BRISTOL - For the Bristol co-op boys swim team, Fridayâ€™s meet against Southington was a tough one against a more seasoned group of swimmers.
Bristol lost 97-81, but set 15 best times individually during it.
Nonetheless, it was back to the pool just hours later.
â€śWe practice every Saturday morning at 6:30,â€ť Bristol coach Nick Daddabbo said. â€śNot many people would get up at 6:30 in the morning to come to practice to swim for two hours, especially after not getting out of a meet until 6 at night the night before.
â€śItâ€™s an early night and weâ€™ll be here early tomorrow. Thereâ€™s going to be times when weâ€™ll have an away meet on a Friday night and we wonâ€™t get back until 8 or 9 and weâ€™re going to still be back practicing at 6:30 in the morning the next day.â€ť
The hard work is beginning to pay off, even though Bristol sits at 1-3 on the season.
â€śHaving good swims is great,â€ť Bristolâ€™s Colton Litwinczyk said. â€śIâ€™m more excited about how great our practices go. We have people pushing each other every single day and that really correlates into swim meets. Because if we swim fast in practice, we swim good in meets.â€ť
In the 400 freestyle relay, the team of Ben Stafford, Gabriel Bartolome, Litwinczyk and Keagan Mullan took first place with a time of 3:40:76 and have been steadily improving as a cohesive unit.
â€śThe 400 freestyle relay at the end was our best time,â€ť Daddabbo said. â€śEvery time they swam it theyâ€™ve dropped time. They started the season at 3:56 and today they finished at 3:40, so itâ€™s already 16 seconds faster than our first meet not that long ago. I look for them to have a really good season getting that relay time down.â€ť
Thus far the competition Bristol faced has been a bit lopsided in terms of talent, but the improvement in individual times bodes well for the future of the younger team.
â€śWeâ€™re improving,â€ť Stafford said. â€śWe were looking at our times from the last meet of last season and a lot of our times are right there or faster. A lot of the guys are coming close to state times and weâ€™re improving.â€ť
The next meet against Newington should be a better indicator of how much that early morning practice routine and work in the pool is paying off.
â€śI really think the Newington meet is really going to be a good sign of what weâ€™re capable of,â€ť Daddabbo said. â€śIn terms of matching up with them and seeing what we can do under pressure. Our meets have either been us blowing somebody out or us getting blown out. It hasnâ€™t been that even playing field that weâ€™re going to have on Tuesday, so Iâ€™m really excited about that meet.â€ť
Dan Orencole can be reached atÂ 860-973-1811 orÂ email@example.com