BEACON FALLS — The Woodland girls swim team continued to show itself as one of the top teams in the NVL by earning a 93-85 win over Naugatuck Sept. 30.
“We are still growing, still learning and still working hard,” Woodland head coach Mike Magas said. “Within a seven-day span we had to face the top three teams in the league: Watertown, Seymour and Sacred Heart. I think we held our own and now we have Naugatuck, which is never an easy meet.”
Brooke Pope was a double winner in the 200 IM (2:41.12) and the 100 butterfly (1:11.78) to lead the way for the Hawks.
Naugatuck put together another strong performance, but came away with only three first-place finishes before Woodland swam unofficially in the final two events.
“We did our best medley relay time as we are improving with every meet,” Naugatuck head coach Jim McKee said. “All three of our 200 freestyle girls had season best times and had best times in the IM from all three girls.
“We lost some close races but we were doing our best times, so you can’t be unhappy about that. We did what we came here to do and that is improve.”
Woodland jumped out to a quick 10-4 lead in the 200 medley relay and never looked back. The foursome of Jordan Williams, Taylor Amore, Dia Gawronski and Pope swam to victory in 2:08.96.
Naugatuck was right on their heels with Molly Kennelly Brin Battisti, Julianna Scully and Olivia Filanowski finishing second in 2:10.21. The Hawks’ squad of Alexandra Rojcov, Morgan Swift, Kyla Drewry and Camille Terrell took third in 2:17.63.
The race was on but the Hawks had a little more depth to pull away.
Tatianna Lynn swam to first in the 200 freestyle in 2:10.70, just out touching Naugy’s Addison Best, who finished second in 2:10.77. Casey Brooks finished third and Zarina Garcia took fifth for the Hawks. Abrianna Hasipi finished fourth for the ‘Hounds, but Woodland pulled ahead by a 20-10 margin.
Woodland started to use its depth to gain a decisive advantage. Pope finished first in the 200 IM followed by Amore in second place (2:48.95), out touching Battisti in third at 2:48.98.
The Hawks went into the diving portion of the meet out in front 42-20 after Gawronski swam to first in the 50 freestyle in 25.72. Filanowski took second for Naugatuck in 28.36 only to have Woodland take third and fourth with Rojcov and Drewry, respectively, adding to the point total.
Maddie Hoxie won the diving event with a score of 173.55 to pace the Hawks on the board with Julianna Bartolucci taking third. Katie Brown of Naugatuck was second with a score of 168.25.
“We are trying girls in different races as the season goes along,” Magas said. “That will give us some more options once we get to the NVL championship meet. It will only make us stronger as a team.”
Naugatuck earned its first one-two finish of the meet in the 100 freestyle with Filanowski taking first in 1:02.36 and Kennelly finishing right behind in 1:02.86. Best also took first place in the 500 freestyle at 5:52.28, but the depth of Woodland already decided the meet.
Kennelly went on to win the 100 backstroke in 1:10.71 and Scully took first in the 100 breaststroke, as Woodland finished out the meet swimming unofficially where Gawronski set her fourth school record of the season in the breaststroke with a time of 1:13.62.
“We are getting a lot better because we are working so hard. It’s all about your work ethic and the ones who gravitate towards that will end up loving it forever,” Mckee said. “We try and teach them how to push themselves to get better.”
Naugatuck fell to Watertown, 88-80, on Tuesday and dropped to 3-3 on the year. The Greyhounds will host Seymour on Friday and Sacred Heart Oct. 11.
Woodland improved to 5-2 with an 87-71 win over Holy Cross on Tuesday. Woodland will visit Wilby/Kaynor Tech on Friday and Torrington on Oct. 12.