NAUGATUCK — With a mix of seasoned returners and impressive newcomers, the Naugatuck girls swimming and diving team has the potential for a competitive season.
Led by senior captains Rachel Fox, Barbara Martins, Daisy Walsh and Madison Wilson, the ‘Hounds will look to build off their best finish in the Naugatuck Valley League since 2007.
“I think we can be competitive, we just need to have a good training season,” Naugy head coach Jim McKee said of his team. McKee noted that Sacred Heart, Watertown and Torrington appear to be the frontrunners this season within the conference.
Fox comes back with top-eight credentials in the NVL, specializing in the freestyle. Martins, a year-round swimmer, is one of many versatile swimmers in the lineup.
Walsh can contribute in any freestyle event, as well as the butterfly, and will likely appear in four events each meet. Wilson is another standout swimmer, who can give Naugy points in the butterfly, IM and in sprint freestyle events.
Ashley Burkman and Martina Niebrzydowski also return for their senior years to give Naugatuck additional experience.
Four juniors — Tathiana Serrano, Erica Spino, Briana Couch and Brittany Corcho — are included on the roster. Serrano has posted best times in all her events this year in the preseason, while Spino has NVL and state potential. Corcho is a diver with “good ability” who can earn points in a key event for Naugy, McKee said.
The sophomore class is highlighted by Cara Rotatori, an All-NVL performer last year who specializes in the backstroke and IM. In addition, Alexandra Silva was an NVL finalist in the back and IM, while Faith Tuscano could also be a four-event contributor following a finalist showing at the NVLs last season.
Meghan Lauer, Brianna Searles and Shayla Starland also will be counted on for depth and season-long improvement. Salena Na joins the team as a first-year diver.
The freshman class brings club experience and the potential to score immediately in meets. Addison Best, Ashley Daymonde, Olivia Filanowski, Madeline Santos and Vanessa Soares have the talent to compete for significant time in the pool.
“We have girls with swimming experience, we just need to train and work hard,” McKee said.
Naugatuck is going through this season without a home pool because of the ongoing renovation at the high school. The Greyhounds are using Woodland’s pool for practice, but they will compete in a full road schedule. That slate begins Friday at Kennedy.