
Brondum has dropped his backstroke time from 1:30 earlier in the season to 1:06.24 against Cheshire. Lippai cut 2 seconds off his previous best to finish at 1:07.45.
Even before the Cheshire meet, Naugy swam to 50 personal best times in a 98-88 loss Jan. 25 to Sacred Heart, one of the top teams in the NVL. Following Sacred Heart, Naugy defeated Wilby, 87-84, on Jan. 29.
The quest to improve resumed Tuesday afternoon for the ‘Hounds, who had not been in the pool as a team since five days earlier. Additionally, Mother Nature has left Naugy with five dual meets to make up in the final week and a half of the season.
The Greyhounds stand at 3-2 in the league with their next scheduled meet Friday at Watertown.
As of this post, it was unclear if Naugy will have to make up every meet prior to the NVL championships, which will be held from Feb. 26 to March 1 at Kennedy.
“It’s not like we can schedule a baseball doubleheader,” McKee said. “Swimming is more like a foot race.”