Girls Swimming: There’s more than one way to win a meet

Julie Duszak swims the breaststroke during a 21-point victory over Farmington last week.

By KEVIN ROBERTS

STAFF WRITER

Southington girls swimming and diving had its first setback of the season in a 94-87 loss to Hall in West Hartford on Oct. 2, but it rebounded with a 93-72 home win over Farmington on Oct. 5.

The Lady Knights also made those that support them proud with their first-ever Swim for a Cure Meet against Farmington.

Here’s how the week went:

First loss of the season

OCT. 2—The Lady Knights began their division schedule with a tough test against Hall at the Cornerstone Aquatics Center in West Hartford, but Lady Knight coach Evan Tuttle wasn’t just worried about the final score.

“It was an excellent opportunity to be our best, turn in best times, and compete against an elite team. We did exactly that,” said the coach. Tuttle said that he measures every meet by score, best times, and character. “Two of those being within one’s control. The Lady Knights did everything within their control to unseat Hall, yet Hall was equally prepared and did their job.”

Hall won eight of the first 10 events and held a 94-62 lead after the 100 backstroke, which turned the final two events into exhibitions. Southington won the 200 medley relay behind the team of Sarah Meade, Meghan Hammarlund, Julie Duszak and Gianna Perugini in a time of 1:56.30. Duszak finished first in the 50 freestyle in a time of 25.56.

Tuttle said while no one likes to lose, but he wants to see his team lose with character. Southington did that against Hall.

“There was no self-pity, just motivated athletes looking to move forward, be better the next day and rebound well against Farmington,” Tuttle said.

Southington raises cancer funds, beats Farmington

OCT. 5—The Lady Knights held their first Swim for a Cure Meet at the Fryer Family Natatorium, and it was a great success. Once again, the 21-point victory wasn’t the coach’s primary focus. The team used the meet as a fundraiser to battle cancer.

“Not only did they return to winning form, but they succeeded far beyond the score at the end of the meet or times scribbled on a page,” said Tuttle. “Seniors and captains Julie Duszak, Julia Holland, Abby Lo Presti and Lidia Prusak organized and saw through, from beginning to end, this precious opportunity to give back. “

Cancer is something that has affected every family, and it doesn’t matter if it happened directly or indirectly. Tuttle said that it was important that his team come together for this cause.

“Our captains saw an opportunity to be more than just athletes, but compassionate leaders who actively try to make the world around them a better place,” said the coach.

Not only did Southington do a great job, but it also received donations from Farmington. Tuttle thanked the Indians during a break in the meet, and he also said thanks to his captains, booster club and Lady Knight families who helped out.

As for the meet itself, the Lady Knights won eight of the first 10 events, which turned the last two races of the day into exhibitions.

Andie Nadeau was a double winner with first place finishes in the 200 freestyle (2:06.09) and 100 freestyle (58.52). Duszak (50 freestyle, 25.39), Maddie Symecko (100 butterfly, 1:07.82), Holland (500 freestyle, 6:11.65) and Hammarlund (100 backstroke, 1:03.09) won individual events as well.

Meade, Hammarlund, Duszak and Perugini claimed first in the 200 medley relay in 1:57.02. Southington also won the 200 freestyle relay behind the team of Duszak, Perugini, Nadeau and Meade in 1:45.21.

Up next: Southington hosts Newington on Friday at 3:45 p.m.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com.

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