TORRINGTON — The Naugatuck girls swim team held a 79-77 lead over Torrington heading into the final event of last Friday’s meet at the Torrington YMCA. The Red Raiders posed a serious challenge, having won three of the last four Naugatuck Valley League titles.
But the Greyhounds held on to the victory by taking first and third in the 400-yard freestyle relay to post an 89-81 win and improve to 6-1 on the season.
“We don’t take anyone lightly,” Naugatuck coach Jim McKee said. “It was a tough, touch-and-go meet right from the start. If we do our times within reason we can be competitive with any team in the league. It came down to the final event and we needed a first and third. That’s exactly what we got.”
The Greyhounds’ 400 free relay foursome of Barbara Martins, Elizabeth Walsh, Rebecca Doback and Cara Rotatori won the final race by a full two seconds, finishing in 4:05.62.
“Cara swam the final leg of the 400 and beat her season-best time by two seconds,” McKee said. “That gave us our best team time for the season.”
Naugy sewed up the meet with the third-place finish by Tathiana Serrano, Martina Niebrzydowski, Rachel Fox and Erica Spino, who made it look easy by finishing in 4:21.91, 14 seconds ahead of the next Raiders squad.
The meet may have been won on the final event but Naugatuck put itself in that position when it took the lead for good in the 200 freestyle relay.
The ‘Hounds trailed Torrington 57-53 when the 200 relay squad of Martins, Niebrzydowski, Madison Wilson and Doback turned in a winning time of 1:53.38.
Naugy added a second-place finish with Spino, Serrano, Fox and Walsh turned in an effort of 1:56.00, beating Torrington’s best team by more than six seconds.
“We didn’t swim our best,” McKee said. “We only put up 20 best times but the girls have been training real hard and they were a little tired at this point in the season.”
Torrington took the lead at the meet’s beginning with a win 200 medley relay but Naugatuck soon rallied. Walsh (2:11.67) and Martins (2:15.85) took first and second in the 200 freestyle to put the Greyhounds in front.
Rotatori swam to a second-place finish in the 200 IM with Maria Carranza right behind her for third place. Doback raced to a first-place finish in the 50 freestyle and Wilson finished third to give Naugatuck a 33-29 edge.
Torrington went on a tear and outscored Naugatuck 28-20 over the next three events despite a one-two finish from Walsh and Martins in the 100 freestyle. Doback took second in the 500 freestyle and Faith Tuscano finished fourth but Naugatuck trailed by a 57-53 margin.
After Naugy reclaimed the lead with the 200 free relay, Carranza finished first in the 100 breaststroke with Amelie Franzen taking third and Rotatori had a second-place showing in the backstroke to give Naugatuck a two-point advantage heading into the final event.
“What put us over the top is we have a much deeper team than in years past,” McKee said. “We will be well rested for the trials next week and then the NVL championship meet next Saturday.”