By Jon Goralski
Kristen Loose clawed through the water between a pair of underclassmen as if she was ushering them toward the finish line of the 100 butterfly. Sam Sagnella was just a few strokes ahead. Patrycja Zajac was a few strokes behind, and Loose seemed to herd them both to the finish line.
It seemed fitting on senior night that a Lady Knight senior would be in the middle of a 1-2-3 finish to kick off the second half of the meet. Lady Knight coach Evan Tuttle said that’s what he’s come to expect from his senior class.
“This is the largest senior class that we’ve ever graduated, and they’ve done a tremendous job growing this program,” he said. “Even though they aren’t all normal point scorers for the team, every one of them has a role that they fill to the best of their ability. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the pool, out of the pool, or at practice. They’ve done a fantastic job, and I’m proud of every single one of them.”
On Wednesday, Oct. 15, the Knights were looking to bounce back from their first loss of the season. The seniors helped spark an 89-76 win over Newington.
“We swam well, and it was a great way to celebrate our 15 seniors,” said Tuttle. “It was another dominant meet, and that continues our tradition of putting teams away early. Newington’s got a pretty strong program and a lot of talent, but our numbers and depth really came through.”
Seniors Annelise Alfieri, Ashley Christensen, Kristen Loole, Bailey Potter, and Jen Monte scored.
Christensen and Loose partnered with underclasmen Marisa Matthews and Olivia Fournier for a win in the 200 free relay (1:49.89). Potter teamed up with Kerry Buchanan, Allie Schroeder, and fournier to capture the 400 free relay (4:06.91) as seniors helped boost the Lady Knight lineup.
“On a team of 50 girls, it’s challenging to get everyone into a meet, but it’s something that we try to do,” said Tuttle. “I wanted to try to get some of them into strokes that they like to do. The Zajacs [Angelika and Jolanta] and Alexa Taylor did a fantastic job in the breaststroke. We did a second heat in the IM, and we saw a lot of seniors in the odd strokes. They all did phenomenal.”
Then, the underclasmen did the rest.
Olivia Fournier won the 200 freestyle (2:06.89), and Schroeder placed first in the 200 IM (2:31.87). Sagnella won the 100 butterfly (1:10.02) and Matthews captured the 100 breaststroke (1:15.2).
Southington built an eight point lead at the break and pushed it to 38 points with two races remaining. With the victory, the Knights improved to 8-1.
The meet marked the end of Southington’s home schedule. The Knights will travel to Conard before a pair of away meets at Plainville High School against Berlin and Plainville.
“I hope that they were proud of what they were able to do in this senior meet, but it isn’t over yet,” said Tuttle. “We’ve still got a lot of things to do.”
By Jon Goralski