BEACON FALLS — After tying the second best win total in program history during the regular season, the Woodland girls swim team concluded the year with a 16th-place finish at the Class S meet Nov. 17.
The Hawks, who finished the regular season 8-4-1, tallied 143 points at the meet at Wesleyan University in Middletown. Weston scored 746 points to run away from the 33-team field and take the title.
Woodland had five girls compete in individual events to go along with all three relay teams and a pair of divers that finished in the top 15.
“We didn’t have any girls in the individual events last year,” Woodland head coach Mike Magas said. “This year we had five individual events covered. I was pleasantly surprised at how this team came together and had an awesome season.”
Lauren Lombardo finished eighth in diving with a score of 306.85 followed by Lisa Thrasher, who dove to 11th with a score of 300.30.
“Our divers have been phenomenal all year long and continually scored some big points for us,” Magas said. “But the best is yet to come as the younger girls continue to improve and we keep building the foundation of this program.”
Sarah Bryden had an exceptional meet. The senior captain placed in two individual events and swam on two of the relay teams.
Bryden finished 16th in the backstroke in 1:08.85, a full second better than her sixth-place NVL performance. She also finished 24th in the 100 freestyle in 1:01.51, just two seconds out of finishing in the top 15.
Sophomore Brooke Pope showed that she is ready to take on a bigger role next season as she finished 16th in the 100 freestyle (1:00.39) and 19th in the 50 freestyle (27.19). Both times were a half a second better than her times at the NVL meet.
Junior Tatianna Lynn placed 24th in the 200 freestyle in 2:15.87, just a tad off the pace she set in her 11th-place showing at the NVL meet. Sophomore Kyla Drewry showed the depth Woodland has in the specialty events by swimming to 23rd in the 100 butterfly in 1:12.68.
All three relay teams did better than last year’s Class S times. The 400 freestyle relay squad of Pope, Bryden, Lynn and junior Veronica Dergachev finished 12th in 4:11.70 after placing 16th last year.
The 200 medley relay foursome of Bryden, Thrasher, Drewry and Pope finished 14th in 2:06.29, one place higher than last year and almost a full second ahead of the sixth-place time they posted at the NVL meet.
The 200 freestyle relay team of Thrasher, Lynn, Dergachev and Drewry placed 17th with an effort of 1:55.42, beating last year’s time of 1:56.08.
“Bryden has been a steady contributor all season long to lead the team,” Magas said. “I’m real pleased to see that all three of our relays teams had better times than last year showing signs of improvement.”
The Hawks will lose Bryden, Erin Mascoli, Chloe Ariola, Morgan Reichard, Karli Reynolds, Lombardo, Thrasher and Lexi Byczko to graduation. But the development of the younger players has Magas excited for the future.
“As a team we will lose some quality seniors but I’m excited about the development of the team as a whole and looking forward to seeing that progress continue next season,” Magas said.