WATERBURY — The Woodland Hawks set seven school records and posted their best finish in program history at the Naugatuck Valley League swimming and diving championships last Saturday at Kennedy High.
The Hawks took third overall behind second-place Torrington and champion Watertown. Naugatuck finished fifth.
With a 13-1-1 record, the Hawks are in the midst of their best season and earned 744 points at the NVLs.
“That’s by far and away our best point total ever,” Woodland head coach Mike Magas said. “I’m really proud of our team.”
Katie-Jean Hinckley of Woodland won two events—the 200 and 500 freestyle—with personal-best times. She took the 200 in 2:00.39 and grabbed the 500 in 5:22.04.
Hinckley was also a part of two second-place relay finishes in the 200 and 400 free races.
“Katie has been working hard her entire career,” Magas said. “This was a good way to show it.”
Woodland’s Jen Tavares took the 100 backstroke, and was a part of five school records. She set a new record in the backstroke, the 100 free, her 50 split in the 200 free relay and the overall finishes of the 200 and 400 free relays.
The 200 and 400 free relays featured Hinckley, Tavares, Chrissy Leeper and Sydney Corneau.
In addition, Dayna Chucta shattered the school’s record previously held by her sister, Heather, and captured the diving event. She finished with 391.15 points.
“Dayna beat the record over 50 points,” Magas said. “The performance she put on was pretty amazing.”
Woodland also had two relay teams take second-place finishes and break school records. In short, it was a memorable night for the Woodland girls swim team.
“We had about 80 percent of our swims result in personal-best times,” Magas said.
Bianca Antrum had Naugy’s best finish—second place in the diving event. Rebecca Doback placed fourth in the 500 free, while teammate Elizabeth Walsh finished eighth.
Naugatuck head coach Jim McKee said the late-October snowstorm reduced practice time the week before the championship, and could have hurt the squad’s results.
Doback, Walsh, Barbara Martins and Amanda Miller took fourth in the 400 free—Naugy’s best relay finish. Miller also took seventh in the 100 free.
“We had a great season marred by a snowstorm that took its toll,” McKee said. “I was proud of our girls’ effort but I was disappointed for them. They worked very hard all year and deserved better.”
Both Naugatuck and Woodland will now focus on the states, which begin this week. The Greyhounds have a chance to improve on times and they have already turned their attention to the next competition. The ‘Hounds will compete in Class L swimming qualifying on Saturday, while the diving finals are Monday and the swimming finals are Nov. 16.
“My goal is to prepare for the class championships next weekend,” McKee said.
Woodland has a strong chance to make a splash at the next level. The Class S diving finals are set for Thursday, while the swimming qualifying will be Saturday and finals will be Nov. 15.
“We’d love to have a top-three finish,” Magas said.