BEACON FALLS — Before the boys swim season began in December, Woodland head coach Tom Currier knew he had a mostly inexperienced squad on his hands.
The Hawks returned just a handful of swimmers with state championship experience on a roster roughly 20 deep. With nearly two months of the season in the books, the Hawks have proven to be quick learners.
“The team has grown in every avenue a coach would want a student-athlete to grow — swimming times, team unity, team effort towards challenging sets,” Currier said. “They are doing everything that has been asked of them.”
That growth was on display last week as Woodland split a pair of meets with Crosby and Watertown.
On Feb. 4, Woodland swam past Crosby, 90-64, as the Hawks took first in eight events.
Woodland got the meet started with a win the 200 medley relay. The relay team of James Jensen, Donovan White, Aidan Music, JD Dyckman won the event in 1:56.81.
Jensen added first-place finishes in the 50 freestyle (24.70) and 100 fly (1:03.67). Dyckman also took first in the 100 freestyle in 1:00.09.
Julie Hinckley won the 200 freestyle (2:16.73) and 500 freestyle (6:01.88), as Jake Stow took first in the 200 IM in 2:37.1. The 200 free relay team (Music, Colin Kennelly, Dyckman and Jensen) swam to a first-place in 1:43.55.
Woodland fell to Watertown last Friday, 94-74, but several Hawks notched event wins.
Music took first in the 200 IM (2:10.63) and 100 freestyle (52.20). Jensen won the 100 butterfly in 1:02.72, as Chase Chura won the 100 backstroke (1:19.20) and PJ Conway won the 100 breaststroke (1:17.49). The 400 free relay team (Jensen, Hinckley, Dyckman and Music) swam to first in 3:53.27.
Woodland (5-5) hosted NVL title contender Sacred Heart Tuesday. Results from the meet weren’t reported.
The focus for Woodland is not on the win-loss record in meets. Rather, the focus has been and remains on getting individuals to hit their best times.
The effort has been paying off.
Hinckley, Conway and Jordan Baer have all recently put up best times, according to Currier. Hinckley recorded her best times in the 500 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 200 IM, he said. Conway and Baer’s best times have come in the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly, respectively.
Jensen has also recently added the 100 butterfly to the events he has qualified for at the Class S championship meet, Currier said.
Woodland will host Torrington on Friday and the NVL championships are on the horizon.
As the season winds downs, Currier said, the Hawks will spend their time focusing on specific individual events and getting faster. The key to finishing the season strong, he said, will be up to Mother Nature.
“No more snow days so we can practice,” Currier said. “The rest will fall into place.”