WATERBURY — The Naugatuck girls swim team raced to a second-place finish at the Naugatuck Valley League championship meet last weekend, just ahead of Sacred Heart and Torrington.
Watertown won the title for the second year in a row, capturing five first-place finishes, four second-place spots and four third-place showings to score a league-best 908 team points.
The Greyhounds, with a team total of 641 points, finished with their best showing in the last five years. Sacred Heart (590) placed third and Torrington (578) finished fourth.
“I’m pleased with second place, our best showing since 2007,” Naugatuck coach Jim McKee said. “But we could have done a little better if we didn’t miss four days out of the pool earlier in the week due to the storm. This is the second year in a row that the weather has kept us out of the pool right before the NVL championships.”
A third-place finish in the 200 freestyle by senior Rebecca Doback (2:07.11) and a third-place showing in the 100 backstroke by freshman Cara Rotatori (1:07.43) paved the way to the runner-up spot.
“What really helped us is we outscored Torrington in the backstroke and breaststroke and outscored Sacred Heart in the 500 (free) and the backstroke,” McKee said. “It came down to a game of depth and we were the deeper team. We had four solid performers in Rebecca Doback, Rachel Fox, Daisy Walsh and Cara Rotatori.”
Naugatuck had four swimmers gaining points in four events and in three other events had three swimmers scoring.
The ‘Hounds scored 79 points in the 200 free with Doback finishing, Elizabeth Walsh fifth (2:12.15) and Fox sixth (2:17.50).
The Greyhounds racked up 67 points in the 100 back led by a third-place finish from Rotatori. Alexandria Silva (1:13.37) was 12th, Erica Spino (1:16.59) 15th and Faith Tuscano 17th (1:18.70).
Maria Carranza finished fourth in the 100 breast in 1:18.03 while Doback (fifth, 5:49.63) and Walsh (sixth, 6:04.60) finished well in the 500 free.
Naugy’s depth continued to pile up the points with Barbara Martins (1:01.86) taking eighth in the 100 freestyle, Fox (1:02.11) finishing ninth and Tathiana Serrano (1:05.36) 12th.
Two relays also finished fifth. In the 200 medley Rotatori, Carranza, Madison Wilson and Martina Niebrzydowski finished in 2:05.17 to score two points fewer than Torrington. In the 200 free Martins, Fox, Doback and Walsh posted a time of 1:51.42 to earn four points fewer than Sacred Heart.
“Our relay teams finished in the middle of the pack,” McKee said. “That helped us to stay with Sacred Heart and Torrington until our depth got us past both of them.”
The Greyhounds will now gear up for the Class L state meet on Nov. 14 at Southern Connecticut State University.
“Our relay teams and maybe four swimmers will make the qualifying times,” McKee said. “The state meet is a whole different atmosphere. The best swimmers in the state are competing and it gets real fast. We will work hard and put up as many points as we can and see where it all comes out.”