In the deep end

Naugatuck boys swimming captains, from left, Nick Fox, Nick Ryan, Martin Lippai and Colby Storm, lead a chant to inspire the team following a meet versus Holy Cross Jan. 29 at Kennedy High in Waterbury. –KEN MORSE

Naugatuck boys swimming captains, from left, Nick Fox, Nick Ryan, Martin Lippai and Colby Storm, lead a chant to inspire the team following a meet versus Holy Cross Jan. 29 at Kennedy High in Waterbury. –KEN MORSE

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck boys swim team has entered the deep end of the pool.

The Greyhounds took on the undefeated, defending NVL champion Holy Cross Crusaders last Friday.

Naugatuck came up on the short end of a 109-76 final for its first NVL loss of the season. Evan Bombery led the way for Naugatuck (6-2) with a first and second place, and the trio of Colby Storm, Brian Goggin and Omari Solomon piled up second and third-place finishes.

“I was very proud of our effort,” Naugatuck head coach Jim McKee said. “There was a lot of excitement in this meet. Holy Cross is the top team in the league and we went out and recorded a lot of season best times.”

The Naugatuck 200 medley relay team of Solomon, Nick Fox, Storm and Graden Beasley swam to second place in 1:48.51 as Holy Cross jumped out to a 10-4 lead by taking first and third in the event.

The ‘Hounds looked to keep it close when Bombery took second in the 200 freestyle with an effort of 1:49.53 and Brian Goggin finished third. Peter Morrissey placed third in the 200 IM in 2:18.61 with Martin Lippai finishing fourth, but Holy Cross forged a 29-17 advantage.

Naugatuck pulled off third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes in the 50 freestyle with Storm finishing in 24.79 followed by Robert Spino in 24.83 and Beasley in 24.97.

Naugatuck’s Eric Cruz took third in the diving competition with a score of 172.35, 14 points better than his season best.

Storm finished second in the 100 butterfly in 59.84 and Nick Ryan took fourth in 1:01.60. Solomon was second in the 100 freestyle in a time of 53.28 with Spino taking third at 53.31.

Naugatuck made up some ground with a 1-2-3 finish in the 500 freestyle. Bombery finished first (5:13.58) followed by Brian Goggin (5:28.84) and Matt Goggin (5:42.46), who knocked 11 seconds off his season best time.

“It was good to be on the Naugatuck side of the pool today,” McKee said. “The team had a lot of energy and they came in here very positive. The key is to get better times each time you get in the pool and we did a good job of that today.”

The Greyhounds gave it everything they had right up until the final event. The foursome of Spino, Morrissey, Brian Goggin and Bombery raced to first in the 400 free relay in a season-best 3:30.77, out touching Holy Cross at the wall.

“We came in here to compete and you saw that with the way we finished the last relay down to the wire,” McKee said. “We are at the point in the season where we are going to be tested in every meet.”

The Greyhounds will face Torrington Wednesday, before gearing up for Sacred Heart next Tuesday.

“We have to get ready for Torrington next and Sacred Heart after that,” McKee said following the Holy Cross meet. “We just need to go out there and take them one at a time and focus on bettering our times each time we get in the pool.”