Hawks taking season day by day


By Ken Morse, Citizen’s News

BEACON FALLS — Teams’ win-loss records are not always a clear indication of where they stand or where they’re headed.

At 3-3 through six meets, one might think the Woodland girls swim team is rebuilding after winning the Naugatuck Valley League title twice in the last three years. But that is not the case.

Woodland still possesses one of the best diving teams in the league and a solid core of multiple event swimmers, but maintaining that same competitive edge can be difficult with some virtual meets on the schedule.

“Swimmers and divers by nature enjoy that head-to-head competition,” head coach Mike Magas said. “It always brings out a little more energy in their performance. This year with some virtual meets you see that same energy level is harder to maintain.”

“Considering with all that is going on with the COVID restrictions, I’m impressed at how the girls are handling it all,” he added. “They have been to all the practices and have been doing all the work, and we just take it day by day because you never know when it could be taken away and we could be shutdown tomorrow.”

Woodland went up against Seymour for the second time this season on Oct. 27 and came out on the short end of a 95-86 margin.

Maura Beltrami won the 200 IM (2:34.82). The 400 freestyle relay team of Cooley, Demirs, Beyer and Taylor Wasilewski swam to victory in 4:28.06.

The Hawks showed their depth in diving. Kayleigh Theroux won the event with a score of 200.35, followed by Ella Bernegger (200.05) and Shae DiGiola (186.50).

“The divers are doing phenomenal being led by coach Michele Griffith,” Magas said.

The NVL diving competition is set for the second week of November.

“We are looking forward to seeing our girls do real well,” Magas said.

The Hawks swam past Watertown, 98-88, on Oct. 23.

Beltrami (200 free, 2:16.06; 100 fly, 1:07.23) and Kyla Behrle (200 IM, 2:24.26; 500 free, 5:43.71) won a pair of events to lead the Hawks.

Theroux placed first in diving (194.10), Emme Starzman took first in the 50 free (26.43), and Molly Kennedy won the 100 free (59.11).

Beltrami, Liana Demirs, Meg Letourneau and Kyla Behrle won the 400 free relay (4:23.16), and the 200 medley relay squad of Behrle, Starzman, Kennedy and Sarah Cooley took first in 2:03.88.

Taylor Muharem (100 backstroke, 1:18.25), Emily Rindos (100 breaststroke, 1:23.02) and Emily Beyer (200 freestyle, 2:26.12) placed second in their events.

Magas said the team’s goals for this season were to show up every day, work hard and keep improving.

“I feel we have done that,” Magas said. “We do graduate nine seniors from this year’s team, a lot of solid swimmers, but we have high expectations for the next few years.”

“We don’t lose any of our divers and we have some solid swimmers who have continued to get better, and I think we will be just as stocked with talent next year,” he added.

Woodland will face Oxford on Oct. 30 and Naugatuck on Nov. 2 to end the season. A virtual NVL meet is set for the second week of November.