By Ken Morse, Citizen’s News
NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck High senior swimmer Spencer Maher didn’t get the chance to finish what he started.
Maher was a week away from competing at the Class L state championship meet when the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference canceled state championships in boys and girls basketball, boys swimming and ice hockey because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“I will admit, I was really disappointed at first to have my high school career end like this,” Maher said. “At the same time, I have to consider all the other precautions that are taking place and I understand why it needed to happen.”
Maher was ranked eighth in the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle in Class L heading into the meet and was set to compete in two relays, as well, for the Greyhounds.
“I was really looking forward to seeing how well I could do as the 100 and 200 are my strongest events,” Maher said. “At least I got to swim a majority of my season and had four very successful years at Naugatuck, and I will cherish those memories for the rest of my life.”
Maher’s swimming career at Naugatuck has been a steady progression of success. As a sophomore, he placed third in the 200 IM and the 100 butterfly at the Naugatuck Valley League championships. In his junior year, he finished second in the 200 IM and third in the 100 butterfly.
He finished 11th in the 200 IM and 12th in the 100 butterfly in Class L two years running — as a sophomore and junior.
This past season, Maher broke into the Greyhounds’ all-time top-ten list and won two gold medals at the NVL championship. He won the 200 IM (2:00.18) and the 500 freestyle (4:48.02), and both times are top ten in Naugy boys swimming history.
After chasing Holy Cross High School, which won its sixth straight NVL championship this season, for four years, Maher will now look to leave his mark for Holy Cross at the collegiate level.
In the fall, Maher is attending the College of Holy Cross in Wooster, Mass., where he will swim and plans to pursue a law career.
Maher said he visited 13 colleges and feels Holy Cross is the one that will prepare him best for law school.
“The coaching staff is great and I got along with the other swimmers real well when I visited up there,” he said. “The academic opportunities were also a big consideration. They turn out a lot of people who have gone on to the legal field who have done very well. That was first and foremost for me.
“Of course it certainly doesn’t hurt that they have an excellent Division I swimming program. It does hurt ending my high school career the way it did, but I’m really looking forward to a lot of success at Holy Cross.”