By BRIAN JENNINGS
It was another event and another qualification for the Class LL meet for Olivia Fournier as the Lady Knight swimming and diving team walked away unscathed with two more wins, remaining undefeated on the year.
Although the Knights have achieved so much success already as they approach the midpoint of the regular season, Southington coach Evan Tuttle said that he is still very confident in what lies ahead as the team prepares for the toughest part of their schedule.
“Even though we’re doing this well this early in the season, we still a good stretch of conditioning ahead of us,” the coach said. “We’re going to end up tapering down for the second half of the season and for states. We’re putting ourselves in a good position moving forward.”
Tuttle went on to say that this is one of the better teams that he has had in years.
“We have a strong team with good numbers and depth,” said Tuttle. “It’s a heavy senior class. Part of depth is having a diverse pool of swimmers who can swim a number of events. Just because you have a large team doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a deep team. But we’re a large and deep team. We’re still not at 100 percent, but when we get there, we’ll be that much better.”
Win vs. Rocky Hill
SEPT. 28—Southington began the week by defeating Rocky Hill, 89-75, in their third-straight home meet on Wednesday. The Knights clinched the meet with two events remaining.
Olivia Fournier was a double winner in the 100 freestyle (55.64) and 100 backstroke (1:07.47). Fournier competed in the 100 backstroke for the first time this season, missing the state-qualifying mark by 48 hundredths of a second. Jess Piotrowski was also a double winner, finishing first in the 200 individual medley (2:32.05) and 100 fly (1:10.09). Evelyn Holbrook finished first in the 200 freestyle (2:20.65), and Kerry Buchanan finished first in the 500 freestyle (5:49.62).
Fournier, Buchanan, and Piotrowski joined Patrycja Zajac to take first in the 200 medley relay (2:06.14). Piotrowski later teamed up with Hannah Olsen, Julianna Ferreri, and Kailey Hinckley to take first in the 200 freestyle relay (1:53.91). Buchanan, Ferreri, and Fournier aided Gina Calo to take first in the 400 freestyle relay (4:14.25).
Zajac (200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke); Olsen (50 freestyle); Calo (500 freestyle); Holbrook (100 backstroke); and the team of Ferreri, Olsen, Anny Moquete, and Katie Estell (200 medley relay) contributed with second-place performances.
Win at Maloney-Platt
SEPT. 30—The Knights traveled to Meriden a couple days later for their first road meet of the season against the co-op team of Maloney/Platt where they experienced their closest contest thus far, but were able to hold on to an eight-point victory, 89-81. Southington clinched the meet with four events remaining.
In her second attempt at qualifying for the Class LL meet in a third event, Fournier succeeded by 63 hundredths of a second after finishing first in the 100 backstroke (1:06.36).
“It doesn’t matter what she swims in. She’s going to succeed,” said Tuttle. “You’d be hard-pressed to find another athlete in any sport who could say that. It’s something that she’s used to doing.”
Fournier also finished first in the 50 freestyle (25.42).
“She’s a strong stable swimmer,” the coach said. “There’s no wasted energy when she’s in the pool. She’s got a great stroke, and all the power and force she has is moving her forward. Coupling that with her strength is what makes her so talented.”
In her first competition of the regular season, Madison Osakowicz leaped into first off of the diving board with a score of 145.70.
Buchanan was a double winner in the 200 freestyle (2:10.78) and 100 freestyle (1:00.90). Sam Sagnella finished first in the 100 fly (1:10.72), and Holbrook finished first in the 500 freestyle (6:23.53).
Fournier, Zajac, Sagnella, and Olsen took first in the 200 medley relay (2:05.03). Buchanan, Ferreri, Hinckley, and Olsen took first in the 200 freestyle relay (1:55.34). Buchanan, Ferreri, Piotrowski, and Holbrook took first in the 400 freestyle relay (4:23.77).
Holbrook (200 freestyle); Piotrowski (200 individual medley, 100 backstroke); Olsen (50 freestyle); Alyssa Aulbach (diving); Hinckley (100 freestyle); Calo (500 freestyle); Zajac (100 breaststroke); and the team of Calo, Moquete, Julia Mularczyk, and Jess Monte (400 freestyle relay) contributed with second-place performances.
Southington is currently 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the CCC South White. The Knights will look to qualify more swimmers for the postseason this week when they remain out on the road in West Hartford with meets against Conard and Hall.
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