Woodland outnumbered, not out hustled at NVL swim meet

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WATERBURY — The Woodland boys swim team may have been out manned but they weren’t out worked as the Hawks finished sixth out of a field of 11 teams at the Naugatuck Valley League Championship meet.

This season the Hawks swim team, all 14 strong, went head-to-head against competition that out numbered them. But last Friday at the Kennedy High School pool in Waterbury the Hawks had it going on early.

Woodland let it be known right from the first event that they were here to compete. The 4-by-200 medley relay team of Patrick O’Dell, Alan Katrenya, Andy O’Dell, and Eric Dietz raced to a second place finish at 1:42.98 just 0.7 seconds behind first place Sacred Heart.

The Hearts went on to defend its NVL title winning the meet scoring a team total of 476 points. Holy Cross finished second with 402, Watertown third at 392 and Torrington fourth at 352.

For the second year in a row Woodland captured sixth place scoring a team total of 260 points this year and landed three other individual second place finishes.

“The kids were really pumped up,” Woodland head coach Tom Currier said. “At the preliminaries everyone put up their best times of the season. So they were ready to go when the championship meet started. We certainly got off on the right foot and that set the tone for the rest of the meet.”

Woodland may be low in numbers but the Hawks didn’t come into this season empty handed. Seniors Andrew Cullen, Jimmy Tompkins, Mike Christiano, Patrick O’Dell, and Dietz led the way for the Hawks this season.

Patrick O’Dell finished the NVL meet with two solid second place finishes. He was second in the 200 IM at 2:03.65 and second in the 100 backstroke at 54.90 just 0.7 seconds behind Sacred Hearts Ray Snyder.

Dietz also took home a second place finish in the 50 freestyle at the NVL meet with a time of 22.72, 0.5 seconds behind Snyder.

With the NVL meet in the books, more than half of the Hawks will now turn their attention to the state championships.

“We had a lot of good accomplishments this season,” Currier said. “We will take nine of our 14 swimmers to states. That is a real good number of kids who qualified. Based on how well we performed at the NVL meet I would expect us to be very competitive in the Class S meet.”

Woodland finished 6th in the Class S meet last year among a field of 26 teams.