MIDDLETOWN — It had been a long, hard season of rebuilding for the Naugatuck girls’ swim team under head coach Jim McKee, but the Greyhounds saw the rewards of their hard work with a strong showing in the Class L championship meet at Wesleyan University last Wednesday.
Senior diver Melissa Uva placed 10th with a total score of 307.60, to put 17 points on the board for the Greyhounds, and junior Sarah Konops took eighth in the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 26.32, good for another 21 points, as Naugatuck finished with a team total of 161.
The Greyhounds placed 15th among the 20-team field, with the relay team of seniors Leah Grabowski, Morgan Russo and Samantha Fredericks and junior Taylor Turner finishing third in the heat C of the 200-yard freestyle, 19th overall, with a time of 2:15.08.
Junior Nicole Javins finished seventh in the B-heat and 15th overall with an effort of 2:10.95 in the 200-yard freestyle to score 12 team points. Sophomore Molly Walsh came through with a seventh-place place showing in the B-heat of the 50 freestyle, 15th overall, in a time of 27.26, adding another 12 points on the board for the Greyhounds.
The Class L meet featured strong teams loaded with depth; Pomperaug won the state title, scoring a team total of 664, beating out second-place Conard, which compiled 502 points. Mercy placed third at 484 with Fitch taking fourth with a total of 352, outdistancing fifth-place Farmington, with 349 points.
The foundation of Naugy’s rebuilding fared well, with juniors Javins and Konops putting up high marks in the 500 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke. Javins put up an effort of 5:58.53 to place eighth in the B-heat and 16th overall in the 500 freestyle, scoring 11 team points. Konops finished third in the B-heat and 11th overall in the 100 breaststroke for a team total of 16 points.
In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Konops, Javins, Walsh and junior Jocelyn Brantley raced to a first-place finish in the B-heat, ninth overall, with a time of 1:49.25, putting another 38 points on the board for the Hounds.
The Greyhounds finished up their strong showing in the Class L meet with the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Konops, Grabowski, Fredericks and Javins posting a time of 4:11.55, good enough for eighth place in the B-heat, 16th overall, and 18 points.
Naugatuck will lose some talented seniors this season, but their positive influence was instrumental in leading the younger Greyhounds to a good showing in the postseason. That will be the building block to a solid foundation for next season.