WATERBURY — Naugy proved to be competitive in a deep and talented NVL.
The Greyhounds finished fifth out of 12 teams with 370.5 points at the NVL swimming and diving championship last week. With the most amount of qualifiers for the meet, Naugy finished 21 points shy of fourth-place Watertown.
“We swam a lot of best times, but just couldn’t get there,” Naugy head coach Jim McKee said. “Watertown swam very, very well and if you flip flop a few times it could worked out different for us.”
Naugy had defeated Watertown and tied Torrington in dual meets during the regular season. Both finished higher in the championships (Torrington placed third overall).
Holy Cross won the meet with 505 points, while Sacred Heart took second with 444. McKee said the difference was that Naugy, which had at least four swimmers in all but two events, struggled to get enough swimmers in the top six of most events.
Naugy, however, put together many best times, but it wasn’t enough against some of the best swimmers in the state. For example, Torrington’s Matthew Traub swam a 52.19 to set an NVL meet record in the backstroke and Sacred Heart’s Connor Newtown was a part of four top-finishes, including the butterfly and the 200 free individual events.
“We were up against a few swimmers that will finish in the top-five in state championships,” McKee said.
Naugy’s Evan Bombery earned the lone medalist finish for Naugy and took third in the 500 free with a time of 5:09.56. Just to show how good the NVL has become, Bombery improved greatly.
“To do that, Evan dropped a bunch of seconds,” McKee said of Bombery’s third place finish.
Bombery also took fourth in the 200 free (1:53.65).
Other impressive finishes for Naugy included the 200 medley relay that finished fourth overall. Omari Solomon, Nicholas Fox, Colby Storm, Michael Cocchiola raced to a time of 1:46.71, an improvement of 3 seconds off their previous best time.
In the 200 free relay, Naugy set another season-best time. Eric Cruz, Brain Goggin, Bombery and Graden Beasley took fifth in 1:37.00.
Naugy also took fifth in the 400 free relay as the team of Solomon, Peter Morrrissey, Bombery, Cocchiola in 3:37.42. Individually, Morrrissey also placed sixth in the 200 IM.
“In a championship meet, it comes down to matchups,” McKee said. “Sometimes they go in your favor, sometimes they don’t.”
With a roster of 37 competitors, and only six slated to graduate this spring, expect Naugy’s future to be bright.
“Next year, these guys will be older and will get into the top six,” McKee said.
Up next for the Greyhounds is the Class L championship. The diving final was Wednesday, after press time. Swimming qualifying is Saturday at Kennedy High School in Waterbury. The championship is March 17 at Wesleyan University in Middletown.