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Swim Team Changes Strategy, Adjusts To Altered Season With Emphasis On Speed, Technique



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Typically, by this point on the calendar, Newtown High School’s boys’ swimmers would have logged close to 50 days of practice and, thus, would be better conditioned with the postseason fast approaching.

Instead, with the season having started a month and a half later than usual due to the impact of the coronavirus, the Nighthawks have had about half that amount of practice time — with the postseason just around the corner.

The truncated campaign may run a little later into March than most years, but the Hawks have a condensed window of time in which to prepare and they are making the most of the situation. Coach Adam Fielding said his squad has changed it strategy, with more speed work and more focus on technique than endurance. That will come as the practice days continue to pile up.

“It’s been a weird start to the year,” Fielding said. “It’s been an interesting year — it’s a whole different situation for them.”

Fielding, whose team has had two meets — besting host New Fairfield 91-66 on February 10 and falling to visiting Pomperaug of Southbury 99-83 on February 16 — is just happy to have a season which, as late as January, was still very much in question.

“It’s great to be on the deck with the kids and it’s good to have teams come and compete,” said Fielding, who coaches in Stratford in the fall, when the girls’ teams held virtual meets.

Teams competed at their own pools and combined results with opponents to tally event results and final meet scores. Swimmers wear masks on the pool deck until it is time to compete, and — despite the back-of-the-mind concerns many have over a coronavirus-related shutdown — Fielding is optimistic the season will be completed.

“I feel confident we’re going to make it through,” the coach said.

In the win over New Fairfield, Newtown’s first-place finishes were as follows: 200 yard medley relay: Peter Horan, Colden Bobowick, Dan Godino, Max Luci-Bernard 1:48.19. 200 freestyle: James Guerrieri 2:10.13. 200 individual medley: Godino 2:09.07. 50 free: Connor Kwarcinski 24.23. Diving: Joe Moran with score of 150. 100 free: Horan 52.55. 500 free: Godino 4:56.17. 200 free relay: Gabe Petertonjes, Deegan Granville, James Guerrieri, John Boccuzzi III 1:54.02. 100 backstroke: Horan 57.82. 100 breaststroke: Bobowick 1:08.62. 400 free relay: Guerrieri, Kwarcinski Matt Irving, Godino.

Pomperaug set NHS pool records in the 200 medley relay (1:41.01) and 400 free relay (3:20.31).

Godino won the 200 free with a time of 1:51.10 and took first in the 100 butterfly event in 56.54. Horan took first in the 200 individual medley in 2:12.34, along with the top spot in the 100 backstroke, clocking in at 57.31. The 200 free relay team of Bobowick, Irving, Petertonjes, and Godino was first in 1:39.87.

Max Luci-Bernard competes for the Nighthawks during a meet with Pomperaug on February 16. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Dan Godino races for the Nighthawks.
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