Three meets into the season, several program records are already in jeopardy. For starters, the 200 medley relay team of Pat O’Dell, Andy O’Dell, Andrew Cullen and Eric Dietz have produced a time within two seconds of the school record.
“We didn’t come close to that until late last season,” Woodland head coach Tom Currier said. “I like the relay records because that’s a team effort.”
The O’Dells, Cullen and Dietz swam a 1:46.86 in the 200 medley during a season-opening meet loss to Sacred Heart last month. Currier sees more potential in other events.
Both senior Pat O’Dell and sophomore Andy O’Dell also have a chance at reaching program-best times. Pat O’Dell excels in the stroke events, while Andy O’Dell shows promise in the 500 free.
Senior Michael Christiano won the diving event against non-conference foes Haddam-Killingworth and Pomperaug, while the team’s second diver, junior Steve McCusker, also put up solid numbers, according to Currier.
Dietz is also a factor in the 50 free and 100 breaststroke, while senior Jimmy Tompkins’ performances in the 100 backstroke are only a couple seconds off his time in the states last season.
Sophomore Alan Katrenya has also shown progress in multiple events.
“Alan has looked good in the 200 IM and breast,” Currier said.
Aidan Music has caught the eye of Currier — and opponents — in his freshman season. Currier has been impressed by Music’s early results, which included his first varsity event win, the 100 breast against Pomperaug.
“Aidan is looking to make states and is filling in spots that graduated,” Currier said. “He’s done the IM and breast very well. He’s a very well-rounded young swimmer.”
Woodland (0-3) lost six seniors from last year’s team and will need all the production it can to compete in dual meets against teams with larger rosters. The Hawks have only 14 athletes on their roster.
It’s hard to judge Woodland’s team results, simply because most of the teams on the schedule have more swimmers to put in more events. Early losses to Sacred Heart, Haddam-Killingworth and Pomperaug must be put into context.
“We’re always unevenly matched,” Currier said. “Those fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place finishes for the other team add up.”
Currier said his team refuses to be deterred. After all, swimming and diving are just as much individual sports as they are team sports.
“You’re always racing against the clock,” Currier said. “It’s all about the clock.”
And no matter whether the team wins or loses, each performer has his own goals.
“If everyone produces personal records, then we’ve had a successful season,” Currier said.
Woodland returns to the pool to host Naugatuck on Jan. 10 at 4 p.m. in Beacon Falls.