WATERBURY – Katie-Jean Hinckley won two events to help lead Woodland to a third-place finish at the NVL girls’ swimming championships Saturday. Naugatuck finished fourth overall at the meet.Torrington won the title with 826 points, ahead of Watertown (707.5), Woodland (644) and Naugy (570). Holy Cross, Sacred Heart, St. Paul and Seymour rounded out the standings.
Individually, Hinckley won the 200 free and 500 free by wide margins. She won the 200 free in 2 minutes, 2.99 seconds, over four seconds ahead of second-place finisher Amanda Welch of Torrington.
Later in the meet, Hinckley also topped Welch, the event runner-up, by over 17 seconds in the 500 free. Hinckley completed the 500 free in 5:23.07.
“She’s been working very, very hard,” Woodland coach Mike Magas said of Hinckley. “She never seemed to take a day off this season. Even in practice, she swims every lap.”
The Hawks also benefited from Chrissy Leeper, who posted a personal-best times in the 100 butterfly and 200 IM. Leeper placed fourth in the butterfly in 1:07.30 and took fifth in the IM in 2:29.80.
Woodland took three of the top six spots in diving. Dayna Chucta placed second, Kim Thrasher took fifth and Liz Martin was sixth in the dive event for the Hawks.
“That was a key to our finish,” Magas said of the divers. “They’ve been working hard without a doubt.”
Also for Woodland, team captains Amanda Gagne and Catherine Goodwin swam lifetime-best times. Gagne notched her best times in the 200 and 500 free events, while Goodwin did the same in the IM and 100 backstroke.
Gagne and Goodwin surpassed expectations.
I was really excited for them,” Magas said. “They had some goals they wanted to meet, and they not only met them, they surpassed them.”
The Greyhounds, which finished their dual meet season with a 6-2 mark, featured many swimmers with season or personal-best times.
Sarah Konops had the top finish of the night for Naugy. Konops took second in the 100 breaststroke in 1:16.89, behind Corrina Nickerson of Torrington.
Konops also posted a season-best time in the 50 free and placed seventh overall.
Rebecca Doback recorded lifetime-best times in the 200 and 500 free. In the 200 free, Doback finished fifth overall and directly ahead of teammate Elizabeth Walsh.
In the 500 free, Naugy earned key points thanks to not only the performance of Doback (sixth-place finish), but also of Nicole Javins (fourth), Claudia Brennan (ninth) and Walsh (11th). Brennan and Walsh earned lifetime-best times in the 500 free, while Javins posted a season-best.
In the 200 free relay, Melissa Kirschbaum, Jocelyn Brantley, Walsh and Amanda Miller earned fifth place overall with a time of 1:54.45. Naugy finished sixth in the 400 free relay with the team of Javins, Walsh, Doback and Konops.
Naugy coach Jim McKee said he was pleased with the performance of his team, which endured three dual meets in an eight-day period leading up to the NVLs.
“So far, we’ve had a very successful season,” McKee said.