WATERBURY — The Naugatuck Valley League championship swim meet had a whole lot of competitors but really only one team to beat: the defending champion Holy Cross Crusaders.
Naugatuck, Torrington, Sacred Heart and even Watertown were up for the challenge, but it was the Greyhounds that turned this meet into a two-team race.
Holy Cross held off a strong push from Naugy and retained its title with 803.5 points March 4 at Kennedy High School. The Greyhounds finished as the NVL runner-up with 770 points, well ahead of third-place Torrington, which tallied 643.5 points.
“Holy Cross scored 75 points in diving with four divers,” Naugatuck head coach Jim McKee said. “We only had one diver (Eric Cruz), but the real story of the meet was the tremendous effort our boys put on with so many drops in times.
“There was a lot of competition out there but it all comes down to one meet and how you perform. Our boys swam out of their minds, especially the relays.”
The 400 freestyle relay team of Brian Goggin, Omari Solomon, Peter Morrissey and Evan Bombery made All-NVL with a first-place time of 3:22.60.
“Each kid dropped two seconds off their time for an eight-second drop and we came in seeded third,” McKee said. “The 200 freestyle relay team went from a 1:37 to a 1:33.”
The foursome of Colby Storm, Brian Goggin, Robert Spino and Bombery finished fourth in the 200 freestyle relay. The team of Solomon, Nicholas Fox, Storm and Graden Beasley finished fourth in the 200 medley relay in a time of 1:45.57, a three-second drop on the squad’s season best.
“This team has come a long way,” McKee said. “We have a leader board of the top ten individual times and we had three kids get onto that list. That doesn’t happen every year and some of those on that list were All-State.”
Bombery made that list with his second-place performance in the 200 freestyle with an effort of 1:48.60. He also jumped ahead of three other swimmers on the all-time list with his second-place time of 5:01.32 in the 500 freestyle.
Solomon made the all-time list with his second place in the backstroke in 57.81 and Brian Goggin broke into the all-time list with his third place showing in the 200 freestyle in 1:50.39.
Naugatuck also scored points with Nicholas Ryan swimming to fourth in the 100 butterfly in 59.80. Morrissey swam to sixth in the 200 IM in 2:13.29 and Dale Wakeley had a sixth-place showing in the 200 freestyle in 1.55.39. Cruz finished ninth in diving with a score of 304.95.
Bombery and Solomon earned All-NVL honors for their individual second-place performances.
The Greyhounds will now prepare for the Class L meet, which is scheduled for March 16 at Wesleyan University in Middletown.