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Hawks Swim With Heart And Grit As Horan Breaks Another Record



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It was quite an afternoon at the pool for Newtown High School’s boys’ swimming team on January 17. Although visiting Weston prevailed 91-79, Newtown Coach Ryan Eberts had plenty to be pleased with as several swimmers stepped up and competed well, not letting some injuries and illnesses get in the way.

Peter Horan — who already holds multiple team and pool records — broke another one, despite not swimming his best event, the 100 yard backstroke, or the backstroke leg of the 200 medley relay. Horan won the 100 freestyle race in 47.93 seconds, surpassing Assistant Coach Lisa Irving’s son Rick Irving’s three-year-old mark of 48.52.

“He’s doing quite well this year. He’s battling an injured wrist, which makes it even more impressive,” Eberts said. “He was a tiny bit out of his comfort zone. He rose to the occasion in every event.”

Horan gave his wrist a little time off from the backstroke and stepped into unfamiliar territory to compete in the 200 freestyle race, which he won in 1:49.73.

With some NHS swimmers sidelined or not at full strength, others came through.

“We had some strong swims today — some gritty swims,” Eberts said. “I’m quite pleased. We had some swimmers who swam with a lot of heart and I loved that. Gabe Petertonjes wasn’t feeling great physically but swam with a lot of heart and I’m proud of him.”

Petertonjes teamed with Connor Kwarcinski, Kris Luci-Bernard, and Mike Kraminsky to earn second place in the 200 medley relay race in a time of 1:51.70. Petertonjes won the 100 butterfly race in 59.05, narrowly edging out his closest competitor from Weston who finished in 49.45. Petertonjes competed in the 100 backstroke race and placed third in 1:05.52, and helped the 400 relay, which included Kraminsky, Max Luci-Bernard, and Horan, come in second in 3:35.67.

Jack Pettit, a freshman, stepped up and contributed in the 500 yard freestyle race on short notice with a fifth-place time of 7:02.68; Oliver Clancy took home Newtown’s fastest time in the race, placing second in 6:04.75 and was followed by John Barzetti in third with a time of 6:16.51.

The 200 free relay of Kwarcinski, Kraminsky, Max Luci-Bernard, and Horan came in first in 1:33.06. The free relay contingent of Grant Carson, Hayden Bobowick, Clancy, and Barzetti placed third in 1:54.09.

Kwarcinski, in addition to helping the NHS relays, took second in the 50 free in 22.53 and was third in the 100 breaststroke event, making his final touch in 1:08.28.

“Connor Kwarcinski is showing steady progress. He is a fantastic worker in practice — he just consistently improves,” Eberts said.

Carson was Newtown’s fastest in the 200 individual medley race, placing third and clocking in at 2:23.66.

Newtown’s 400 B relay of Bobowick, Clancy, James Guerierri, and Kris Luci-Bernard placed third in 4:04.06.

Max Luci-Bernard and Kris Luci-Bernard combined to earn points in multiple events.

The Nighthawks will visit Brookfield, at the Brookfield YMCA, on Tuesday, January 24, at 5:15 pm, and return home to take on Joel Barlow-Bethel on January 31 at 4 pm.

Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at andyh@thebee.com.

Peter Horan broke the NHS pool record in the 100 freestyle event with a time of 47.93 during Newtown’s loss to Weston on January 17. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Jack Pettit races in the 500 freestyle event.
Gabe Petertonjes contributed in several events during the Weston meet.
Connor Kwarcinski races for the Hawks.
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