BY KEN MORSE
Sometimes it takes a few meets before a team can gauge where they are. If the season opener for the Naugy boys swim team is any indication, the Greyhounds have a lot of heart and are ready to do battle right down to the wire.
Naugy went head-to-head with Torrington on Jan. 6 and came away on the short end of an 89-78 final. The lead changed hands twice and there were three ties, but in the end it came down to the 400 freestyle relay.
The Greyhounds needed a first place finish trailing, 79-75, and landed a second place finish, coming up three seconds short. There was a lot to take away from the season opener and coach Dan Knepple was pleased with the way the Greyhounds competed.
“I thought we did pretty well,” said Knepple. “We had a couple of guys out and swimming at Torrington, they don’t have diving, but for the first meet of the year it was pretty exciting.”
Torrington won the 200 medley relay to start the meet but Naugy picked up valuable points taking second and third. The team of Aiden Brown, Hudson Bombery, Jack DeBisschop and Blake Stone finished at 2:11.76 and the squad of Nick Montini, Ethan McKeon, Vanch Mottiani-Rincon and Anthony Montini placed third at 2:32.05.
“As far as times go, I thought we did pretty well,” added Knepple. “Some of the guys in the middle I was hoping they would get better times but for a first meet we were where I expected us to be. We still have some things to work on which is expected so early in the season.”
Eric Fortney won the 200 free in 1:58.73 and Jack Healy swam to a pair of victories in the 50 free (24.98) and the 100 fly (1:03.94) to give Naugy a slim 40-36 advantage.
Torrington won the next two events and Naugy entered the 200 free relay trailing, 55-53. The Greyhounds took back the lead with the foursome of Stone, DeBisschop, Healy and Fortney posting a winning time of 1:47.29, eight seconds better than Torrington.
Naugy led, 63-59, when Torrington pulled ahead for good, outscoring the Hounds, 13-3, in the 100 backstroke. The Greyhounds managed to whittle away at the lead with Bombery landing a second place in the 100 breaststroke. McKeon was third and Evan Vaagen finished fourth.
“In the past we have been putting our focus on building endurance,” said Knepple. “We are switching things up a bit this year working on some things to increase our speed.”
Fortney, Healy, Brown and Bombery gave it their all in the 400 freestyle relay and finished second in 3:53.88.
Naugy is scheduled to swim at neighboring rival Woodland on Friday at 4 p.m.
BY KEN MORSE