MONROE — As the regular season gives way to the postseason, Newtown High School girls’ swimming and diving Coach Zach Gauvin couldn’t be more pleased with the direction in which his team is headed. The Nighthawks have been increasing yardage in practices, yet event times have been dropping in meets.
“To swim fast in a meet even though they’re dead tired is a promising sign,” Gauvin said during his team’s regular season-ending visit to Masuk High on October 22, a meet the Nighthawks won 97-87 to cap the year with a 7-4 record.
The coach added that the team members swam more yards in practice the day before the Masuk clash than it had in any practice all season, and still posted fast times in the meet. Once rested and prepared for the postseason, the swimmers stand to improve even more, the coach believes.
“The times have improved not just for kids new to the program, but kids who have been swimming for years. This shows that once we start resting for championships the times will be even better than they already are. It’s exciting and shows how hard the kids have been working this year.”
Postseason begins with the South-West Conference diving championships at Masuk on October 30, followed by the swimming events, also at Masuk, on November 2.
Newtown had some close losses this year, and Gauvin was more impressed with the improving times than he was disappointed by the defeats. The Hawks also established some momentum by closing out the regular season with three straight victories.
The team defeated host New Fairfield 98-85 on October 18. The following NHS swimmers earned first place finishes in the New Fairfield meet: The 200 yard medley relay team of Meg McDonald, Annika Fagerholm, Casey Klein, and Amy Martinelli; Eliza Eggleston in the 200 freestyle; Fagerholm in the 200 individual medley; Martinelli in the 50 free and 100 butterfly; McDonald in the 500 free and 100 backstroke; the 200 free relay team of Emily Papp, Bridget Duero, Ellen Atkinson, and Eggleston; Fagerholm in the 100 breaststroke; and the 400 relay team of Duero, Eggleston, Klein, and Martinelli. The divers, as they have in most of the meets, earned a one-two-three finish behind the efforts led by Kari Djonne.
Against Masuk, Newtown had the following first-place finishes: the 200 relay team of McDonald, Fagerholm, Klein, and Martinelli in 2:02.99; Eggleston in the 200 free in 2:05.33 and the 100 butterfly in 1:05.42; McDonald in the 200 IM in 2:23.12 and 100 backstroke in 1:04.02; Martinelli in the 50 free in 26.07 and the 100 free in 57.83; the 200 free relay team of Papp, Martinelli, Atkinson, and Eggleston in 1:48.65; and the 400 relay team of Charlotte Gray, Eggleston, Klein, and McDonald in 4:10.52. Djonne had a finals score of 215.55 to take first in the diving competition.