Swimmers struggle in West Hartford

swimming-shsBy BRIAN JENNINGS

STAFF WRITER

The Lady Knight swimming and diving team entered the toughest stretch of their regular season schedule this past week. Southington suffered their first losses of the season in back-to-back meet at the Cornerstone Aquatics Center in West Hartford.

Although both meets end in losses, Southington coach Evan Tuttle said that the team still learned that they need to continue to stay focused and work hard each day in practice.

“When we get into our conference, which we did this week, we’re going to run into some of the better teams in the state,” said Tuttle. “It happens each year. It’s eye-opening for the girls, especially those who are new. They see what it is they are going to be swimming against, especially within our conference and the state level.”

Southington began their road trip on Wednesday against Conard, but fell short to the Chieftains, 100-82. Conard clinched the win with two events remaining in the meet.

Olivia Fournier was a double winner in the 50 freestyle (25.13) and 100 freestyle (55.01).

Kerry Buchanan finished first in the 500 freestyle (5:49.1), and Patrycja Zajac finished first in the 100 breaststroke (1:15.6). Fournier and Buchanan also teamed up with Hannah Olsen and Jess Piotrowski to take first in the 200 freestyle relay (1:48.1).

Piotrowski (200 individual medley); Madison Osakowicz (diving); the team of Fournier, Zajac, Sagnella, and Olsen (200 medley relay); and the team of Buchanan, Piotrowski, Kailey Hinckley, and Evelyn Holbrook (400 freestyle relay) contributed with second-place performances.

Two days later, the Knights lost again, this time to Hall, 97-78. Hall clinched the win with two events remaining in the meet.

Fournier finished first in the 50 freestyle (24.99), and Osakowicz dove into first off of the diving board (145.3).

Fournier joined Zajac, Olsen, and Sam Sagnella to take first in the 200 medley relay (2:03.62). Buchanan improved her state-qualifying time with a second-place finish in the 500 freestyle (5:42.44). Fournier (100 backstroke); Zajac (100 breaststroke); the team of Olsen, Piotrowski, Buchanan, and Hinckley (200 freestyle relay); and the team of Buchanan, Piotrowski, Hinckley, and Fournier (400 freestyle relay) also contributed with second-place performances.

Southington is currently 4-2 overall and 2-2 in the CCC South White.

Current Class LL state qualifiers include Fournier in the 50 freestyle (24.9), 100 freestyle (54.75), and 100 backstroke (1:06.36); Buchanan in the 500 freestyle (5:42.44); and Zajac in the 100 breaststroke (1:14.6).

Zajac improved her state-qualifying time in the 100 breaststroke in the first four meets of the season.

“She’s had a great junior season so far,” said Tuttle. “She’s picked up where she left off last year and has already improved dramatically. To be at 1:14 at this point of the season before tapering down for the postseason, she’s in good shape.”

The Knights will look to qualify more swimmers for the state meet this week with meets against Plainville and Farmington.

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