By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington girls swimming and diving was short-handed during its Oct. 16 meet against Conard, but the Lady Knights showed plenty of fight and character in a 91-89 loss at the Cornerstone Aquatics Center in West Hartford.
Southington fell to 7-2 with two meets left in the regular season. Both of the meets will take place in the same week.
The Lady Knights had some swimmers sidelined, but they still registered more than 20 best times.
“It’s an opportunity for the team to perform and be its best; post best times, control the intangibles like character, sportsmanship and integrity,” coach Evan Tuttle said. “They showed a stubborn determination. Knowing they were at a disadvantage, they did not give in or give up on themselves and competed right to the last athlete in the water.”
Southington’s 200 medley relay continued to swim well and opened the Conard meet with a victory. Sarah Meade, Meghan Hammarlund, Maddie Symecko and Gianna Perugini finished in a time of 2:01.70.
“The medley relay has been impressive,” Tuttle said. “While there have been some changes from meet to meet with the personnel, they are consistently posting times that teams usually produce in the postseason.”
Hammarlund was a double winner in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke. She finished first in the butterfly in 1:02.67 and first in the backstroke in 1:02.24. Perugini won the 50 freestyle in 27.53.
“Meghan and Gianna certainly stepped up in the Conard meet,” Tuttle said. “They’ve been clutch for our team all year and it was no surprise that they once again performed in a tough meet against a conference rival.”
Tuttle said that Conard, like Hall, is a well-coached, quality program that Southington is lucky to have in their conference. The Lady Knights may have lost the meet, but they are always working to be better and will be ready for their next meet.
Up next: Southington faced Berlin on Tuesday at Platt High School in Meriden. The Lady Knights finish the regular season with a meet Glastonbury on Saturday at 9 a.m.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com.