By BRIAN JENNINGS
It may have seemed like a boring week for the Lady Knight swimming and diving team after they steamrolled over a pair of conference opponents by a combined difference of 28 points.
They overmatch most of the teams on their regular season schedule, defeating them by an average of 16 points, and usually send meets into exhibition races by the 100 backstroke. Yet, these Knights never yawn on the pool deck.
“That’s really part of the benefit of a sport like swimming,” said Southington coach Evan Tuttle. “You’re not just there for the score at the end of the meet. You’re there to beat your own best times, compete, and support your own teammates.”
Winning without the desire to improve is said to be hurtful to a team, explains Tuttle. It’s no wonder that the Knights have an average of 16 best times per meet and at least one improved state-qualifying time from every meet, as seven girls are currently qualified in nine events for the Class LL meet.
“Even after a dominant meet and performance, I always make sure to tell the girls that we’re not going to be satisfied,” the coach said. “There’s something that we can pick out that we’re going to do better, and it’s my hope that they’ve really embraced that mentality, so we can continue to improve each and every single day.”
The Knights will be tested this week when they host divisional Conard in their lone meet of the week and last home meet of the regular season on Wednesday, Oct. 18. Southington suffered one of their only two losses to Conard last season. Southington is 7-1.
Win at Bristol Eastern
OCT. 10—The Knights earned their second-straight win with a 94-78 landslide over Bristol Eastern at the Dennis Malone Aquatics Center on Tuesday. The meet went to exhibition races with three races left, as the Knights finished with 12 best times with first place finishes in all events but the 200 individual medley and diving.
The following finished first in the meet: Meghan Hammarlund, Julie Duszak, Maddie Symecko, and Olivia Fournier in the 200 medley relay; Duszak, Jess Monte, Gianna Perugini, and Andie Nadeau in the 200 freestyle relay; Fournier, Nadeau, Symecko, and Hammarlund in the 400 freestyle relay; Nadeau in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle; Fournier in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle; Hammarlund in the 100 fly; Duszak in the 100 breaststroke; and Symecko in the 100 backstroke.
Fournier improved her Class LL times in the 50 freestyle (25.21) and 100 freestyle (55.29). Patrycja Zajac improved her state-qualifying mark in the 100 breaststroke (1:13.96).
Win at Newington
OCT. 13—A third-straight win a few days later kept the Knights undefeated on the road as they continued to trounce the division with a 90-78 rout of Newington.
The following finished first in the meet: Hammarlund, Duszak, Kayla Nguyen, and Perugini in the 200 medley relay; Duszak, Perugini, Kara Zazzaro, and Fournier in the 200 freestyle relay; Fournier, Nadeau, Zazzaro, and Hammarlund in the 400 freestyle relay; Fournier in the 200 freestyle and 100 freestyle; Hammarlund in the 200 individual medley; Duszak in the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke; Liz Beaulieu in diving; Nguyen in the 100 fly; and Symecko in the 100 backstroke.
Fournier improved her state time in the 200 freestyle (2:01.9).
For this week’s box scores, click here: (southingtonobserver.com/2017/10/17/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-oct-20-edition). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.