Size, talent encouraging signs for Naugy

Naugatuck girls swim team captains, from left, Katie Brown, Taylor Siefer, Abrianna Hasipi and Francesca Spino will lead the team this season. –KEN MORSE

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck girls swim team is poised to make a splash in the Naugatuck Valley League this season. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will challenge for an NVL title, but things are certainly looking up for a team that has finished in sixth place three years in a row.

A large freshman class has head coach Jim McKee excited about the team’s potential heading into the season.

“We have a lot of girls who swam in middle school and some of these freshmen are going to be pushing for spots,” said McKee, who is in his 33rd season coaching the girls team. “I’m very encouraged about the size and the talent of this team. These younger girls are fast and it’s pushing the older girls to go even faster, and that’s a good thing.”

Senior captains Katie Brown, Abrianna Hasipi, Taylor Siefer and Francesca Spino will provide the leadership for the younger girls as Naugy looks to improve on last year’s 6-4-1 mark.

Seniors Julianna Scully, Maria Guimaraes, Brin Battisti, Faith Rawding and Sarah Rawding add to the leadership for the Greyhounds.

Juniors Meghan Korowotny, Emily Sarmiento and Molly Kennelly are back, and sophomores Katelyn Fortney and Abbey Shugdinis made an impact last season in their first year.

The freshman class is made up of 12 talented swimmers from the middle school system.

McKee has high expectations for Jacqueline Uva, Haley Deller and Alena Rotatori, who all have the ability to be four-event swimmers. Karly Bartek and Davinity Smallwood have also caught the coach’s eye as swimmers who could be swimming at the NVL meet.

“Katie Brown and Brin Battisti are excellent divers and they both dove in the states last year,” McKee said. “Maria Guimaraes has a chance to make our top ten list in the 100 breaststroke and that doesn’t happen very often. So along with an exciting freshman class we also have a strong group of upperclassman and it’s shaping up to be a fun season.”

McKee continued, “Julianna Scully is one of our top three but she has been injured the past two seasons, and hopefully she can finish out her senior year.”

The key, the coach said, will be putting in the work in the pool.

“We haven’t had a large talented group like this in a while,” McKee said. “We will see if they put the work in and how that works out for us, but I’m very encouraged.”

Naugatuck gets the season underway on Sept. 14 at home versus Torrington.