NAUGATUCK — It was a meet for which Naugatuck swim coach Jim McKee was waiting. The Greyhounds hosted one of the top teams in the Naugatuck Valley League last Friday, falling to Watertown.
The Indians came away with a 100-70 victory but Naugatuck swam 80 best times, showing vast improvement and the potential to become a dangerous team down the stretch.
“This was one of the meets that we were pointing to and the girls swam real well,” McKee said. “We have been training for five full weeks now and we opened with a nice win over Kennedy. But the girls were excited going up against Watertown and everyone just stepped up and turned in a good effort. To have 80 best times this early in the season, I was impressed. Now the girls need to commit to the training and get better with every meet.”
Naugatuck won six of the 13 events. Rebecca Doback led the ‘Hounds, taking first in the 200 IM with a time of 2:28.17 and winning the 500 freestyle with an effort of 5:39.28.
Cara Rotatori swam to victory in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:09:19 and Maria Carranza took first place in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:18.87 finish.
It was that kind of effort that kept the Greyhounds battling the Indians. But the strength of Naugatuck came in the relays.
The 200 medley relay foursome of Rotatori, Carranza, Madison Wilson and Martina Niebrzydowski won in 2:07.57, a team-best time.
The 400 freestyle relay squad also put up a team-best time with Rotatori, Barbara Martins, Doback and Daisy Walsh winning in 4:09.89.
The 200 freestyle relay squad of Martins, Niebrzydowski, Walsh and Doback finished second but still put up a team-best time of 1:51.87.
“I think the biggest improvement on this team is in our relays,” McKee said. “We have a lot of young swimmers who do the odd strokes (breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly) and that gives us a lot of depth in the relays.”
Kimberly O’Brien, Amelie Franzen and Alexandra Silva swam best times in all four events they competed in. Joyce Lima, Brenda Morataya, Alexis Savage and Brianna Couch each swam two best times with Rachel Goggin swimming a best time in the 100 breaststroke.
Samantha Corcho, Michelle Wright, Erica Spino and Brianna Searles put up best times against Watertown in two of the three relays. Rachel Fox put up best times in the 200 and 500 freestyles with Mariah Somohano, Ashley Burkman and Faith Tuscano besting their times in the 200 relays.
“We have some real good young swimmers,” McKee said. “But they need to gain experience. Alexandra Silva got out touched at the wall in the breaststroke and missed out on a second-place finish.
“Tattiana Serrano should be back at the beginning of next month from an injury,” McKee continued. “We are at the point in the season where we don’t want to have swimmers get injured from overdoing it, so we will keep an eye on that. We want to be healthy and at full strength when the end of the season comes around and we have the postseason meets.”
The Greyhounds are back in action Friday when they host Seymour.