WATERBURY — Down one of their best swimmers, the Greyhounds battled to secure a top three spot at the Naugatuck Valley League swim championship.
Naugatuck finished third with 544 points at the championship meet Nov. 8 at Kennedy High’s Jack Reardon Pool. Woodland won the title with 907 points, two points ahead of second-place Seymour.
“It really turned into a two-horse race, but I was more concerned about the three horses below them — Sacred Heart, Watertown and Oxford,” Naugatuck head coach Jim McKee said. “I was very pleased with how our girls battled, considering we were without our best swimmer, Jacqueline Uva, who dislocated her knee and was lost for the rest of the season.”
While Woodland and Seymour went head to head for the title, Naugatuck overcame the loss of Uva to outlast Sacred Heart (470 points), Watertown (453 points) and Oxford (412 points) and secure third place.
After the 100 freestyle, Naugy trailed Watertown by 20 points, but outscored the Indians by almost 100 points the rest of the way. The turnaround began when the 200 freestyle relay team of Katelyn Fortney, Emily Sarmiento, Meghan Korowotny and Ayana Williams finished third in 1:50.73.
The 200 medley team of Molly Kennelly, Fortney, Haley Deller and Korowotny came in fourth (2:03.95), and the 400 freestyle squad of Deller, Kennelly, Williams and Abby Shugdinis also placed fourth (4:05.88).
“Jackie was part of all three of our relays, and to see the girls step up and do as well as they did showed the effort that went into it,” McKee said.
Deller had the best individual finish for Naugy, taking fourth in the 100 backstroke in 1:06.28. She also placed ninth in the 200 IM.
Williams swam to fifth in the 100 freestyle (58.43) and ninth in the 100 breaststroke. Kennelly took fifth in the 100 backstroke (1:09.66), and Fortney was sixth in both the 50 freestyle (26.85) and the 100 butterfly (1:08.79).
Kelly Brodeur finished ninth in the 500 freestyle (6:11.70) and 12th in the 200 freestyle. Shugdinis was 11th in 500 freestyle, Alena Rotatori was 12th in the 100 backstroke, Davinity Smallwood was 13th in the 500 freestyle, and Kayla Bartlett was 15th in the 100 breaststroke.
“We had tremendous best times up and down the lineup,” McKee said. “I felt we were very competitive.”
Naugatuck will compete in the Class L state meet Wednesday at Wesleyan University in Middletown. The State Open is Sunday at Yale University in New Haven.