Hawks find their stroke

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Woodland’s Alan Katrenya won the 100 breaststroke last Friday against Kennedy. –FILE PHOTO

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland boys swim team began this season with uncertainty and disappointing results. But the Hawks ended the regular season with victories and momentum heading into next week’s Naugatuck Valley League championships.

Woodland beat Kennedy, 97-85, last Friday to earn its fourth straight win and close the dual-meet season.

The Hawks dominated the meet by taking 10 of 12 events. The 200-yard medley relay team of Patrick O’Dell, Alan Katrenya, Andrew Cullen, and Aidan Music started the day with a win in 1:55.67, while the 200 freestyle relay team of Eric Dietz, Patrick O’Dell, Andy O’Dell, and Music later won in 1:45.43.

The O’Dells, Dietz, and Music continued to excel in individual events. Andy O’Dell won the 200 free in 1:55.87 while Patrick O’Dell took the 100 butterfly in 56.27 seconds.

Dietz was the only double winner of the meet, winning the 50 free in 23.31 seconds and the 100 free in 52.26 seconds.
Music, the youngest impact swimmer on the team, kept up his strong season with a win in the 200 individual medley, posting a time of 2:25.47.

Michael Christiano earned 180.15 points in the diving portion of the meet to earn another victory, while Jimmy Tompkins won the 100 backstroke in 1:09.27 and Katrenya took the 100 breaststroke in 1:09.32.

The Eagles’ only event victories of the day came in the 500 free and the 400 free relay.

Woodland’s win came on the heels of triumphs over Oxford, Wilby, and Northwestern. After the Hawks began the season 0-4, they finished the regular season by winning seven of 11 meets to rack up a 7-8 record, including 4-5 in the NVL.

The NVL time trials are set for Tuesday at Kennedy High, beginning at 4 p.m., before the diving finals on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The swimming finals will be March 2 at 6 p.m., also at Kennedy.

Woodland coach Tom Currier said last month that he is not too concerned with where the team finishes at the meet because the limited roster will hamstring depth points. But he thinks that some of his swimmers will make a splash.

“My goal is for everybody to get personal bests,” Currier said in late January. “If everyone gets their fastest times, it’s a successful season to me. For the team, with the smaller numbers, I’m not stressing [our place at the meet]. Our relays should break some school records. That should be fabulous. I think that we should have some individuals—the O’Dells and Eric Dietz—that will be competing for medals.”