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SWIMMING: Young, fearless Titans nearly take down Hand; Rams, Blue Knights gear up for openers

WALLINGFORD — With a little more depth, Sheehan would have knocked off Daniel Hand to open the girls swim season.

As it was, the Division II Titans — the majority of them underclassmen — turned in a heck of an effort in falling 97-89 in a SCC crossover with the Division I Tigers on Monday at the Sheehan pool.

Sheehan won nine of the 12 events, but got out-pointed as Hand coupled three wins with the majority of seconds and thirds.

Sheehan’s Isabelle Hodum, Kaylynn Chen and Hanna Nagy Leranth all won two individual events. They also teamed with sophomore Sophie Math to launch the meet with a winning time of 2:05.12 in the 200-yard medley relay.

Hodum followed up with a victory in the 200 freestsyle (2:09.46) and later took the 500 free (5:42.84).

Nagy Leranth handled the sprints. The senior swept the 50 freestyle (27.69) and 100 free (58.92).

Chen, a sophomore like Hodum, touched first in the 200 IM (2:24.34) as well as in the 100 butterfly (1:04.44).

Yet another sophomore, Jae Welch, won the 100 breaststroke (1:21.32) after teaming with Math, Hodum and Nagy Leranth on the first-place 200 freestyle relay (1:52.36).


The Rams hit the pool Tuesday at the Middletown YMCA against Mercy. It’s the first meet of the season for a Cheshire team that graduated 12 seniors.

The Rams do return an All-American in Julia Barto, who is a senior captain this year with Sella Cahill and Grace Hanke.

“It was tough to lose that group (12 seniors), but I feel good about the hard-working kids we have,” said Cheshire coach Matt Straub. “They (senior tri-captains) are doing a great job. They are friendly with everyone and have made the new swimmers feel welcome on the team.”

Those newcomers include freshmen Courtney Gutmann, Annie Superchi and Gabrielle Williamson.

Senior Morgan McDonough returns along with juniors Natalia Gajecki, Carly Cahill, Julia Tejeda and Lauren Waitkus.

Lyman Hall

After opening the season with a 94-80 victory in West Haven, coach Donna Neary and the Trojans return to the road on Wednesday to take on Branford.

LH graduated three-time Class M state champion Elise Richardson as well as state finalist Cassie Wentzell, but remain strong behind senior Hailey Baker, an All-State swimmer, and junior Maggie Corso, the reigning SCC diving champ.

Junior Meredith Loughlin and sophomore Grace D'Amico are also key returners for the Trojans. Junior Jessica Rinaldi joins the fold after turning in a strong season last winter with the boys team.

The diving corps is deep. Along with Corso, the Trojans return state qualifiers in Sienna DeLucia, Sara Blazejowski, Adriana Waton and Elizabeth Robison.


Coach Evan Tuttle’s Lady Knights launch their season Wednesday at home at the Southington YMCA against E.O. Smith/Tolland.

The Knights coming off a 6-3 dual-meet season capped by a first-place team finish in the CCC West championship meet. On that afternoon, they won three individual conference crowns and broke three school records. 

Southington did graduate 11 seniors, including Class LL qualifiers Emma Jekubovich, Kendall Noonan, Alexis Strong and Thuy Tran.

Retruning are State Open qualifiers and school-record holders Julia Laszewski, Ella Nadeau, Mariam Labadze, Kyra Nguyen and Veronica Okurowski.

Also back are Class LL qualifiers Reaghan Samson, Mia Kennedy, Victoria Korczak, Deona Gashi, Alexis Nguyen, Maddie Pugliese and Alexandra Szczepanik.


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