Season preview: girls swimming

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Naugatuck’s Katelyn Fortney competes in the 100 butterfly during a meet with Seymour in October 2019 at Naugatuck High School. –REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN ARCHIVE

Naugatuck

2019 results: 6-4; placed 3rd at NVL championships and 17th at Class L championships.

Graduated: Molly Kennelly, Emily Sarmiento, Meghan Korowotny.

Seniors: Katelyn Fortney, Abby Shugdinis, Belle Jason.

Season opener: Oct. 2 at Watertown.

Armed with only 15 swimmers on the team last year, head coach Jim McKee was hoping to add to the numbers this season.

In spite of graduating three talented seniors, the Greyhounds have taken a step forward and head into the season with roster of 22 swimmers.

Even without the excitement of the NVL championships waiting at the end of the season, there is much anticipation to see what the new swimmers will add to the team. Seven new freshmen will look to give Naugy depth.

Seniors Katelyn Fortney, Abby Shugdinis and Belle Jason will lead an experienced team, which includes juniors Jacqueline Uva, who got injured last season, and Haley Deller. Sophomore Ayana Williams made an impact last year, as well.

Attempts to reach McKee were unsuccessful.

Woodland swimmers celebrate after it was announced that they won the Naugatuck Valley League title during the NVL girls swimming championship in November 2019 at Kennedy High School in Waterbury. –REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN ARCHIVE

Woodland

2019 results: 11-2; won the NVL championship and placed 6th at Class S championships.

Graduated: Lauren Avery, Hailey Bernier, Casey Brooks, Victoria Gugliotti, Camille Terrell, Morgan Swift, Grace Rua, Alex Rojcov.

Seniors: Emily Beyer (captain), Spenser Burkowsky (captain), Ainsley Clark, Samantha Erickson (captain), Kayleigh Huk, Meghan Letourneau, Taylor Muharem, Emily Rindos, Taylor Wasliewski.

Season opener: Oct. 6 vs. Watertown.

The Hawks have been making some waves over the past few seasons.

After winning their second NVL championship in three years last season — a thrilling two-point victory over Seymour — the Hawks have the look of a team built for another title run.

Senior captains Emily Beyer Spenser Burkowsky and Samantha Erickson will lead a veteran squad that includes All-NVL juniors Kayla Behrle and Kayleigh Theroux, All-NVL sophomore Ella Bernegger and talented sophomores Maura Beltrami and Molly Kennedy.

“We have done well over the past few years,” head coach Mike Magas said. “We have been fortunate to have some very talented athletes come through the program. About 7 or 8 years ago I started the Long River program and it has grown and become a real good feeder program for us.”

There won’t be an NVL championship meet this year due to the coronavirus, but Magas is hopeful getting back into the pool will bring back a little bit of normalcy into the Hawks’ lives.

“I’m pleasantly surprised at how these girls have been so resilient through all of this and how they have responded,” Magas said.

“I told the girls we need to cherish every day that we can practice from this point forward because you never know what can happen and the rug can be pulled out from under us at any time,” he added. “Take it one day at a time and enjoy every single moment.”