Naugy swimmers look ahead to bright future

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NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck girls swim team ran into some tough competition at the Class L swim meet last Wednesday at Southern Connecticut State University. The Greyhounds finished 17th out of the 20 teams but only had three relay squads and senior Rebecca Doback who qualified.

“Those are some of the best girls in the state if not the country,” Naugatuck coach Jim McKee said of the competition. “The 200 freestyle ran 24 deep and the 20th-place finisher ended up with a 2:05. That would have been good enough for second place at the NVL championships.

“So that’s what we were up against. These teams swim year-round with feeder programs. Our goal was to just swim our best times. You can’t do any better than that.”

Darien won the state championship with 942 points. New Canaan (707) and Wilton (564) rounded out the top three. The ‘Hounds put up 85 points, as they were outgunned by the top the tier in Class L.

“It was a very intimidating meet to say the least,” McKee said. “In the 200, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton and Pomperaug all had freshmen finishing near the top. These teams are solid throughout the lineup and that’s because they go at it for 12 months out of the year.”

Rebecca Doback swam her career-best time in the 500 freestyle, knocking 10 seconds off her team and earning an 18th-place finish, turning in an effort of 5:33.26.

“That is the fourth-best time ever for a Naugatuck girl swimmer,” McKee said.

The 200 medley relay squad of Cara Rotatori, Maria Carranza, Madison Wilson and Martina Niebrzydowski finished 16th with a time of 2:10.64.

Darien was not the only tough competitor as New Canaan broke two Class L records in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays. That’s the kind of skill Naugatuck faced.

“With the strength of the competition it’s a milestone just to qualify for this meet,” McKee said.

The 200 freestyle relay team of Erica Spino, Rachel Fox, Elizabeth Walsh and Doback finished 13th in 1:52.63. New Canaan entered the record book with a blistering pace of 1:36.22.

The 400 relay team of Barbara Martins, Rotatori, Walsh and Doback swam to a 13th-place spot in a time of 4:02.79. But New Canaan again shattered the record with an effort of 3:30.90.

“I really have no complaints at how we did,” McKee said. “This was a big season for Naugatuck girls swimming. The future looks bright after finishing second in the NVL. We do lose six seniors but have a solid core of swimmers coming back. Watertown graduates a lot of seniors so we have a shot at challenging for the top spot in the NVL next season.”