NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck boys’ swim team began its quest for a fourth straight Naugatuck Valley League title Tuesday night, upending Seymour by a convincing, 97-72 margin at the Gimbo Sullivan Pool.
The Greyhounds were coming off a season-opening loss to perennial state power Glastonbury, by a 96-82 margin. Naugy is a young squad with limited experience, making the NVL opener against the Wildcats a huge measuring stick for the season.
Naugatuck came out quickly and took over the meet by grabbing the top three sports in the 200-yard medley relay. William Wright, T.J. Warren, Trevor Heller and James Vaz raced to victory in a time of 1 minute, 53.09 seconds.
That set the tone of the meet, and the foursome of Riker Mitchell, Anthony Krueger, Richard Mitchell and Dalton Fennell took second place, with the team of James Streifel, Dan Sigetti, Kevin McMullen and James Goggin placing third to give Naugatuck a sweep.
The Greyhounds never looked back, as the lead soared to 41-21, with Kyle Conrad taking first in the 200 freestyle in 1:57.38 and Fennell winning the 50 freestyle with an effort of 22.84.
It was a 67-21 lead after the diving competition, as Naugatuck continued to dominate by claiming the top three spots. Seymour didn’t field a diving team, but the Greyhounds went out and put up some very convincing scores, with Isabelle Moody taking first at 168.30. Kaitlin Carter was second with a score of 153.23, and Joe Caputo took third at 152.25.
“I don’t think this team realizes just how good they can become,” Naugatuck head coach Jim McKee said. “We are young, and there is still a lot of work to do. But we saw a lot of times dropping this week, and that will get us ready to face some stiff competition in the weeks to come.”
If there was any doubt about the outcome, it was quickly laid to rest following the diving competition. Naugatuck racked up a one-two-three finish in the 100 butterfly, with Heller taking top honors in 59.31. McMullen was second in 1:08.66, and Richard Mitchell placed third with a 1:09.79.
Vaz won the 100 freestyle in a time of 54.28, with Jake Branco finishing third in 1:00.14 and Goggin placing fourth in 1:01.87.
But the time of the night belonged to Chris Branco, as he blistered the field with a time of 5:12.99 in the grueling 500-yard freestyle. The team of Conrad, Heller, Richard Mitchell and Fennell took first in the 200 freestyle relay in a time of 1:37.06, and the final outcome was settled at that point.
Naugatuck swam exhibitions over the final three events to account for the final 97-72 margin. The Greyhounds will now gear up to face Woodland next week.
“It doesn’t get any easier from here on in,” McKee said. “And that’s just the way we want it. We have Woodland, Holy Cross then Sacred Heart coming up, and we will have to get ready.”