By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Blue Knights competed for qualifying marks and better seeded times at the Class LL swimming preliminaries at Hamden High School on Saturday, March 12.
Southington entered 11 swimmers into the trials, with three swimming just in relays. Seven of the eight swimmers competing in the individual events earned best times in 12 different events. All three relays earned best times as well. Southington left the trials with a total of 15 out of 16 possible best times, not counting splits in relays.
Austin Bull made big improvements in his events, leapfrogging 15 places to 13th in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.98), dropping over four and a half seconds. Bull chopped off almost eight seconds in the 500 freestyle as well.
Zack Blake hurdled eight places to ninth in the 200 freestyle (1:53.49), shaving off over three seconds and almost getting into the medal heat for the finals. Blake also finished second in his heat in the 100 freestyle (50.11), improving six spots to 14th.
PJ Ramsey hopped seven places to 21st in the 50 freestyle (23.09) and shot up three spots to 21st as well in the 100 fly (56.52).
Brendon Egan moved up five places in the 200 individual medley, trimming off just over four seconds. Egan also shaded 0.24 seconds in the 100 backstroke (57.33) and fell a few spots down to 19th.
Ben Wakefield claimed first in his heat in the 500 freestyle (5:17.62), shedding off almost 15 seconds. Wakefield also clipped off just over four seconds in the 200 freestyle, just missing the qualifying mark by one place.
John Stevens (100 breaststroke) and Evan Bender (100 backstroke) vaulted two places in the their events, and Quintin Kimmel bumped up three spots in the 500 freestyle, dropping almost a second and a half off of his seeded time.
One of Southington’s three relays improved their seed, as the 200 freestyle relay (Egan, Bull, Ramsey, Sokolowski) dropped just under three seconds to move up three spots to 12th. The 200 freestyle relay (Stevens, Zajac, Rogalski, Sokolowski) remained the same at 16th, and the 400 freestyle relay (Blake, Ramsey, Wakefield, Egan) remained the same at 10th as well.
Four individual Southington swimmers will compete in six different events, along with the three relays, at the Class LL finals on Wednesday, March 16 at Wesleyan University in Middletown. Warm-up is scheduled to begin at 12:45pm and competition will start at 1:30pm.
The following swimmers will represent Southington in individual events at the Class LL finals: Ramsey (50 freestyle, 100 fly); Blake (200 freestyle, 100 freestyle); Bull (100 breaststroke); Egan (100 backstroke).
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