Woodland 3rd in Class S, Naugatuck 14th in Class L

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BY KEN MORSE
CITIZEN’S NEWS
The NVL champion Woodland girls swim team finished with a school best third place showing in the Class S state meet on Nov 17 at Cornerstone Aquatic Center in West Hartford.
“We finished 4th in 2017,” said Woodland head coach Mike Magas. “So this is our best finish ever 3rd place. We had quite a few girls finish in the top ten which scored some points for us and Emme Starzman made All-State winning the breaststroke.”
The NVL runner-up Greyhounds made their mark finishing in the middle of the pack at the Class L state meet Nov. 16 at SCSU.
Leading the way for the Hawks was the diving team where junior Ella Bernegger was named All-State finishing 2nd with a dive total of 353.75 and senior Shaelin DiGioia placed 4th at 328.65.
Sophomore Emme Starzman also was named All-State winning the 100 breaststroke at 1:09.49 and 5th in the 100 butterfly at 1:00.07. The 200 medley relay team of Starzman, senior Kyla Behrle and juniors Maura Beltrami and Molly Kennedy placed 3rd at 1:53.33.
What propelled the Hawks were some record breaking performances that coach Magas pointed out was the highlight of the season.
“We did set three new school records so we had a good day,” said Magas. “The 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay set new records and Starzman broke her own record in the breaststroke.”
Woodland also had some top ten performances that helped with the 493 total team points. Freshman Laura DeGennaro was 4th in the 200 freestyle at 1:59.75 and 8th in the 100 backstroke at 1:04.16.
Behrle was 7th in the 100 butterfly (1:00.79) and 8th in the 500 free (5:37.43), Kennedy was 7th in the 100 free (56.21) and 8th in the 50 free (25.56), and Beltrami was 8th in the 100 butterfly (1:01.58) and 8th in the 200 IM (2:23.53).
The 400 relay squad of Kennedy, Behrle, DeGennaro and Starzman finished fourth (3:47.23) and the 200 free relay team of junior Sara Cooley, sophomore Olivia Schwenger, DeGennaro and Beltrami finished 5th (1:47.14).
Naugatuck 14th in Class L: The Greyhounds scored a team total of 97 points for the two-time runner-up in the last three NVL championships. Senior Haley Deller placed 11th in the 100 backstroke at 1:03.56 and finishes her career in second place on the all-time backstroke list missing the top spot by a half a second.
“We had a good season,” said Naugatuck coach Jim McKee. “We weren’t going to catch Woodland, they were ahead by 100 points with the diving, but I was really pleased to see we were about 150 points ahead of Seymour and Oxford.
“Haley did a great job at the NVL and in the states. She just missed the all-time backstroke record but she will go on to swim in college and break that mark soon.
“I was also pleased with our freshman Lily Jason. She broke into out top ten list for the fastest 50 free times at the NVL championship taking over the 10th spot held by Jennie Cyr since 1997.”
Naugy finished 13th in Class L in the 200 free relay with juniors Ayana Williams and Leticia Do Nascimento along with senior Jacqueline Uva and Jason posting a time of 1:48.07.
The foursome of Jason, Williams, Uva and senior Davinity Smallwood placed 13th in the 400 free relay at 3:59.96. The 200 medley relay squad of Deller, senior Kayla Bartlett, DoNascimento and Williams finished 15th at 2:06.89.