Southington swimmers steamroll NW Catholic

PJ Ramsey flies through the pool during the 100 butterfly race. Southington swept past NW Catholic, 90-72.

PJ Ramsey flies through the pool during the 100 butterfly race. Southington swept past NW Catholic, 90-72.

By BRIAN JENNINGS
STAFF WRITER

The Blue Knights (7-4) emerged victorious over NW Catholic in their regular season finale at home on Wednesday, Feb. 17 with a 90-72 conference victory over the Lions.

The Knights finished with a 3-2 conference record, second to Farmington in the White Division of the CCC South.

The Knights celebrated senior night on Wednesday, and the following seniors were recognized during the meet:

Andrew Ackerman (Captain), Austin Bull (Captain), Julian Figueiroa, Katrina Furgalack, Andrew Rogalski (Captain), Domenic Rossi, Justin Sliker, Steven Sokolowski, John Stevens, and Dariusz Zajac.

The Knights clinched the meet by the 100 backstroke and earned nine first-place finishes out of 11 events. Southington coach Evan Tuttle said that he was able to mix it up and put different swimmers in the different events, as the Knights’ victory received a plethora of contributions from different members on the team. Six Southington swimmers achieved individual, first-place finishes and the Knights finished the meet with 21 best times, which is the team’s average.

“We had a lot of people in different events today,” the coach said. “I had an opportunity to get the seniors in some events that they wanted to be in. The goal for today, as it always is, was posting best times, but today was also about making the seniors proud. In our own way, we wanted to congratulate and thank them for everything that they’ve done for their years with this program.”

Zack Blake finished first in the 200 freestyle (1:56.28), John Stevens finished first in the 50 freestyle (25.7), and P.J. Ramsey just missed states by just over a second with a first-place finish in the 100 fly (58.84).

Brendon Egan finished first in the 100 freestyle (55.15), Ben Wakefield finished first in the 500 freestyle (5:34.84), and Bull finished first in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.96).

Rossi, Julie Duszak, Rogalski, and Anthony Sagnella took first in the 200 medley relay (2:01.38). Blake, Ramsey, Evan Bender, and Egan took first in the 200 freestyle relay (1:37.38). Blake, Ramsey, and Egan later joined Wakefield to take first in the 400 freestyle relay (3:40.0).

As the Knights begin to prepare for the upcoming conference tournament, Tuttle said that he thinks his team is in good shape heading into the postseason.

“We have a little over a week to continue to prepare and taper down some of the team in practice, who’s going to be using the championships as a last opportunity to make that cut for LL’s,” the coach said.

And when asked if he was satisfied with where his team currently stands, Tuttle simply responded with a smile, and his usual response.

“We’re never satisfied,” the coach said. “In terms of the big picture season-wise, we’re not satisfied because we’re always going to be striving for something more. Even though this is our last regular season meet, and it’s another win with a strong performance and best times, we’re far from done.”

In their last chance to qualify more swimmers for the state meet, the Knights will compete at the CCC swimming championships at Cornerstone Aquatics Center in West Hartford on Wednesday, March 2.

Chase Galayda will represent the Knights as the only Southington diver at the CCC diving championships at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington on Tuesday, March 1.

Currently, Blake and Egan are qualified to compete in the 100 backstroke at the Class LL swimming championships, along with all three relay teams. Galayda is qualified to dive at the Class LL diving championships.

To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at bjennings@southingtonobserver.com.

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