Greyhounds in good place as season winds down

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By Ken Morse, Citizen’s News

NAUGATUCK — As the swim season winds down, the Greyhounds may be a bit ahead of where head coach Jim McKee figured they’d be at this point.

“We have a lot of girls stepping up. You could put anyone’s name in there in most events and I would be happy,” said McKee about his 5-2 Greyhounds.

Roster size has been an issue the past few seasons for Naugatuck, but with graduation losses held to a minimum, the Greyhounds’ numbers have been improving and so has their overall performance.

The Greyhounds showed their depth and diversity Oct. 27 in a 114-69 win over Oxford.

“They have a big team, you need to have at least three girls score in each event and we were able to do that,” McKee said. “But any win against a league rival is a good win.”

Davinity Smallwood led Naugy with first-place finishes in the 200 (2:21.78) and 500 (6:16.73) freestyles.

Jacqueline Uva took first in the 100 butterfly (1:04.41), Haley Deller won the 100 backstroke (1:05.65), and Ayana Williams finished first in the 100 free (1:02.29).

Naugatuck swept the relay races.

Williams, Deller, Uva and Tara Fitzgerald won the 200 medley relay in 2:09.40. The 400 free relay team of Williams, Uva, Deller and Katelyn Fortney took first in 4:26.37, and the 200 free relay team of Aryn Bombery, Letiecia DoNascimento, Abby Shugdinis and Uva swam to victory in 1:58.67.

The Greyhounds also had several swimmers place second in events: Williams (50 free, 28.44), Deller (200 IM, 2:34.00), Shugdinis (500 free, 6:28.72), Alena Rotatori (100 backstroke, 1:14.89) and Kayla Bartlett (100 breaststroke, 1:25.23).

Naugatuck was stretched to the limit Oct. 23 against last year’s NVL runner-up Seymour, which won 95-75.

Deller won the 200 IM (2:27.52) and the 100 backstroke (1:02.69), just missing the Greyhounds’ all-time record in the latter event.

Uva swam to first in the 100 fly (1:01.42) — a personal best — and knocked four seconds off her best time with a third-place finish in the 200 free (2:03.39).

McKee was quick to point out that Uva and Deller, both juniors, have made a huge impact this season.

“Haley came within five-tenths of a second of breaking our 100 backstroke record,” McKee said. “Jackie put up two phenomenal swims against Seymour with a 1:01 in the 100 fly — that is right up there with the state open times — and the 200, knocking four seconds off her time.”

Naugatuck is set to face Woodland on Nov. 2 before ending the season Nov. 6 versus Watertown. A virtual NVL meet is scheduled for Nov. 11.