Naugy boys swim to 11th at Class L meet

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Naugatuck's Adam Branco swims the breast stroke during the 200 yard medley relay during the Class L swim championships at Wesleyan University March 14 in Middletown. –RA ARCHIVE

MIDDLETOWN — The Naugatuck boys swim team took 11th place out of 20 teams at the Class L state meet that wrapped up on March 14 in Middletown.

The Greyhounds and their eight Class L qualifiers totaled 208 overall points. Pomperaug won the meet with 671 points.

Naugatuck head coach Jim McKee said this year’s field was especially competitive and challenged Naugy to compete with relatively fewer qualifiers than other teams. Despite no Greyhounds advancing to the state open meet, McKee said he was pleased with the effort and the numerous best times that were posted.

“They didn’t get to the open, but they stood up and performed. You have to expend a lot of energy to compete,” said McKee, who was forced to ask certain swimmers to perform in events not considered to be their specialty.

Isabelle Moody took fifth, the highest finish by a Naugy performer, in the diving event with 328.95 points. Naugy’s Kaitlin Carter placed 10th with 187.35 points.

Senior William Wright, who the 200 free at the NVLs, produced a personal best time at the Class L meet with a 1:49.32. That time resulted in an 11th-place finish.

Wright also placed 12th in the 100 free in 50.47 seconds.

Chris Branco, one of Naugy’s best distance swimmers, raced to his best time in the 200 free this season (1:54.61, 21st place) and his best 50 free leg of the 200 free relay which led to a seventh-place finish.

Matt Hall, Eric Hanley, and Wright joined Branco to finish in a time of 1:33.80.  Hall led off the relay and posted a lifetime-best leg of the race.

The time represented the fastest time of any NVL team in the event. Despite that mark, the time did not qualify for the state open.

“Every event gets really fast at this level,” McKee said. “The meet was twice as deep as it has been in the past.”

Branco also participated in the 400 free relay with Hanley, Hall, and Wright. The team took ninth overall and finished in a time of 3:27.04.

Hanley also swam to a 13th-place finish in 23.31 in the 50 free.

The team of Mitch Santos, Adam Branco, Hall, and Hanley placed 12th in the opening event of the finals — the 200 medley relay — and posted a time 1:48.94.

“We didn’t do absolute best times in some events, but it’s tough when you have to swim too many hard races,” McKee said.