Hard work paying off for Hawks

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Woodland’s Andy O’Dell races in the 200 free Jan. 18 versus Lyman Hall in Beacon Falls. O’Dell finished second in the race as Lyman Hall won the meet, 83-65. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Woodland’s Andy O’Dell races in the 200 free Jan. 18 versus Lyman Hall in Beacon Falls. O’Dell finished second in the race as Lyman Hall won the meet, 83-65. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland boys swim team is seeing its hard work start to pay off as the Hawks recorded their first win of the season last Tuesday over Crosby by a 79-68 margin. Woodland got right after it with the 200-yard medley relay team of Lauren Tompkins, Pat Dietz, Andy O’Dell and Jim Jensen racing to victory in the first event of the meet.

Adam Katrenya was a double winner, taking first in the 200 and 500 freestyles, and Jensen came through with a pair of first-place finishes in the 50 and 100 freestyles.

“We had a very good meet against Crosby,” Woodland coach Tom Currier said. “Crosby has about the same number of swimmers that we do, so it pretty much evened out the field. We are usually outnumbered but this was a good indicator for us that the hard work is beginning to pay off.”

Andy O’Dell swam to victory in the 200 IM and diver Steve McCusker took first place in his event. The 200 free relay team of Dietz, Tompkins, Jensen and Katrenya gave the Hawks the final points they needed to secure the win as they won their race.

“We are doing quite well as a team and putting a win under our belt certainly boosts the team’s confidence level,” Currier said. “Four athletes have already qualified for the states and for a team of 11 swimmers that shows a good number of successes this season.”

Aidan Music, O’Dell, Katrenya and McCusker have all qualified for the postseason with Dietz and Jensen closing in on the qualifying marks.

Woodland hosted Lyman Hall, one of the stronger teams in the Southern Connecticut Conference, last Friday and the Trojans outscored the Hawks by an 83-65 final margin.

Woodland’s Aidan Music does the freestyle during the 200 individual medley Jan. 18 versus Lyman Hall in Beacon Falls. Music won the race with a time of 2:18.62. Lyman Hall won the meet, 83-65. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Woodland’s Aidan Music does the freestyle during the 200 individual medley Jan. 18 versus Lyman Hall in Beacon Falls. Music won the race with a time of 2:18.62. Lyman Hall won the meet, 83-65. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

Music gave the Hawks a fighting chance as a double winner, taking first in the 200 IM (2 minutes, 18.62 seconds) and the 100 free (54.72 seconds).

Katrenya also outdistanced the field in the 100 breaststroke, putting up a winning time of 1:08.85.

The Woodland (1-6) relay teams turned in a solid performance as the 200 freestyle relay squad of Dietz, Jensen, Music and O’Dell raced to a first-place finish with a time of 1:42.98. The 400 free relay foursome of O’Dell, John Dyckman, Music and Katrenya also won their race in 3:58.20.

Freshmen Jordan Baer and Donovan White along with sophomore Pat Conway have also contributed to the Hawks’ rise as they prepare for the Naugatuck Valley League championships next month.

“We are putting in the hard work and we are improving,” Currier said. “But as a team we are supporting one another and we are having a lot of fun in the process. Lyman Hall was certainly a top-notch team but it gave our top swimmers a good challenge as we prepare for the postseason.”

Woodland will get another stiff challenge this week when it hosts Torrington, one of the top teams in the NVL, on Friday. The Hawks will conclude their four-meet homestand Tuesday against Watertown.