Naugy all about best times

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Naugatuck’s Meghan Messier does the butterfly during the 200 medley relay Sept. 30 versus Woodland in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the meet, 95-88. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Naugatuck’s Meghan Messier does the butterfly during the 200 medley relay Sept. 30 versus Woodland in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the meet, 95-88. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

BEACON FALLS — The NVL girls swim season is well underway and teams are finding out early that Naugatuck is in it for the long haul.

The Greyhounds are equipped with a group of seasoned veterans along with a strong core of younger swimmers eager to make their mark.

“We have seven new girls and a couple of brand new divers,” Naugatuck head coach Jim McKee said. “We are making progress, but at this point in the season I’m more concerned about what are times are compared to what they were in our last meet.”

Naugatuck went neck and neck with Woodland Sept. 30 with the Hawks pulling out a 95-88 win. Cara Rotatori and Addison Best led the Naugatuck with two first-place finishes each.

“Many times the final score doesn’t indicate how good a meet was,” McKee said. “This was one of those meets. Every race was so close and our girls swam their best times so far this season. If you are going to lose I want to make the score as close as I can and we battled right until the end.”

Woodland broke out on top taking first and third in the 200-medley relay. The Naugatuck foursome of Rotatori, Alexandra Silva, Meghan Messier and Julianna Scully raced to second. The Naugatuck squad of Jaimee Trumbley, Amanda Rinaldi, Brin Battista and Ashley Daymonde placed fourth.

Rotatori gave Naugatuck its first victory in the 200 IM and then went stroke for stroke with Woodland’s Sarah Bryden in the 100 freestyle that ended in a tie for first at 1:01.29.

Best showed her speed and endurance taking first in the 50 freestyle at 28.33, and then pushed past the competition to win the 500 freestyle in 5:59.59, a full 14 seconds ahead of the field.

“This was a good measuring stick,” said McKee about facing the Hawks. “Anytime you face Woodland it’s a big rivalry; all the emotions come out.”

The depth of the Greyhounds kept them in the meet with Silva swimming to first in the 100 breaststroke and second in the 200 IM. Rinaldi swam to second in the 100 breaststroke and third place in the 100 freestyle.

Faith Tuscano finished second in the 100 backstroke and a third in the 200 freestyle. It was that kind of middle of the pack scoring that kept Naugatuck within striking distance.

Naugatuck’s Cara Rotatori does the backstroke during the 200 medley relay Sept. 30 versus Woodland in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the meet, 95-88. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Naugatuck’s Cara Rotatori does the backstroke during the 200 medley relay Sept. 30 versus Woodland in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the meet, 95-88. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

“We are still in the building phase,” McKee said. “The goal is to try and get better with each meet. The younger girls are dropping times like crazy. But the key is to continue to do that, and if you are not in shape that’s not possible. It comes down to maintaining your times.”

Naugatuck managed to score big in the 100 butterfly with Messier taking second, Daymonde third and Brianna Searles fourth outscoring Woodland 9-7 to cut the deficit at 52-41.

Katie Brown picked up valuable points earning a second place finish in diving with a solid score of 173.50. Abriarina Hasipi (200 freestyle) and Francesca Spino (500 freestyle) both swam to fifth-place finishes.

Vanessa Soares, Brianna Couch, Stephanie Almmeida, Sarah Burton, Katie Meyers and Faith Rawding swam in the Naugatuck relays. The Greyhounds have added depth with Meghan Lauer, Erin Brown, Carrington Conner and Shara Rawding.

Naugatuck ran into undefeated Seymour last Friday and came up on the short end of a 91-74 final margin. Rotatori (100 freestyle) and Silva (100 breaststroke) were the only individual winners for the Greyhounds.

The foursome of Silva, Olivia Filanowski, Best and Rotatori swam to victory in the 200 freestyle relay with the team of Tuscano, Brown, Rotatori and Best taking first in the 400 freestyle relay.

Naugatuck gave two-time NVL champion Sacred Heart all the Hearts could handle Tuesday, but fell 90-80. Rotatori swam to first in the 100 backstroke (1:08.01) and Silva took first place in the 100 breast stroke (1:22.25). Naugatuck’s 400 free relay team of Tuscano, Rotatori, Rinaldi and Best swam to first, as well, in a time of 4:29.33.

The Greyhounds will be home Friday for a 4 p.m. contest with Torrington.