Three Southington High School swimmers advance to the state open

By John Goralski

Marisa Matthews battled for a Class LL medal in the 100 breastroke as the sixth place person in the fastest heat, but Laurel Dean finished first in the second heat to break the school record with a time of 1:09.79.

On Tuesday, the Lady Knights attacked the Southern Connecticut State University pool at the Class LL girls swimming finals, and all but one dropped time from the qualifying meet. The Lady Knights rallied for 215 points to claw their way to 10th place in the team standings. With their efforts, Southington broke a trio of school records and advanced into the State Opens in three different races.

The 200 freestyle relay of Marisa Matthews, Aly Baribault, Bailey Potter, and Laurel Dean finished ninth overall in the standings to claim a new school record (1:44.67). The girls scored a faster time than one team in the fastest heat, and the Knights leapfrogged that team into the last spot at the state opens.

Dean bounced back from a tough performance at the qualifying meet to win the second heat in the 100 breastroke. The standings are limited by heat, so Dean finished ningth overall in the Class LL standings with the fifth highest score at the meet. Her efforts earned her a spot at the state open championships.

Matthews didn’t advance in the breaststroke, but she set a new school record in the 50 freestyle (25.37), and that was good enough to qualify for the state open meet.

The goal at the beginning of the season was to make it to the state opens, so anything from here on out is going to be an added bonus,” said Lady Knight coach Evan Tuttle. “But when these girls get to opens on Saturday, they are going to be fighting tooth and nail every inch of every yard to upset as many teams as they can.”

The State Open competition is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 16 at Yale University’s pool. Warm-ups begin at 10 a.m., and competition begins at noon.

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