Road warriors

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Naugy swims to fast start, puts scare into Indians  

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck girls swim team got off to a fast start on the season, easily getting past Kennedy by a 96-70 margin. Rachel Fox and Cara Rotatori were double winners to lead the Greyhounds, with Fox winning the 100- and 200-yard freestyles and Rotatori taking the 200 IM and the 100 backstroke.

Naugatuck showed it is a team that has quality depth with Tathiana Serrano winning the 50 freestyle, Erica Spino winning the 100 fly, Daisy Walsh swimming to victory in the 500 free and Barbara Martins gliding to victory in the 100 breaststroke.

The biggest challenge the Greyhounds will face is competing in all its meets on the road this season with the Naugatuck pool out of commission due to the renovations at the high school.

Naugy went into enemy territory last Friday when it took on the two-time defending Naugatuck Valley League champion Watertown. The Greyhounds put a scare into the Indians before Watertown managed to escape with an 89-85 win.

“I’m not sure it was as close as the final score would indicate,” Naugatuck head coach Jim McKee admitted. “I think the Watertown coach backed off a little and swam the last one exhibition but we almost caught them at the end. Either way this was a very encouraging performance by the girls, especially this early in the season. Watertown did graduate a lot but they still have a lot of frontline swimmers.”

What stirred up the Greyhounds’ performance was some of the younger girls coming up with season best times adding to the overall point total. Barbara Martins was a double winner in the 500 free (6:03.12) and the 100 breast (1:18.48).

But it was the surprising efforts of Faith Tuscano (fourth) and Meghan Lauer (fifth) in the 500 free and Alexandra Silva (third) in the 100 breast that kept the ‘Hounds within striking distance.

“We had a lot of girls come in and do season-best and career-best times, and that is what got us going,” McKee said. “Our medley relay team had a best time by 5 or 6 seconds and ended up getting touched out at the wall by a tenth of a second. One of our freshmen, Addison Best, has been a surprise, swimming best times in the 200 free and twice in the relays.

“Rotatori turned in a great performance in the IM and the 100 back, winning by a tenth of a second,” McKee continued. “Then we had Martins in the 500 a good body-and-a-half length behind the leader through the first 400. She kicked it in gear, turning in a lifetime-best and winning with a touch at the wall.”

Rotatori took first place in the 100 back in 1:09.36 and was instrumental by swimming the anchor in the 400 free relay.

That foursome of Martins, Fox, Madision Wilson and Rotatori raced to victory in a time of 4:14.83. The 200 freestyle relay squad of Serrano, Fox, Walsh and Wilson swam to a first-place finish in 1:53.79.

“This was certainly a big step for us,” McKee concluded. “It confirms that all the hard work they have been putting in is paying off. And the work is never done because now we have another tough opponent next on the schedule.”

Naugatuck will be back in the pool on Friday when it travels to Seymour to take on the always-tough Wildcats at 7 p.m.