Naugy swimming past opponents

Practice is paying off for the Naugatuck girls swim team.

The Greyhounds enter this week after winning back-to-back meets. Naugy overcame Seymour on Oct. 1, and seven days later knocked off Woodland.

Ask Naugatuck head coach Jim McKee, and he’ll tell you it has come down to hard work. Effort has led to positive results.

“I’m giving them as much as they can possibly do in practice,” McKee said of his team, which began the week at 3-1 overall and was scheduled to face Sacred Heart on Tuesday.

The ‘Hounds have responded.

The meet against Woodland came down to the final event—the 400 free relay. The Hawks needed to take first and third to win the meet, but Naugy didn’t let that happen.

Woodland took first, thanks to the speed of Christine Leeper, Anna Boris, Whitney Stow and Sydney Corneau in a time of 4 minutes, 17.44 seconds.

Naugy took second and third places, and the meet. The relay team of Madison Wilson, Elizabeth Walsh, Claudia Brennan and Nicole Javins took second for Naugatuck in a time of 4:18.92. Barbara Martins, Melissa Kirschbaum, Amanda Miller and Rebecca Doback placed third for Naugy in 4:21.82, nearly 10 seconds ahead of Woodland’s next best finish.

Wilson, Walsh, Brennan, Martins, Doback and Kirschbaum all recorded best season times in their respective splits in the final event. This has been the Greyhounds’ rallying cry—constant improvement.

“It was one of those meets you have to learn how to win,” said McKee, whose team has six seniors. “You win those meets in your last race, not your first, and that takes a lot of effort.”

While Naugy ended the meet on a high note, it started it out the same way.  The 200 medley relay team of Miller, Doback, Sarah Konops and Jocelyn Brantley each posted season-best split times in the relay and finished in a time of 2:08.39.

In the next race, the 200 free, Walsh and Martins finished second and third respectively, and produced two of the 34 best-time performances for the Greyhounds. Even though Woodland’s Katie-Jean Hinckley won the event, Martins and Walsh gave Naugy key points in a meet that went down to the wire.

A week earlier, Naugy featured 37 season-best individual times. It led to an 85-78 victory.

Naugatuck got off to a fast start by taking second and third in 200 medley relay and grabbing the top three spots of the following 200 free. Doback (2:17.21), Walsh (2:20.67) and Miller (2:24.74) won the top three spots and each swam season-best times.

The Greyhounds closed out the meet in the 500 free and the 200 free relay. Javins took second, Brennan finished third and Rachel Goggin was fourth to grab nine points.

In the 200 free relay, Naugy won the top two spots. Miller, Kirschbaum, Walsh and Brantley finished in 1:57.36 for first place and eight points. Wilson, Morgan Fonseca, Martins and Diana Silva finished second in 2:09.08 and won four points.

Through four NVL meets, Naugy has three wins and a close loss to Watertown. McKee said it’s because of his team’s work in practice.

“If you’re going to swim four times in one meet you have to swim through it,” McKee said. “These meets confirm that they can train hard and swim hard in the meet.”