There are eight lanes in the Miss Porter’s School pool, and each one featured a girls swimmer giving her all for her team in the battle of unbeatens between Southington and Farmington on Oct. 7.
The Lady Knights once again showed their depth, but this time it was in the toughest environment to date. Southington matched Farmington’s energy from the first relay until the last and emerged with a 95-89 victory. The Knights improved to 5-0 while the Indians dropped to 5-1. Southington beat South Windsor, 95-91, on Oct. 11 to get to 6-0.
“It was a really good win. Farmington is a great program, they always have been,” coach Evan Tuttle said. “They’re certainly up this year, and they showed up ready to go. I could tell right from the beginning of the meet. I just told Coach Scott [Ferrigno] this, their girls were energized, they were coming in ready to go, and they were coming after us. Our girls recognized that, and they kicked it into gear as well.”
Only the best effort from Southington would do against Farmington, and that was the effort that was given. The Knights tallied over 30 best times and held a 95-77 lead going into the 400 freestyle relay, which was contested as an exhibition. Even that event was intense.
“It’s a cool environment. When you get these meets, everyone can sense that it’s close,” Tuttle said. “The teams can sense it, the fans can sense it, and then you can see those battles in the pool. That last relay, that last 400 freestyle relay, the energy, the environment in here was electric. That’s when it’s cool to sit back and try to take a moment and soak it in, because those are cool moments.”
In terms of team points, Southington won nine of the first 10 events on the way to an 89-67 advantage. There were plenty of first place finishes. Andie Nadeau, Gianna Perugini and Meghan Hammarlund were all double-winners. Nadeau finished first in the 200 freestyle (2:04.40) and 500 freestyle (5:35.70); Perugini took the top spot in the 50 freestyle (26.16) and 100 freestyle (57.42); and Hammarlund claimed the win in the 100 butterfly (1:03.13) and 100 backstroke (1:03.57). Kelly Perrotti finished first in one-meter diving with a score of 186.25.
Southington won the 200 medley relay in 2:01.83 behind the team of Hammarlund, Jenna Famiglietti, Maddie Symecko and Kelly Bergland. The Knights were also the top team in the 200 freestyle, winning it in 1:47.05 behind the team of Sarah Meade, Emma Jekubovich, Perugini and Nadeau.
Meade was back in the lineup after missing the meet against Enfield-Somers due to illness. Meade took third place in both the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke.
“That’s why she’s one of our senior captains. She’s a fighter,” Tuttle said. “She’s got her arm injury, probably she’s in more pain every day than we can really realize, but she fights through it, not for herself, but for her teammates and for this team. She comes to compete, she puts it all on the line, and that is huge for us.”
That same competitive fire could be found in junior Adessa Noyes.
“Adessa Noyes stepped up huge today. She’s got swimmer’s shoulder to the point where it’s almost debilitating,” Tuttle said. “We’ve got a resting regiment in practice. I can tell she’s in pain, but she swam our IM, dropped a little time, got some points for us there.”
Tuttle put Noyes into the 100 breaststroke about five minutes before the event because another swimmer couldn’t do the event. Noyes swam the event, finished fifth and secured more points for her team.
“It was a huge meet for Adessa for showing up for her team,” Tuttle said.
The wins are important, but the second, third, fourth and fifth place finishes all add up. All points earned are big, especially in a close meet like the one against Farmington. Southington had plenty of terrific efforts across the board, and it produced a big win on the road.
“We needed to step up and rise to the occasion as well, match their energy, in order to come out of here with a win,” Tuttle said. “We were able to do that, and I was very proud of the girls for doing so.”