Hawks shallow on depth, deep on talent

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Woodland’s Patrick O’Dell, who finished second in the 100 backstroke at the NVL championships last season, is one a five returning seniors for the Hawks. FILE PHOTO

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland boys swimming and diving team may come up short when it comes to depth in the 14-member lineup, but the Hawks are hardly short on talent.

Last season, Woodland swam to a sixth-place finish at the Naugatuck Valley League championships and followed that up with a sixth-place showing in the field of 26 teams at the Class S state championships.

The Hawks lost much of their production with the graduation of captains Adam Trumbley, Tony Madigan and Rebecca Bock along with seniors Lindsay Boland, Matt Costa and Eric Beaudoin.

But Woodland is not empty-handed. The Hawks return five talented seniors who made their mark in state competition last season.

Leading the way will be senior Patrick O’Dell, a second-place finisher in the 100 backstroke at the NVL championships to go along with a fifth-place showing in the 100 butterfly. O’Dell placed third in the 100 back and sixth in the 100 fly at the Class S meet.

“We did lose six seniors from last season,” Woodland coach Tom Currier said. “That is an awful lot of production to try to replace. We are not very deep as some of the teams we face in the dual-meet portion of our schedule. But we do return a very talented group of seniors this season. They are all good leaders and set a good example. They are the big hitters on the team.”

Senior Eric Dietz finished seventh in the Class S 50 freestyle and was part the seventh-place 400 relay team with Trumbley and Patrick and Andy O’Dell.

Sophomore Andy O’Dell made his mark with a fourth-place showing in the 500 freestyle at the NVL championships along with a sixth-place finish in the 200 freestyle.

Senior Jimmy Tompkins was a state qualifier in the 100 backstroke and senior diver Michael Christiano finished 12th in the Class S diving competition.

Senior Andrew Cullen and sophomore Alan Katrenya were also state qualifiers in the breaststroke and junior diver Steve McCusker gives the Hawks some added depth.

“I would be happy if we could maintain what we achieved last season,” Currier said. “I think the biggest challenge we face is to find swimmers to man all of the events. With only 14 members in the lineup we are going to need a few kids to step up and fill the void.”

The Hawks will compete in the NVL Indicationals on Friday before their dual-meet schedule begins with a home contest against Sacred Heart on Dec. 14.