EAST HARTFORD - Boys swimming hopefuls from Southington and Bristol took part in the Class LL swim trials at East Hartford High School on Saturday afternoon, attempting to qualify for the class championship meet.
The Blue Knights featured more prominently at the trials as they had at least one swimmer in all 12 events.
Overall, Southington came away from the day happy with the way things went and is now looking forward to the Class LL meet which takes place on Monday.
“It was a good day for us,” Southington head coach Evan Tuttle said. “Everybody swam well and from what I can remember we got best times from every individual that got into the pool today.
“We pushed across nearly everybody into finals, so it was a good day dropping times and putting ourselves in a position to come back Monday at Weslyan for finals.”
The only two events the Blue Knights did not push a swimmer into finals were the 200 IM, where both Derek Melanson and Evan Bender swam in heat one, and the 100 breaststroke where both Brandon Egan and Joseph Savarese competed in the first heat but came up a little bit short.
“We just missed qualifying for finals in both of those events,” Tuttle said. “But I think those guys still got best times so there is nothing to mad about there.”
Tuttle had a hard time picking out swimmers on his team that stood out at the trials. It wasn’t because there weren’t swimmers that performed well either. It was because so many swam well that it was hard for him to pinpoint anyone at the risk of leaving anybody out.
“It’s hard to isolate one person,” Tuttle said. “Everyone really swam well so it’s hard to choose.”
Eventually, the head coach gave in and pointed out Zach Blake who was actually involved in a swim off at the end of the meet. The senior captain competed in the 50 free, the 100 free and a relay.
The swim off took place in the 50 free though because Blake and another swimmer tied in the original race earlier in the meet so at the end the two swimmers faced off to see who would earn 16th place in the 50 free. Blake barely lost, but is still pushing through to states.
“Zach had a really good day,” Tuttle said. “He competed in three different events plus that swim off at the end and finished well in all of them. He’s one of our senior captains so that’s what we expect. But all around, a good day for the team and now we will get one last practice in [Sunday] to get ready for Sunday.”
“I dropped some time today which I’m happy about,” Blake said. “I think overall I swam pretty well. I have nothing to complain about.”
Blake also agreed with his coaches assessment of the team on the day.
“I think today was great for us,” Blake said. “I believe everyone swam their best and we are getting down to the end of the year. ‘Taper with Tuttle’ has been something amazing to be a part of.”
As for Bristol, the team only had one individual compete in the meet and that was Keegan Mullan. The junior swam in the first heat of the 50 freestyle and finished right around where he qualified.
While only one individual swam for Bristol, it did have three relay teams compete. The 200 medley relay team finished in first in heat one, while the 200 freestyle relay team finished in second in heat one and the 400 freestyle relay team came in fifth in the second heat.
Michael Woolfson can be reached at 860-801-5203 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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