By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington girls swimming and diving improved to 4-0 with an 85-77 home win over Enfield-Somers on Oct. 2 at the Southington YMCA.
Following the win, coach Evan Tuttle had some words of wisdom for his team.
“I told our girls, I said you can never underestimate the team on the other side of the pool, no matter their numbers,” Tuttle said. “Just because we have 60 and they may have a third of our numbers, doesn’t mean or prove a thing. They’ve got a talented squad with some very talented individuals within that group that certainly tested our girls today.”
Enfield/Somers has 22 girls on its CIAC roster. Two of those athletes, Jasmine Uricchio and Grace Farris, made it to the Class LL state finals in 2018. Uricchio did it individually as a freshman, Farris as a sophomore. Uricchio and Farris were part of two relays that made the Class LL meet, as was Emily Sarno, who was also a sophomore in 2018. Both relays graduated one senior. Uricchio wound up competing in two events in the state open.
Uricchio and Farris each won two events for Enfield/Somers against Southington. Uricchio took first in the 100 butterfly (1:02.63) and 500 freestyle (5:22.29) while Farris was first in the 200 IM (2:18.59) and 100 backstroke (1:02.50). Farris would have won the backstroke with her time even if it wasn’t contested as an exhibition.
By the time the backstroke came around, however, Southington led Enfield/Somers, 85-37. Gianna Perugini was the lone double-winner for the Knights, taking first place in the 50 freestyle (26.36) and 100 freestyle (58.15). Andie Nadeau won the 200 freestyle in 2:03.18.
Southington had a good meet in part because swimmers stepped up to take the place of others who were out due to illness, which included senior captain Sarah Meade. Meade competes in individual events and is part of the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays.
In Meade’s place was fellow senior captain Anny Moquete. All Moquete did was help the 200 freestyle relay win in a time of 1:52.90. Moquete was the third leg of the relay, which started with Meghan Hammarlund and also included Maddie Symecko and Nadeau. Moquete finished second in the 100 freestyle (1:03.98) and third in the 200 freestyle (2:26.90).
“Anny had a good meet,” Tuttle said, adding “we [Tuttle and assistant coach Tammi Haynes] both noticed our freshman Emma Jekubovich in the 50, her finish in the 50. Those are tenths of a second that are differences in those events, and those add up to big differences in the meet.”
Jekubovich took second in the 50 freestyle in 27.65, which was just 0.22 ahead of third place finisher Emily Sarno of Enfield/Somers (27.87).
Tuttle has been impressed with newcomers like Jekubovich.
“I’m very happy, especially with our new folks,” Tuttle said. “Our freshmen class is really stepping up, whether it be Emma Jekubovich, whether it be Alexis Strong, whether it be Thuy [Tran] or whether it be Kendall Noonan, or our new divers when we get our opportunity to have them compete in away meets. They’re stepping up and they’re a huge addition to our program this year.”
Jekubovich swam with Hammarlund, Jenna Famiglietti and Gianna Perugini on the winning 200 medley relay team (2:01.08). Strong finished second in the 200 freestyle (2:23.76) and Tran was third in the 100 freestyle (1:05.72). Noonan took third in the 500 freestyle (5:55.34) and fourth in the 50 freestyle (29.11). Tran was also part of the second place 200 freestyle relay, along with Chloe Grabowski, Adessa Noyes and Kayla Nguyen. All of those points add up and will prove to be important against bigger, stronger teams.
“This is an excellent example of the quality of depth of our program,” Tuttle said. “Today’s meet proved that. It is that depth that proved to be the difference today.”
Up next: Southington faced its first CCC West test on Monday against Farmington at Miss Porter’s School.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com