Tough tests for Hawks

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Clark sets Woodland boys’ diving record


BEACON FALLS — Sophomore Riley Clark took almost a season and half to break the Woodland boys’ diving record. It only took him five days to break it again.

Clark first broke the record Jan. 13 versus Kennedy — an 87-77 win for the Hawks — with a score of 228.10, five points better than the previous record of 223.10 held by Lindsay Boland. The record would only stand for one meet as Clark posted a score of 228.15 versus Naugatuck on Jan. 18 to win the event and set a new school benchmark.

Woodland boys swim coach Tom Currier said Clark has matured physically and mentally since his freshman year under the tutelage of diving coach Doug Mariano and is getting more comfortable on the diving board every meet.

Currier said Clark showed signs of his potential last season, and he had an inclination that the diver was destined to make a name for himself.

“He definitely had a comfortableness about him on the board his freshmen year that I knew would eventually lead to him breaking the record,” Currier said. “I didn’t think it would happen this soon, but I knew it would eventually.”

Clark’s record-breaking performance versus Naugatuck was a highlight of the meet for the Hawks. Colin Kennelly also finished first in the 100 freestyle (56.65) against Naugatuck.

The Greyhounds, who are contenders for the NVL title, swam past Woodland, 90-87.

Naugatuck was one of two tough tests the Hawks faced last week. Woodland headed down to Monroe last Friday for a meet against Masuk from the South-West Conference. The Panthers topped Woodland, 97-77.

The Hawks (2-5) hung with Masuk early on with a second-place finish in the 200 medley relay followed by Greg Aldrich taking second in the 200 freestyle.

Clark finished first in diving again with a score of 147.5, but the Panthers pulled away to take the meet.

Currier said the Hawks showed perseverance against two staunch opponents, not only in the pool but in keeping team comradery and spirit high.

The joy of swimming, Currier said, is that no matter the opponent in the other lanes swimmers are still racing the clock.

As Woodland heads down the homestretch of the season, Currier said the Hawks will focus on fine-tuning their techniques and the “little things” to continue improving in their race against the clock.

Woodland will host Sacred Heart Thursday. The Hawks will close out the month at Wilby on Jan. 27 and at home Jan. 31 against Watertown.