WATERBURY — Naugatuck head swim coach Jim McKee has been encouraging his young team to keep working hard all season long, and the Greyhounds’ times have improved over the course of the year. Going up against the rest of the NVL last Friday at the Kennedy High, best times or not, the top of the league rose to the surface.
The Greyhounds finished sixth at the NVL swim championships with 467 points. Woodland won the title with 791 points ahead of Seymour with 780 points.
The Greyhounds finished sixth last year as well with 345 points and improved their point total this season, but had a ways to go to match the top contenders in the league.
Naugatuck got a jump start on the rest of the competition by putting two divers in the top five of the diving competition last Thursday. Katie Brown finished third overall with a score of 356.95, and Brin Battisti finished fifth with a score of 316.709.
Sophomore Molly Kennelly and freshman Katelyn Fortney were the top individual performers for Naugatuck in the pool.
Kennelly placed fifth (1:06.10) in the 100 backstroke for the second year in a row. Fortney finished fifth (1:08.97) in the 100 butterfly.
Naugatuck’s relay squads improved their places over last year’s NVL championship.
The 200 medley relay squad of Kennelly, Fortney, Maria Guimares and Francesca Spino placed fifth (2:05.44), two spots better than last year.
The 400 freestyle foursome of Abbey Shugdinis, Messier, Fortney and Kennelly raced to a fifth (4:14.04), and the 200 freestyle relay team Emily Sarmiento, Brown, Spino and Meghan Messier placed sixth (1:59.75). Both were one spot higher than last year’s NVL championship.
Naugy had three more top ten finishes. Fortney finished eighth (26.99) in the 50 freestyle, Shugdinis was tenth (2:22.22) in the 200 freestyle, and Guimares was tenth (1:21.30) in the 100 breaststroke.
Kennelly and Abrianna Hasipi finished 11th in the 50 freestyle and the 200 freestyle, respectively. Messier finished 13th in the 200 freestyle and 16th in the 100 freestyle.
Shugdinis placed 14th in the 500 freestyle with Hasipi finishing 17th. Jaimee Trumbley was 16th in the 100 backstroke, and Battisti was 16th in the 100 breaststroke.
Rounding out the top 20 finishes for the Greyhounds were Spino, who finished 17th in the 100 butterfly, and Sarmiento, who finished 18th in the 50 freestyle.
A message left for McKee seeking comment wasn’t returned.
The Greyhounds will now test their wares at the state level as they will compete in the Class L meet Nov. 15 at Wesleyan University.