NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck girls swim team will take its 9-2 record into the Naugatuck Valley League swim meet this week at Kennedy High.
Sacred Heart is the hands-down favorite to win the title but there is a logjam for the second spot with the Greyhounds counting on team depth to carry them.
Last year Naugatuck captured second place but this year there will be several contenders including Watertown, Torrington and Holy Cross. The Greyhounds will look to the senior leadership of captains Daisy Walsh, Barbara Martins, Rachel Fox and Madison Wilson along with seniors Martina Niebrzydowski and Ashley Burkman
“It’s going to be a real dogfight for the second spot,” Naugatuck head coach Jim McKee said. “We will be counting on our depth as we will be able to put four swimmers in every event. The only event that will hurt us is diving. Without a pool of our own, practicing at Woodland has taken its toll on our diving. In a league meet like this you need to perform 11 dives and we just don’t have that kind of experience to do all of them. If we were able to practice at our own pool, that wouldn’t be an issue.”
Torrington fields three very good divers but may not have the overall depth of Naugatuck. The Greyhounds lost to the Raiders by one point in the regular season but that decision was reversed on a forfeit win for the ‘Hounds due to a diving issue.
Naugatuck also fell to Watertown during the regular season by a slim 89-85 margin but the Indians have a much smaller squad and may not be able to stay with the depth of the Greyhounds.
“We have to go out and get our best times,” McKee said. “We may not place in every event but we will have three or four swimmers who will get us points in every event, and that could be the difference.”
Cara Rotatori, who was All-NVL as a freshman, leads a very strong sophomore class in the 100-yard freestyle and the 100 backstroke. Meghan Lauer and Faith Tuscano in the 500 free and the backstroke, Brianna Searles in the 200 and 500 free, and Alexandra Silva in the IM and breaststroke will be heard from before the NVL meet has run its course.
Juniors Erica Spino (100 butterfly and 50 free), Tathiana Serrano (50 and 100 free) and Amanda Rinaldi (100 and 200 free) give McKee added options to field all of the events.
“Our freestyle events are probably the strongest for us,” McKee said. “I will need to get my divers, Brittany Corcho and Salena Na, into some swimming events, and we have a very good freshman class that can score some points, as well.”
Freshman Addison Best (100 and 200 free), Madeline Santos (IM), Olivia Filanowski (IM) and Ashley Daymonde (100 back and 100 fly) will be looked on to make a solid contribution to the team’s overall point total.
“We can pick up points in just about every event,” McKee said. “That will keep us in the running, and if we can post season-best times we will be in contention for the second spot.”
NVL swimming trials were Tuesday night. The diving finals were held Wednesday. The swim finals are 4 p.m. Saturday at Kennedy.