WATERBURY — Despite fielding one of the smallest team at the Naugatuck Valley League championships, the Woodland boys swam to a sixth-place finish at the league finals last Friday at Kennedy High.
The Hawks finished with 226 points, good enough to top Kennedy, Seymour, Wilby and Crosby. Sacred Heart defended its title with 569.5 points, while Watertown and Torrington rounded out the top three.
Senior Andy O’Dell and junior Aidan Music both earned All-NVL honors by finishing among the top three in at least one individual event.
O’Dell’s best individual showing came in the 100-yard freestyle, where he placed third in 50.39 seconds. He shaved off two-tenths of a second from his preliminary time to crack the top three in the finals. O’Dell also finished fifth in the 50 free (23.54 seconds).
Music was perhaps Woodland’s most impressive swimmer of the day. He racked up a pair of silver-medal performances, finishing second in the 200 IM (2:06.68) and second in the 100 breaststroke (1:05.36). Music lowered his time by 2 seconds in the 200 IM final to reach the podium.
The O’Dell-Music pairing formed half of a third-place squad in the meet-opening 200 medley relay. Alan Katrenya and Jimmy Jensen joined O’Dell and Music to finish in 1:46.53, a full 2 seconds faster than their preliminary mark.
Woodland placed its two other relay teams among the top eight. The 200 free relay team (Brian Smith, Donovan White, Meredith Dyckman and Thomas Landry) finished sixth in 1:36.74, and the 400 relay team (JD Dyckman, Jordan Baer, Julie Hinckley, Katrenya) was eighth in 3:59.38. The latter squad lowered its preliminary time by an incredible 12 seconds in the final.
Individually, Woodland’s best team success came in the 100 breast. In addition to Music’s second-place finish, the Hawks saw three other swimmers finish among the top 20. White (1:09.80, ninth), Katrenya (1:06.17, 13th) and Patrick Conway (1:14.14, 19th) all swam better times in the finals than the preliminaries.
Hinckley reached the finals in two events: the 200 free (2:12.41, 21st) and the 500 free (5:55.06, 20th). She shaved a full 7 seconds off her time in the marathon race to reach the top 20.
Woodland also had four finalists in the 50 free. O’Dell paced the squad with his fifth place finish, but Jensen (24.62, 13th), Smith (25.94, 23rd) and Dyckman (26.04, 24th) also made the finals.
Baer was among the Hawks to swim in two finals. He was 17th in the 100 butterfly (1:12.24) and 24th in the 200 IM (2:38.57). Jensen claimed the same honor, adding a 16th-place finish in the 100 free (56.39) to his 50 free performance.
Lauren Tompkins was the other Woodland swimmer to make a final, finishing 21st in the 100 backstroke (1:13.64).
The Hawks were hamstrung by having no divers compete at the meet and their small 13-swimmer roster. Woodland was the highest-finishing team that fielded no divers.
Next up for Woodland are the Class S championships. The swim trials will be Saturday at Plainville High, while the swim finals will be Tuesday at Wesleyan University. Hinckley, Conway, Music, Katrenya, Baer, O’Dell, Jensen, Tompkins, White and all three relay teams qualified to swim at trials.