NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck boys swimming head coach Jim McKee likes to use the out-of-league meet against Glastonbury as a measuring stick.
Glastonbury has finished in the top ten at the state open seven years running, and the Tomahawks are usually the toughest competition on the Greyhounds’ schedule. That proved to be the case as Naugatuck fell, 97-78, to Glastonbury on Dec 21 after opening the season Dec. 19 with a 90-78 victory over Watertown.
“A meet like this allows us early on to push ourselves,” McKee said about facing Glastonbury. “It’s encouraging because we are making a lot of progress from where we were when we held our first practice. We have a lot of kids who are coming in that we didn’t have to rely on last year.”
“Brian (Goggins) swam a nice 500 for us. Spencer (Maher) did his best fly time ever and he swam his best time in the 200 IM,” McKee continued. “Those are two guys that we relied on last year and we will rely on this year to get even better.”
Goggins swam a 1:54.62 in the 200 freestyle to take second, and challenged himself in the 500 freestyle — a much longer swim than he normally does — and finished third with a strong time of 5:13.04.
Maher finished second in the 100 butterfly in 58.08 and fourth in the 200 IM in 2:11.98.
Alex Manasoiu showed he can be a difference maker, swimming to first in the 100 backstroke in 1:03.89 and second in the 50 freestyle in 24.85.
“It might have been a little intimidating going up against Glastonbury as they dominated,” McKee said. “But we have guys who can be competitive and that showed in this meet.”
Zach Alves swam to victory in the 100 breaststroke in 1:13.11, and Jonathan Lauer placed second.
“What was encouraging is the development of our divers,” McKee said. “We had four divers doing all six dives and putting up competitive scores.”
Logan Martin outdid his season-opening performance by posting a 185.40, good for fourth place, on the diving board. Tsering Dhondup finished fifth with a score of 128.78, and Tyler Ruisi was sixth with a 123.75. Ethan Phaneuf competed in exhibition and finished with a solid score of 142.05.
Naugatuck (1-1) gained valuable experience by using three relay squads to compete in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
The 200 foursome of Dale Wakeley, Austin Herb, Maher and Goggin posted a winning time of 1:40.20. The team of Ryan Vincent, Donilo Assis, Lauer and Mike Hill placed second in 2:01.89, and the squad of Yeshe Rakagme, Dylan Triscritti, David Green and Nelson Lavoura finished third in 2:06.23.
The winning 400 relay team of Assis, James DeBisschop, Tommy Ayash and Bailey Ceryak finished in 5:09.34. The foursome of Joe Amato, Jeremy Raupach, Jacob Hill and Matt Raupach was second, and the team of Dhondup, Craig June, Triscritti and Ben Wierzbicki was third.
Naugatuck closes out December with the alumni meet, and the Greyhounds will be back in the pool on Jan. 9 when they take on Kennedy.
“The alumni meet is coming up and they don’t like losing,” McKee said last week.
“Only once in my tenure did we lose to the alumni back in 1982 with the Morrison boys. I still haven’t forgiven them,” he added with a laugh. “Typically, they have 40 to 50 alumni here, so it’s a great event for the program.”