By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Lady Knights concluded their 2015 season with four girls advancing into the state opens to breaking even more program records. Southington finished 36th overall (15 points) out of 49 schools at the state open on Saturday, Nov. 21 at the state open on Saturday inside of the Payne Whitney Gymnasium at Yale University in New Haven.
Greenwich (581) left Yale as the state champions, followed by New Canaan (470) and Darien (455).
Olivia Fournier (54.12) finished 14th in the state in the 100 freestyle.
“As a sophomore, she has had two dominant performances so far,” said Tuttle. “We were frustrated to miss out on this event last year. To be here, not just to squeak in, but seeded 10th overall and finish 14th overall right in the middle of the pack as a sophomore is an excellent accomplishment.”
The last Southington sophomore to compete at the open meet was Mike Smigelski. In 2010, Smigelski finished 18th in the 50 freestyle at the open as a sophomore, and he went on to win the 50 freestyle and finish as runner up in the 100 freestyle as a senior in 2012.
“As long as she keeps working, she’s got an extremely bright future ahead of her, not just in her final two years of high school competitions,” said Tuttle. She’s going to want to swim at the next level, and she’s going to swim at the next level. She’s going to have plenty of success there as well.”
The team of Kerry Buchanan, Kara Zazzaro, Ally Schroeder, and Fournier (3:50.11) finished 24th in the state in the 400 freestyle relay.
“I think it was a good day for us,” said Southington coach head Evan Tuttle. “Our goal at the beginning of the season was to be swimming today. To have a presence here, and to not only have an individual, but a relay here as well, was the accomplishment in itself. Even though we didn’t have our best time from finals, they still put in a time today that was better than the previous school record. So, they stayed consistent and they stayed strong in today’s meet. I think that’s a good explanation point on the end of our season.”
A few days earlier, the Knights placed 14th overall (138 points) out of 20 schools at the Class LL Finals at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven earlier
On Tuesday night, Greenwich (897) won the championship, followed by Ridgefield (555) and Staples (461).
Fournier (53.56) advanced to the state open by medaling and finishing fourth in the 100 freestyle, breaking her own school record (54:03) that was set at the Class LL trials. Fournier (1:59.57) also finished 12th in the 200 freestyle, setting a new Southington High School record and breaking a 28-year-old record from 1987.
Buchanan, Zazzaro, Schroeder, and Fournier (3:48.34) also advanced to the state open and set a new school record by finishing 12th in the 400 freestyle relay, breaking a 24-year-old record from 1991.
Ally Schroeder finished 23rd (2:21.49) in the 200 individual medley and 19th (1:03.53) in the 100 backstroke.
Schroeder teamed with Bethany Greenlaw, Sam Sagnella, and Hannah Olsen (2:02.08) to claim 12th place in the 200 medley relay.
Fournier, Hannah Olsen, Julia Mularczyk, and Buchanan (1:45.87) finished 12th in the 200 freestyle relay.
With two performances at the state open, Southington’s fall season came to a close.
To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.