BEACON FALLS — Depth — of the teams, not the pool — proved to be the difference between the Naugatuck and Woodland boys swimming teams Tuesday night.
The Greyhounds earned a 93-76 victory over the Hawks despite Woodland winning seven of the meet’s 12 events.
Naugatuck easily pulled away from Woodland (0-2) thanks to its advantage in roster size. The Greyhounds have 46 swimmers and divers compared to the Hawks’ 13. Woodland may have won more events, but Naugatuck racked up points with more swimmers placing in more races.
Naugy’s production came from a variety of swimmers. John Dean took the 50-yard freestyle in 24.73 seconds, Frank Ruela won the diving event with 115.40 points, Marcus Cruz earned the 100 free in 55.68 seconds and Mitchell Santos won the 100 backstroke in 1:05.09.
The ‘Hounds also won the meet’s first event, the 200 medley relay. Santos, Adam Branco, Daniel Cacchillo and Jake Morrissey touched first in 1:53.38, more than 5 seconds ahead of Woodland’s second-place squad of JD Dyckman, Aidan Music, Jimmy Jensen and Alan Katrenya.
Music and Andy O’Dell enjoyed the best individual performances of the meet, each winning two events for Woodland. Music took the 100 butterfly in 1:00.30 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.48 while O’Dell won the 200 free in 1:55.49 and the 500 free in 5:16.92. O’Dell’s winning margins were huge — he was 13 seconds faster than anyone in the 200 free and 40 seconds faster in the 500 free.
Alan Katrenya also won an individual event for Woodland, taking the 200 IM in 2:32.07.
The Hawks won the final two relays of the meet. The 200 free relay squad of Music, Dyckman, Jensen and O’Dell won in 1:39.84 while the 400 free relay team of Julie Hinckley, Dyckman, Jensen and O’Dell touched first in 3:54.25.
Despite the meet’s outcome never really being in doubt, Woodland coach Tom Currier said there was excitement among his team all afternoon.
“If you watch my team, it looks like we’re winning,” Currier said. “We’re having fun and they’re working hard. It’s all about the atmosphere. They all want to be here and they’re having a blast. One thing I love about swimming is that you’re racing the clock. If everybody’s improving and having fun as a team, that’s all you need.”
Woodland has no divers among its 13-person roster, which further hinders the team’s chances to win dual meets. But Currier always looks forward to the Naugatuck Valley League and Class S state meets, where depth matters less than the quality of a team’s top swimmers.
“We do better at states because it’s not about bulk, so our good swimmers shine a little more,” Currier said.
With winter weather wreaking havoc on practice and meet schedules so far, the meet was only the second for Naugatuck and Woodland.
The Greyhounds earned a 91-89 victory over Holy Cross Thursday to improve to 2-1 on the season. Frank Ruela took first in the diving competition. While Branco won the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:07.91.
The Greyhounds will hit the road Jan. 17 for a meet against Pomperaug and Conard.
The Hawks will be back in action Tuesday at Crosby.
“The first month was about getting them into shape,” Currier said. “Now it’s about making them stronger, and February is about speed. This month is the hard one.”