Swimming: Knights break century mark against Conard

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Jackson Malsheske swims the breaststroke during a 102-84 road win over Conard on Jan. 29.

SPENCER DREHER

STAFF WRITER

It was the toughest test for the Southington boys swimming team since their season-opener, but this time, the Blue Knights were up to the task.

Southington defeated one of Class L’s best, Conard, 102-84 at the Cornerstone Aquatics Center on Jan. 29.  It was the first time this season the Knights scored 100 or more.

“Conard is a great program, always has been, and always have been very competitive meets regardless of whichever team came out on top,” head coach Evan Tuttle said.  “We knew it would be the same this year.”

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It turned out to be a total team effort as Southington scored 102 despite placing first in six events.

Tyler Heidgerd was the one double winner for Southington, winning the 200 freestyle in 1:53.07 and the 100 backstroke in 57.02.

The other individual winners included Derek Melanson, who took the individual medley in 2:05.36, and Jackson Malsheske, who took the 500 free in 5:10.64.  EJ Suski also took first in diving with a score of 229.50.

The 400 free relay team of  Melanson, Landon Colby, Kyle Buchanan, and Heidgerd took first in a time of 3:33.06.

“The Conard meet was certainly a complete team effort,” Tuttle said.  “It took each and every athlete to come away with personal bests so that we could come away with a team win. Through 12 events there were 30 personal bests. In addition to that the team energy was high and the mindsets were strong. If we can continue to execute in these two realms we will continue to reap the rewards.”

The Blue Knights looked to improve their winning streak to five when they headed back to Cornerstone on Wednesday to take on Hall, a team that started the season 3-0 but has dropped two straight since.

Two of the next three weeks include two meets on the schedule for Southington, which certainly changes the pace of one meet per week from most of this season.  Tuttle said it is an adjustment but the team’s mindset will not change.

“As we begin to double up our meets, the focus will remain the same,” Tuttle said.  “Additional attention will need to be given by the athletes to their recovery time outside the pool. Making sure we are taking care of ourselves, inner body and out, so that way we are operating at a 100%.”

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