Naugatuck swims past improving Hawks

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Naugatuck and Woodland faced off in the pool Oct. 4 in Beacon Falls. The Greyhounds won the meet, 99-79. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Naugatuck and Woodland faced off in the pool Oct. 4 in Beacon Falls. The Greyhounds won the meet, 99-79. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

BEACON FALLS — Naugatuck won the meet, and Woodland continued to improve.

The Greyhounds won nine of 12 events in a 99-79 girls swimming victory over the Hawks last Friday. Cara Rotatori, Elizabeth Walsh and Madison Wilson were a part of three event victories for the ‘Hounds, who won the meet in the pool that has become their home away from home.

“Overall the complete team is working hard and improving steadily,” said Naugatuck coach Jim McKee, whose team has been using Woodland’s pool for practice as renovations at Naugatuck High continue. “Our practice situation is not the best, but the girls are getting through it.”

Maria Carranza won the 100-yard breaststroke for Woodland, while the relay team of Emma Sardinskas, Lisa Thrasher, Sara Fowler and Bri Christiano won the 400 freestyle for the Hawks.

Naugy started the meet fast. The team of Rotatori, Barbara Martins, Erica Spino and Martina Niebrzydowski started the night with a victory in the 200 medley relay with a time of 2 minutes, 6.90 seconds. 

Sarah Bryden, Carranza, Sardinskas and Chole Ariola finished second and shaved two seconds off their best relay time.

“As a team, we achieved personal-best times in 80 percent of the events that our athletes competed in,” Woodland coach Mike Magas said. 

Walsh (2:12.81) and Rachel Fox took the top two spots respectively in the 200 free for the Greyhounds, and Addison Best placed fourth to give Naugy an early 22-6 edge in points after two events.

“Addison Best, a freshman, has stepped in and given us four solid efforts, which is a pleasant surprise,” McKee said. “Addison has given us quite a bit of depth.”

Martins earned a win in the 200 IM with a time of 2:34.12, nearly six seconds ahead of Carranza. 

“Barbara Martins is another versatile swimmer,” McKee said. “Her best events are the IM and breaststroke. Last meet she swam best times in both as well as best time in relays. Barbara is a very hard worker — our leader every day.”

Naugy took the top three spots in the 50 free, led by Wilson’s 28.33-second finish. Tattiana Serrano was second, followed by Niebrzydowski.   

“Madison is having her best swim season,” McKee said. “Her butterfly times are her best ever and her sprint freestyle times are equally at her best. She also has swum the IM very well.”

The Hawks swept the diving event with Lauren Lombardo’s top score of 159.95. Fowler was second, followed by Lexi Byczko in third.

Wilson won the 100 butterfly in 1:11.02 and Rotatori captured the 100 free in 1:01.55. Fox took second in the 100 free, while Serrano placed third.

Walsh was the only swimmer to finish under six minutes in the 500 free with a time of 5:53.96. Christiano finished in second for the Hawks with a time of 6:15.26.

“Daisy Walsh is getting into shape after a slow start to the season,” McKee said. “She is swimming her best in multiple races in the same meet, which is a goal.”

Serrano, Walsh, Fox and Wilson won the 200 free relay, edging out teammates Alexandra Silva, Niebrzydowski, Best and Spino. Woodland’s team of Carranza, Thrasher, Ariola and Christiano took third.

Rotatori won the 100 back in 1:08.16, about eight seconds ahead of the Hawks’ Sarah Bryden.

“Cara Rotatori has been swimming best times in everything,” McKee said. “She has also swum in a variety of individual events. She is progressing very well in her training.”

Despite the loss, Magas remains upbeat about the team’s progress.

“We have progressed nicely as the season has moved along and every swimmer and diver has set new personal best times and scores at this point,” Magas said. “As a result, both myself and the coaching staff are overjoyed.”

The Hawks swam to a 91.5-91.5 tie with Seymour on Wednesday and face Sacred Heart on Friday at Kennedy. Naugy returns to action on Tuesday to swim at Masuk.