Lady Knight swimmers win big on senior night

Maddie Symecko competes in the butterfly during a senior night victory over Newington.

By KEVIN ROBERTS

STAFF WRITER

Southington girls swimming and diving had just a single meet during the previous week, but it’s one of the biggest of the season.

In their final home meet of the season, Senior Night, the Lady Knights said goodbye to nine seniors: Aparna Athreya; Tina Brazil; Mary DeJesus; Lilly Miceli; Isabella Paulus; Julie Duszak; Julia Holland; Abby Lo Presti; and Lidia Prusak.

“Each year we say goodbye to another senior class it is a renewed reminder as to what these young ladies have done to elevate this program to its current stature,” coach Evan Tuttle said, “not only in terms of our success in the pool but the character development of the program and a focus on competing the right way. There is only so much one can do as a coach. At some point it is the responsibility of the athletes to carry on and embody the caliber of student-athlete that you look for, and that is exactly what this senior class has done.”

The nine Southington seniors were honored in front of their families and the home fans inside the Fryer Family Natatorium, as were the seniors from Newington.

“The senior meet is always a bittersweet meet for me and for the team,” Tuttle said. “I remind the girls each year that their time in the program and their high school career will go by more quickly than they could possibly imagine. It is important to take time, reflect on what they are doing and soak it in because they are making memories that will last a lifetime.”

Southington won eight of the first 10 events on the way to a 91-73 win over Newington. The Lady Knights improved to 7-1 on the season (2-1 CCC West Division).

Duszak was part of the winning 200 medley relay (1:59.76) along with Sarah Meade, Maddie Symecko and Gianna Perugini. Duszak also teamed up with Perugini, Anny Moquete and Meghan Hammarlund for a first place finish in the 200 freestyle relay (1:52.36). Duszak had the top time in the 100 breaststroke, but that was an exhibition race.

Hammarlund and Symecko were double winners for Southington. Hammarlund finished first in the 200 individual medley (2:23.60) and 100 freestyle (57.90) while Symecko took first in the 100 butterfly (1:09.90) and 100 backstroke (1:08.86). Andie Nadeau was first in the 200 freestyle in 2:07.95 while Kayla Nguyen claimed first in the 100 backstroke in 1:08.83.

Southington also had the fastest time in the 400 freestyle relay (Hammarlund, Perugini, Nadeau, Symecko; time was 4:03.59), but that was an exhibition race.

It was another solid day for the Lady Knights, and a happy one for the seniors.

Up next: Southington was scheduled to face Conard on Tuesday in a CCC West Division battle at the Cornerstone Aquatics Center in West Hartford. It’s the lone meet of the week for the Lady Knights.

To contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com

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