Southington girls swimming clawed their way through six events last Sunday at Yale University, as the Lady Knights scored 96 points to finish 18th overall at the state open championship meet.
Meghan Hammarlund and Andie Nadeau participated in individual events, while Gianna Perugini, Sarah Meade, Emma Jekubovich, Jenna Famiglietti, and Maddie Symecko joined them on three relay teams.
While no Knight medaled, each relay team finished in the top-20 while Hammarlund finished in the top-12 in each of her events.
The 400 freestyle relay team was the team that stood out as their time at the open broke the school record for the second straight meet.
The relay team of Perugini, Hammarlund, Jekubovich and Nadeau finished 12th overall in the state with a new school record time of 3:41.41.
“The thing with relays, is that it requires every member to perform their role, and that was the case with the 400 free at opens,” coach Evan Tuttle said. “Each of the girls dropped time from finals, despite being absolutely exhausted. It was a great exclamation point for the end of our season.”
Perugini, Neadeau, and Jekubovich also joined Meade on the 200 free relay team, which finished 17th overall in the state with a time of 1:41.44.
The medley relay team of Hammarlund, Famiglietti, Symecko and Meade finished 20th overall in the state with a time of 1:54.85.
After breaking her own record in the 100 butterfly at the Class LL meet, Hammarlund did it again at the open. She now holds the school record after finishing eighth in the state with a time of 58.19. She also finished 12th overall in the 100 backstroke with a new school record time of 58.9.
Nadeau competed in the 200 free at the open, where she finished 22nd overall with a time of 1:58.64.
The Knights continued to improve all postseason. After already putting up a dominant performance at the conference meet, they surged through the Class LL qualifying meet and into the Class LL finals on Nov. 19 at Wesleyan University in Middletown. Southington swimmers finished 10th in the class with a score of 214.
The 400 free relay team broke their school record at the time, as they finished seventh in Class LL with a time of 3:42.3, only for that record to be broken five days later.
Nadeau also broke her own school record in the 200 free, as she finished 13th overall in Class LL with a time of 1:57.89. She also finished 13th overall in the 500 free in a time of 5:22.24.
Hammarlund had the best finish for Southington at the Class LL meet, finishing sixth in the 100 fly with a time of 58.68, a record that was broken again at the open. Hammarlund also finished eighth in the 100 back in 59.42.
More Lady Knights were able to compete individually at the Class LL meet. Perugini finished 14th overall in the 50 free in 25.27 and 13th overall in the 100 free in 55.07.
Meade finished 20th overall in the 50 free in 25.49, while Famiglietti finished 19th overall in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:12.11. Symecko placed 24th in the 100 back in 1:03.38.
The Medley relay team finished 12th overall in Class LL with a time of 1:54.88, while the 200 free relay team placed 10th overall with a time of 1:41.22.
Tuttle said this season was full of success and the team continued to improve from the beginning to the end.
“It is hard to believe that another swim and dive season has come to a close, yet there will be much to remember about it,” Tuttle said. “From the school records, to the conference meet victory, to the top-10 at Class LLs. Yet, what I will remember most fondly is how the team accomplished each of these things, and that is with character, class, and sportsmanship. I will remember how 60 individual athletes contributed to a single team and how each grew and improved over the course of the season.”
A lot of the top swimmers from this 2019 team will return next season, including Hammarlund, Nadeau, Famiglietti, Symecko, and Jekubovich.
It will be tough for a lot of these swimmers to continue to improve their times after an unforgettable 2019 season, but Tuttle said he talked to the team after the open to not be satisfied with their results just yet.
“The number one thing, and I told the returning athletes this, is to not become complacent,” Tuttle said. “Yes, we should be proud and happy with the success that the 2019 team brought, but we cannot be satisfied. We need to work diligently in the offseason to ensure that the 2020 season rises to the expectations set by 2019.”
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Spencer Dreher, email him at SDreher@SouthingtonObserver.com.