By BRIAN JENNINGS
Southington swimmers made a splash by breaking school records and improving their state-qualifying times in just the second meet of the regular season. The Lady Knight swimming and diving team displayed yet another strong showing with a 95-72 triumph over Bristol Eastern at home on Friday, Sept. 23.
“They’ve had a core group of pretty talented girls on that team for many years now,” said Southington coach Evan Tuttle. “I expect to see their 200 medley relay probably at the state open. But even though they were able to win five events, we were still able to pull away throughout the entire meet with our numbers.”
Olivia Fournier was a double winner and improved her state-qualifying times in the 50 freestyle (24.90) and 100 freestyle (54.75), continuing to smash barriers by breaking her own school record in the 50 freestyle. In the opening meet of the regular season, Fournier broke her own school record (25.14) in the 50 freestyle, which she set when she was a freshman.
Although it was only the second meet of the regular season, Tuttle said that Fournier has not reached her full potential yet and sees her only getting better from here.
“This early in the season, it certainly indicates that it’s going to be a special junior campaign for her,” said Tuttle. “There’s nothing that tells me things are going to be slowing down for her, especially seeing how hard she works and how devoted she is to the program. The future is still very bright for this young lady.”
Kerry Buchanan was a double winner in the 200 freestyle (2:10.21) and 500 freestyle (5:47.00), improving her state-qualifying time in the 500 freestyle. Tuttle said that the possibility of breaking school records is also on the radar for Buchanan in the near future as well.
“She’s got those goals written down on her pull buoy and is looking at those goals every day,” the coach said. “She’s motivated and working extremely hard in practice, pushing herself towards those goals. She’s almost there in the 200 freestyle. I don’t know if she wants to try her hand at a couple of the sprint events, but I expect her to finish strong in her senior campaign.”
Other first-place finishes featured the team of Fournier, Jess Piotrowski, Hannah Olsen, and Buchanan in the 200 freestyle relay (1:49.66) and the team of Fournier, Piotrowski, Evelyn Holbrook, and Buchanan in the 400 freestyle relay (4:06.46).
“Jess has been doing a fantastic job,” the coach said. “She hasn’t been getting the notoriety because she’s been second in her events, but she’s been working really hard in practice, posting best times so far this year. She’s bettering her times from the end of last season when she was tapered down.”
Piotrowski (200 individual medley, 100 fly); Holbrook (100 backstroke); Patrycja Zajac (100 breaststroke); the team of Anny Moquete, Juliana Ferreri, Zajac, and Olsen (200 medley relay); and the team of Zajac, Abby Lo Presti, Hannah Lasbury, and Ferreri (200 freestyle relay) all contributed with second-place finishes.
Southington is currently 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the CCC South White. The Knights will look to qualify more swimmers for the state meet this week with contests against Rocky Hill and Maloney/Platt.
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