Balanced attack propels Hawks

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Woodland’s Tatianna Lynn competes in the 200 free Sept. 30 versus Naugatuck in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the meet, 95-88. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Woodland’s Tatianna Lynn competes in the 200 free Sept. 30 versus Naugatuck in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the meet, 95-88. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland girls swim team doesn’t rely on a handful of go-to swimmers. Rather, the Hawks attack opponents with a roster filled with experience in every event.

That balanced attack has led to the Hawks to a 4-3-1 start to the season.

The Hawks are led by a stable group of seniors with captains Sarah Bryden, Erin Mascoli and Chloe Ariola setting the example along with seniors Lisa Thrasher, Lauren Lombardo, Alexandra Byczko, Morgan Reichard and Karli Reynolds.

Woodland showed that balanced lineup as they pulled away from Naugatuck Sept. 30 to earn a hard-fought 95-88 win. Bryden led the way with a pair of first-place finishes in the 100 backstroke and a stroke for stroke tie for first place in the 100 freestyle with Cara Rotatori of Naugatuck.

“It’s a rarity to see a tie for first place but that just goes to show you the intense rivalry we have with Naugatuck,” Woodland head coach Mike Magas said. “Both teams tend to push each other and that tends to bring out the best in both teams and we saw that in this meet.”

Woodland came out and took the early lead with the foursome of Bryden, Thrasher, Kyla Drewry and Brooke Pope swimming to victory in the 200-medley relay. The team of Jordan Williams, Reichard, Taylor Amore and Natalie Katrenya took third, and it was that kind of jockeying for position that marked the entire meet.

Thrasher earned first in diving with a score of 181.75 and took second in the 500 freestyle at 29.56. The Hawks benefited from another one-two performance from the always-reliable Tatianna Lynn, who took first in the 200 freestyle (2:17.09) and a second in the 500 freestyle.

“We can’t get ahead of our self,” Magas said. “I told them on the bus after the tough loss to Watertown, we need to put that behind us. We need to take these meets one at a time. We can’t look back and we can’t look ahead. We just need to stay focused and just look at the meet we are facing.”

Naugatuck began to win its share of races but couldn’t seem to gain any traction against the depth of the Hawks. Drewry won the 100 butterfly in 1:14.10, a full 17 seconds ahead of the competition, and added a third place showing in the 50 freestyle.

Pope (100 freestyle, 200 IM) and Veronica Dergachev (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle) put together second and third place efforts in two events each to pile on the points for the Hawks.

Woodland’s Lexie Byczko performs a dive Sept. 30 during a meet against Naugatuck in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the meet, 95-88. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Woodland’s Lexie Byczko performs a dive Sept. 30 during a meet against Naugatuck in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the meet, 95-88. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

Lexie Byczko finished third in diving and Maddie Hoxie was fourth. Reichard (breaststroke, 200 IM) and Williams (backstroke, 100 freestyle) picked up third and fourth place finishes. Morgan McSherry (500 freestyle) and Marissa Johnson (200 freestyle) added fourth-place finishes with Carly Erickson (100 breaststroke, 200 IM) taking two fifth-places.

Jordan Theroux, Olivia Rua, Maia Rosario and Christina McAllen swam in the relays for the Hawks with Julianna Bartolucci and Zarina Garcia adding to the Woodland depth.

The Hawks followed up the win over Naugatuck with an 85-74 victory over Wilby on Tuesday. Individual winners included Lynn in the 200 free (2:19.65), Pope in the 50 free (29.14) and Bryden in the 500 free (6:17.09)

Woodland ran into a tough Suffield team Oct. 2 and had to settle for a 90-90 tie. Thrasher won diving with a score of 174.15. Bryden led the way for Woodland winning the 50 and 100 freestyle.

Woodland swam up against the undefeated Seymour Wildcats Wednesday, and fell, 93-82. Thrasher won the diving completion with a score of 167.35. Bryden (100 free) and Reichard (100 breaststroke) picked up individual wins, as well. The 400 free relay team (Lynn, Brooke Pope, Dergachev, Bryden) also swam to first in 4:35.39.

The Hawks will be back in the pool Tuesday when they host St. Paul.