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Boys’ Swimmers And Divers Doing Well Heading Into Postseason



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Newtown High School’s boys’ swimming and diving team won its last regular-season meet of the campaign, defeating visiting New Fairfield 88-68 on Senior Night, February 20. It was the squad’s sixth straight victory following season-opening setbacks to South-West Conference powerhouses Pomperaug of Southbury and Weston.

Not unlike most of the team’s triumphs this campaign, the New Fairfield meet featured the Nighthawks dominating from the start, building a big lead, and sealing the team win with at least a few events to go, exhibitioning the rest of the way. In this case, it was the final three events after the Hawks built an 88-40 lead.

The meet began with diving as Trenton Story, the only diver in the meet, scored 139.45 in his first-place effort.

On the swim racing end of things, it got going with the 200 yard medley relay of James Guerrieri, Connor Kwarcinski, Gabe Petertonjes, and Hayden Bobowick combining for a first-place finish in 1:53.54. The 200 medley relay comprising Oliver Clancy, Duncan Kolb, Brady Wennerholm, and Warren Ache was second in 1:58.50.

Newtown went one-two in the 200 freestyle race with Kris Luci-Bernard setting the pace in a time of 1:59.55 and Finn Clancy finishing in 2:05.50, just ahead of third-place finisher Johnny Barzetti with a time of 2:06.89. In the 200 individual medley race Petertonjes took first in 2:12.21 and Wennerholm came in third in 2:34.36.

Kwarcinski won the 50 free in 23.18 and Bobowick placed third in 25.10. Barzetti was second in the 100 butterfly event, clocking in at 1:03.73 and Jeremiah Stone placed third in 1:11.58. In the 100 free Guerrieri placed second in 56.55 and Bobowick recorded a third-place time of 58.23. Oliver Clancy won the 500 free, making his final touch in 5:48.18; Wennerholm was runner-up in 5:51.72 and Jack Petit came in third in 6:14.13.

Newtown took second in the 200 free relay as Luci-Bernard, Duncan Kolb, Elias Kolb, and Ache had a collective time of 1:43.82, just behind New Fairfield’s winning time of 1:43.44. NHS also had the third-place relay contingent as Jason Wasilnak, Stone, Barzetti, and Connor Kelly finished in 1:52.57.

Although it was exhibition, the Hawks had the three fastest times in the 100 backstroke competition with Kwarcinski clocking in at 1:02.73, Petertonjes finishing in 1:04.36, and Guerrieri coming in at 1:04.64. Finn Clancy was first in the 100 breaststroke race with a time of 1:11.68.

The Hawks had the three fastest times in the 400 free relay. Petertonjes, Bobowick, Guerrieri, and Kwarcinski had a time of 3:51.43. Oliver Clancy, Wennerholm, Finn Clancy, and Luci-Bernard finished in 4:04.73. Petit, Kyle Albrecht, Stone, and Kelly had a time of 4:21.18.

Seniors Bobowick, Guerrieri, Kwarcinski, Petertonjes, and Wasilnak were all celebrated.

The Nighthawks have done a lot to cheer about this winter with the upperclassmen and nine freshmen continuously improving.

“I’m very pleased with how we’ve progressed. Some best times are still happening. It’s really good to see some of the swimmers growing into themselves in the strokes. They’ve become technically sound on what they’re doing and their confidence is growing,” Newtown Coach Ryan Eberts said.

The Nighthawks have a little time off from meets as they gear up for the South-West Conference Championships. Following the Wednesday, February 28, diving finals at Pomperaug beginning at 5:30 pm the swimming events will unfold Friday, March 1, at Masuk of Monroe starting at 5 pm. Then it is on to the State Championships.

“I’m very optimistic for SWCs and states. Also really pleased with the team camaraderie and how everyone is gelling together,” Eberts said.

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

Connor Kwarcinski helped Newtown’s 200 yard medley relay team to first place in a team win over New Fairfield on February 20. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Jason Wasilnak and the Nighthawks wrapped up the regular season with a win over New Fairfield.
Brady Wennerholm races for the Hawks.
Jeremiah Stone competes in the 100 butterfly event.
Gabe Petertonjes and the Hawks are getting ready for postseason competition.
Jack Petit races for Newtown.
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