WATERBURY — The Woodland boys swam their way to sixth place at the Naugatuck Valley League championships.
Once the final splash subsided at Kennedy High School March 7, the Hawks had tallied 204 points to finish sixth among the 12-team field. Holy Cross won the championship with 505 points. Sacred Heart, Torrington, Watertown and Naugatuck rounded out the top five.
“As a whole the team swam amazing,” Woodland head coach Tom Currier said. “Some of the new swimmers did not perform their best due to nerves, but the returning swimmers all got best times.”
The Hawks entered the meet with one of the smaller squads in the league — the roster goes about 20 deep. The lack of depth hindered the Hawks’ chances of threatening the top five teams.
“It’s hard to compensate for size compared to the top five teams,” Currier said.
However, Currier said, the Hawks put up many best times individually and in the relay events.
Senior Aidan Music led the way for the Hawks. He swam to first in the 200 individual medley (2:04.67) and the 100 breaststroke (1:04.28).
The first-place finishes came a year after Music took second in both events. He vowed to not get any more silver medals.
“The whole season our practices were race speed,” Music said. “I kept repeating it over and over, and that enabled me to put out this effort here. It’s a really good feeling to finish my senior like this.”
Music earned All NVL honors for his effort.
“He worked hard all season, I could not be any prouder for Aidan,” Currier said.
Currier described Music as a leader and role model for all swimmers.
“He is our workhorse filling in any event that is needed, and he does so with a smile on his face,” Currier said.
Music was also part of two relay squads that earned top-five finishes for the Hawks.
Music, James Jensen, Donovan White and J.D. Dyckman took fifth (1:47.68) in the 200 medley relay. Sacred Heart won the event in 1:39.76.
Music, Dyckman, Jensen and Colin Kennelly swam to fourth (1:36.49) in the 200 freestyle relay. Holy Cross took first in the event in 1:32.20.
Jensen also earned sixth place (23.87) in the 50 freestyle for the Hawks. Holy Cross’ Matt Corona took first in the event in 22.70.
The Hawks will now turn their attention to the Class S championships.
Music has qualified for multiple events at Class S, but will compete in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke, Currier said.
White has qualified in the 100 breaststroke, and Jensen has made the cut in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly.
Dyckman, a senior, made states for the first time in his career, Currier pointed out. Dyckman will compete in the 50 freestyle.
Music, White, Jensen and Dyckman are guaranteed to swim at states. Currier anticipates a handful of more Hawks to dive in as well. Each school also brings one team per relay event.
Swimming qualifying is Saturday at Plainville High School. The championship is March 18 at Wesleyan University in Middletown.
The Republican-American contributed to this article.