Swimmers are ready for their toughest challenge

By BRIAN JENNINGS

STAFF WRITER

The Blue Knights swimming and diving team added two more victims to their growing list. With wins over Avon and East Hartford, Southington remains undefeated with two more swimmers qualifying for the Class LL meet.

Southington improved to 4-0 with the victories, but the Knights will face their toughest test next week.

Win at Avon

JAN. 18—The Knights began the week at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain on Wednesday where they came away with a five-point victory, 95-90, over Avon, which was their closest meet of the season.

The Falcons took an early advantage with a win in the 200 medley relay, but the Knights kept the score tied for the next two events with the help of second and third-place finishes. Southington regained the lead, 32-30, with first and third-place finishes in the fourth event (50 freestyle) in the see-saw battle but didn’t win the lead for good until the ninth event (200 freestyle relay).

The Knights were up by seven points heading into the final event, but a second-place finish by Zack Blake, Brian Egan, Evan Bender, and Tyler Heidgerd and third-place finish by Ben Wakefield, Nick Kelley, Quintin Kimmel, and Derek Melanson, in the 400 freestyle relay sealed the win for Southington.

First-place finishes included the following: Blake, Brendon Egan, Kelley and PJ Ramsey in the 200 freestyle relay (1:36.69); Blake in the 50 freestyle (23.6); and Brendon Egan in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.5).

Blake hit the exact automatic qualifying time in the 50 freestyle to clinch a spot for the state meet.

Win at East Hartford

JAN. 20—A couple days later, the Knights led from start to finish as they cruised to their fourth-straight win, 93-86, at East Hartford.

First-place finishes included the following: Zack Blake in the 200 freestyle (1:57.02) and 100 freestyle (53.1); Evan Bender in the 50 freestyle (24.53); Quintin Kimmel in the 500 freestyle (5:42.83); Derek Melanson in the 100 backstroke (59.85); Julie Duszak in the 100 breaststroke (1:11.83); Bender, Duszak, PJ Ramsey, and Nick Kelley in the 200 medley relay (1:53.33); Blake, Brendon Egan, Kelley, and Ramsey in the 200 freestyle relay (1:38.5); and Blake, Bender, Brian Egan, and Brendon Egan in the 400 freestyle relay (3:40.07).

Melanson qualified for the state meet with his time in the 100 backstroke.

Southington currently has three swimmers qualified for the state meet, including Tyler Heidgerd in the 100 Backstroke (59.13).

The Knights will face their toughest test this week against Conard before taking on regional rival Plainville to end the week.

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