Lady Knight swimming gets back to winning

swimming-shsBy BRIAN JENNINGS

STAFF WRITER

No matter where Coach Evan Tuttle seems to shuffle Olivia Fournier into the lineup, the results never change. This week, Fournier added the 200 freestyle to her growing list of state-qualifying performances. To date, she has qualified for the 50 freestyle, the 100 freestyle, the 100 backstroke, and as a member of two relays.

“When you work as hard as she does, you can’t be surprised when that hard work turns into success,” said Tuttle. “That’s how it’s supposed to be. She reaps the rewards of that hard work every single day.”

Fournier wasn’t alone. The Lady Knight swimming and diving team achieved personal bests in a number of events and qualified more athletes for the Class LL meet as they rebounded from their West Hartford losses with a pair of lopsided victories.

Win at Plainville

OCT. 11—Southington began the week at Plainville where they ended their skid with a 90-69 victory the cross-town Blue Devils. The Knights clinched the win with four events remaining in the meet.

Fournier qualified for her fourth event in the state meet with a first-place finish in the 200 freestyle (2:00.87). Fournier also finished first in the 100 freestyle (54.76).

“I’ve learned to not be surprised when it comes to Liv and the success that she can have,” said Tuttle. “She improves every single day in the pool in practice and in meets.”

Madison Osakowicz plunged into first off of the diving board with a score of 163.0, becoming the first female Southington diver to qualify for the state meet since Tia Jones in 2013.

“She just started diving last year and barely missed the qualifying cut last year as well,” the coach said. “She’s been working hard, battling a shoulder injury. It was nice to see her rewarded for her hard work to hit the qualifying mark.”

Other first-place performances included Jess Piotrowski in the 200 individual medley (2:35.14) and 100 fly (1:12.45), Hannah Olsen in the 50 freestyle (27.64), Kerry Buchanan in the 500 freestyle (5:44.81), Evelyn Holbrook in the 100 backstroke (1:16.17), and Patrycja Zajac in the 100 breaststroke (1:17.28).

Holbrook, Zajac, Piotrowksi, and Olsen took first in the 200 medley relay (2:12.18); Fournier, Olsen, Julia Mularczyk, and Julianna Ferreri took first in the 200 freestyle relay (1:52.95); and Fournier, Piotrowski, Holbrook, and Buchanan took first in the 400 freestyle relay (4:09.78).

Win vs. Farmington

OCT. 14—The Knights returned home a few days later and defeated Farmington, 90-72, ending a stretch of four-straight road meets. The Knights finished with 18 best times, not including splits and relays. Up until two years ago, Southington hadn’t beaten Farmington in 15 years.

“It’s another example of a strong conference that we’re in,” said Tuttle. “Their coach is a phenomenal coach who has a long history of winning in that program. It’s always nice to see the lineups he puts together and caliber of athletes he brings in. So that’s a good sign of our stability and the quality of depth that we’ve been able to maintain and continue to try and build each year.”

Buchanan qualified for her second event in the state meet with a first-place finish in the 200 freestyle (2:07.88). Buchanan also finished first in the 500 freestyle (5:44.14). Olsen qualified for her first event in the state meet by finishing second in the 50 freestyle (26.66). Fournier was a double winner in the 50 freestyle (24.88) and 100 freestyle (54.62), improving her state-qualifying times in both events.

Other first-place performances included Piotrowski in the 200 individual medley (2:29.81), Zajac in the 100 breaststroke (1:15.22), and Sam Sagnella in the 100 fly (1:09.53).

Piotrowski, Zajac, Sagnella, and Fournier took first in the 200 medley relay (2:02.60); Fournier, Mularczyk, Olsen, and Buchanan took first in the 200 freestyle relay (1:49.47); and Buchanan, Holbrook, Piotrowski, and Kailey Hinckley took first in the 400 freestyle relay (4:14.78).

Southington is currently 6-2 overall and 4-2 in the CCC South White. The Knights currently have five athletes qualified in seven events for the state meet. The Knights will look to qualify more athletes for the state meet this week when they host Newington on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

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