Swimmers push past .500

Tyler Heidgerd swims the 100 backstroke against East Catholic.



After dropping their first meet, Southington boys swimming is over .500 for the first time this season after winning over East Catholic on Jan. 15.

In their first home meet of the season, the Blue Knights (2-1) continued their dominance in relay and freestyle events from their first win over Plainville.

Southington also had three double winners for the second straight meet.  Derek Melanson was a double winner in the individual medley (2:07.74) and the 100 breaststroke (1:06.48).


Tyler Heidgerd took  the 500 free in 5:20.08 and placed first in the 100 backstroke in 58.69.  Jon Cocchiola was the final double winner, winning both the 50 freestyle (24.41) and 100 free (54.12).

“Double winners are evidence of a well-rounded athlete,” head coach Evan Tuttle said.  “Although they may have a specialty stroke, they are strong in nearly every event. This is essential to competing at a high level, because it adds depth to a program that is needed in order to win regular season dual meets, especially against programs who have a similar level of depth.”

Landon Colby and Jackson Malsheske were the other individual winners.  Colby placed first in the 100 butterfly with a time of 57.68 while Malsheske won the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:57.51.

Each individual winner also took a win in relay events.  The 200 medley relay team of Melanson, Cocchiola, Colby and Heidgerd took first in a time of 1:45.96

The 200 free relay team of Melanson, Malsheske, Brian Egan and Kyle Buchanan took first in a time of 1:40.75, while the 400 free relay team of Cocchiola, Buchanan, Colby and Heidgerd took first in a time of 3:40.03.

The Knights have especially shined in freestyle events so far, but Tuttle said the team has other strengths as well.

“While we have had success in the freestyle events thus far, I wouldn’t categorize it as more successful than other events,” Tuttle said.  “In fact, perhaps our deepest event is diving, but freestyle is a stroke in which an athlete can improve quickly and dramatically.”

While Southington just made its home debut in the 2020 season, they will not compete at the YMCA again until Feb. 19, when they host Farmington.

The Knights traveled to Newington on Tuesday, looking to make it three wins in a row.

“We will be looking to achieve the same result today against Newington, as we do in every meet,” Tuttle said.  “Post as many best times and scores as possible, control the intangibles, such as energy, sportsmanship and character, and let the rest take care of itself.”

Southington will then travel to the Cornerstone Aquatics Center on Tuesday (Jan. 28) when they take on Conard at 3:30 p.m.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Spencer Dreher, email him at Sports@SouthingtonObserver.com.