MIDDLETOWN — The Naugatuck girls swim team finished up a remarkable season by placing 11th at the Class M state championships.
The Greyhounds, who were runner-ups in the Naugatuck Valley League for the first time since 2012, finished 21 points out of the top ten in Class M with 179 points. Daniel Hand won the championship with 588.5 points.
Naugy placed in the top ten in four events, led by sophomore Katelyn Fortney who finished seventh in the 50 freestyle (26.11) and ninth in the 100 butterfly (1:02.85).
Fortney also took part in two of the three relays. The 200 medley team of Molly Kennelly, Maria Guimaraes, Jacqueline Uva and Fortney finished eighth in 1:59.21, just off the pace of a school record.
“The 200 medley relay team missed setting a school record by five tenths of a second at the NVLs and had a shot at being the first team to qualify for the state open since 2005,” Naugatuck head coach Jim McKee said. “Every team in last year’s state open was faster than our school record. That shows you the kind of effort these girls made and the competition that we face in the states.”
The 200 freestyle relay squad of Julianna Scully, Guimaraes, Kennelly and Fortney finished seventh (1:52.37). The 400 freestyle relay team of Scully, Abby Shugdinis, Abrianna Hasipi and Alena Rotatori finished 24th (4:14.56).
Individually, Uva swam to 24th in the 200 IM (2:30.71), Haley Deller was 16th (1:07.07) and Kennelly was 24th (1:08.77) in the 100 backstroke.
In diving, Katie Brown finished 16th with a score of 295.85, and Brin Battisti was 21st at 268.45.
“As coaches we see what’s capable,” McKee said. “Until they do it they really can’t believe it. We went into the NVLs with four swimmers in every event, but two where we ended up with three swimmers. We didn’t have that at the start of the season.
“We spent a majority of the season developing the younger girls, swimming two and three heats in some events. What good is it to be on a team if you can’t compete and try and better your times?”
Naugatuck will lose a strong crop of seniors to graduation: Brown, Battisti, Scully, Hasipi, Guimaraes, Francesca Spino, Taylor Siefer, and Faith and Shara Rawding. The Greyhounds will return a talented group of swimmers, led by juniors Emily Sarmiento, Meghan Korowotny and Kennelly.