Greyhounds swim to 11th at Class Ls

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Naugatuck's Adam Branco swims the breast stroke during the 200 yard medley relay during the Class L swimming championships in Middletown Tuesday afternoon.-RA ARCHIVE
Naugatuck’s Adam Branco swims the breast stroke during the 200 yard medley relay during the Class L swimming championships in Middletown Tuesday afternoon.-RA ARCHIVE

WEST HARTFORD — The Naugatuck boys swim team turned in another bevy of season-best times and finished 11th among the field of 22 teams at the Class L state championship meet Tuesday at Hall High in West Hartford.

Pomperaug took the Class L title with a team total of 772 points. Wilton finished second with 541 points and Darien was third with 539. The Greyhounds posted 131 points, led by the 200-yard freestyle relay team that broke into the top 10.

“Once I saw the teams in the field following the trials I figured we would be in the middle of the pack,” Naugatuck coach Jim McKee said. “There are a lot of powerhouse teams in this division: Pomperaug, Cheshire and Darien, along with the teams from Fairfield and Hartford counties.”

Seniors Matt Hall, Mikhail Burdoev, Scott Sill and Eric Hanley earned a ninth-place finish in the 200 free relay in 1 minute, 34.16 seconds to earn the Greyhounds’ best performance of the meet.

“I feel pretty good about all the season-best times and the continued growth of this team,” McKee said. “We got back what I thought we would. Time-wise I certainly can’t be disappointed with our effort.”

The 400 free relay team of seniors George Vygoder, Hall and Sill along with junior Vincent Thoren finished 12th among the 24 qualifiers, turning in a time of 3:38.30.

The 200 medley relay foursome of juniors Simon Brondum and Adam Branco along with seniors Hall and Hanley posted a 14th-place time of 1:50.71.

“You tend to go through periods of having real strong teams, and then you go through periods of starting to grow the program again, and that’s where we were this season,” McKee said. “We had a very young, inexperienced team with a lot of first-year and second-year swimmers. But they gained a lot of experience and in the end started to learn how to compete.”

Senior Ryan Lewis placed 15th among a field of 28 qualifiers in the 11-dive competition and put up a total score of 273.55.

Competition in the individual events was so strong that mere seconds decided who broke into the top 10 and who would not.

In the 500 free Hall finished 16th in 23.85 seconds, just 1.3 seconds away from fifth place. Hanley placed 19th, tenths of a second behind.

Sill posted his season-best time of 52.80 seconds in the 100 free to finish 24th, while Hanley was 18th in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:04.97.

“We are a much better team than when we started the season,” McKee said. “That is a successful season in my book. I’m extremely pleased with the team’s effort this season. From a coaching and teaching standpoint, if I can get that kind of effort every year from my team I will continue coaching for a very long time.”