Bristol Co-op boys swimming and diving team completed their regular season at the Central Connecticut Conference - South Meet on Friday night in Meriden. The team edged out Middletown for a second-place finish behind Meriden.
The team had 27 personal-best times, six first-place finishes, three new team records and four CCC Meet records all while adding to roster for the Class L meet.
“It was a phenomenal meet and experience,” head coach Adrienne Bentley said. “We have been coming off injuries and illness, so to see the team pull together and fill in the holes, is truly humbling to see their faces of joy and success.”
Bristol began the meet with a first place win and meet record, from there the energy just continued with senior Mikel Palaj setting another CCC South meet record and team record in the 200 individual medley. Palaj was not done at this point, he went on to win the 500 freestyle, setting a new team record and helped his teammates set yet another CCC South meet and team record in the 400 freestyle relay.
“I think the team went above and beyond, everyone was there for everyone no matter what. As for me being my last season I would never thought it would come, I never thought four years would fly by so fast. I am so glad everyone, made it a meet I will never forget from team mates to coaches to other swimmers on other teams. I just want to say thank you to everyone for an awesome four years.” Palaj said.
Senior Nathan Stellmach took the energy he generated during the record-setting medley relay win to win the 50 free, claim the CCC South meet record in the 100 breast and once again help his team set the records in the 400 free relay. Stellmach’s seed time in the 100 breast was faster than the previous record, so it was just a matter of time to see if he would capture the crown.
“Our performance, really showed the outcome of lots of hard work and dedication. Everyone on the team came into the season with a purpose and a plan. Along with genuine support for one another, we were all able to perform our best and break records. It was a great way for the seniors to leave their mark. I want to thank everyone for making my transition into yet another swim program, welcoming and incredibly easy.” Captain Nathan Stellmach said.
Sophomore Aidan Collins secured another spot at Class L meet with third-place finish and best time in the 50 freestyle. Collins was a valuable part of the 200 Medley relay, which got best times splits in the relay and in his 100 back stroke.
Junior Davis Kroll scored second with a best time in the 100 freestyle and third in the 100 backstroke. In both the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays, Kroll had best time splits to help his team set records in both events.
Senior Captain Noah Taylor scored third with season-best times in both the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly, along with swimming a strong leg in the record-breaking relay 400 free relay.
Junior Jedric Sutula qualified for the Class L meet in diving and had a personal best time in the 100 backstroke.