BRISTOL - During a swim meet, each team must perform three different relay events: the 400 medley, the 200 freestyle and the 400 freestyle.
Over the past three weeks, Bristol boys swimming head coach Nick Daddabbo and the rest of the coaching staff have been putting their full, undivided attention into perfecting all three relays.
“We stressed them last week [and] the week prior,” Daddabbo said. “It was a pleasant surprise [Tuesday] to see how they swam.”
While Bristol took all three relays in its most recent win Tuesday against Plainville, the team has been striving to improve its time in the 400 freestyle relay in particular.
In the dual meet, the relay team of Colton Litwincyk, Keagan Mullan, Gabe Bartolome and Ben Stafford finished in first place with a time of 3:39.15.
“They’ve been getting better and better each meet,” Daddabbo said. “[Tuesday], they were only off their best time as a relay by .4 seconds.”
Even the swimmers have noted the time and effort Daddabbo and the rest of the coaches have been putting into those three events.
“We have had huge progress since the season has started,” Mullan said. “I want the 400 free relay to be a big rival and competitor at CCC’s and on forth to states. I feel like that relay can get really far if we put in the effort. It just shows that hard work does pay off, every time we compete that relay.”
Not only did the relays get stronger, but Bristol posted at least 10 top times on Tuesday.
In preparation for the conference and state meets, Bristol utilized the meet against Plainville to figure out where it was in terms of individual times and to see what its capabilities are going forward.
“Our last couple meets we’ve been off [our times] despite the final score was, it just wasn’t where we needed to be,” Daddabbo said. “[Tuesday] they really stepped up to where they are capable of it, especially in those relays.”
Bristol will have to keep stepping it up as its season winds down.
The co-op has two dual meets left before it heads into the postseason. Bristol will swim Lewis Mills today and close out their regular season against Middletown next Tuesday.
The finale will be a big meet, as the Blue Dragons won the CCC-South Division championships last year.
“Just going there in itself is a hostile environment,” Daddabbo said. “It’s a small pool and everything echoes. Just being there, especially for new swimmers, it gives them that fear factor.”
At practice this week, Daddabbo will be focusing on the ‘I can’t do anything mentality’, especially for younger swimmers, in preparation for the meet against Middletown.
But if Bristol takes what it was able to do against Plainville, it could be a competitive meet.
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org