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Wave girls' swim makes 'great strides'

Published 6:28 pm, Wednesday, November 14, 2012

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  • Jena Hook churns her way to a strong finish for New Milford HIgh School girls' swim vs. Bunnell at Canterbury School, Oct. 9, 2012 Photo: Norm Cummings
    Jena Hook churns her way to a strong finish for New Milford HIgh School girls' swim vs. Bunnell at Canterbury School, Oct. 9, 2012 Photo: Norm Cummings

 

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It might be a season or two before the Green Wave girls' swim squad is contending for league or state team laurels.

Yet an upbeat 2012 campign has first-year coach Cheryl Caridad confident her New Milford High School program is headed in the right direction.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my first season as coach," she reported. "Even though we didn't have a winning season as far as wins vs. losses, we made great strides."

The Green Wave posted a 2-10 regular-season dual-meet record before sending its best swimmers and divers into South-West Conference and Class LL competition.

The NMHS girls boasted a roster of 32 swimmers and divers, and only six will graduate in June.

"We were led by captains Alexa Collins, Esther Kang, Jacqueline Flachbart and Shelby Ruman," said coach Caridad.

"I believe every single swimmer and diver on our team improved in some way," she said. "Whether seconds were shaved off of a time or an individual qualified for SWCs, or a new dive was learned, many goals were met resulting in a winning season."

The regular season

Highlighting the campaign were victories at Canterbury School over Stratford and Bunnell (see photographs).

Junior Alison Profeta edged out the Green Wave's six-dive school record of Ashley O'Connor with a 199.95 performance vs. Bunnell.

Freshman Kira Page etched her name in the NMHS record book with new team standards in the 50-yard freestyle (24.69), 100-yard butterfly (59.34) and 100-yard backstroke (58.40).

SWC meet

Coach Caridad's pool crew qualified 11 swimmers and three divers for the league championship meet, including nine swimmers in individual events.

Kira Page brought home first places in the 100-yard butterfly (59.43) and 100-yard backstroke (an SWC record 58.45).

The team overall placed 10th in the SWC meet.

Alison Profeta earned sixth in diving with 275.45 for eight dives.

State class LL

Profeta placed eighth in Class LL diving to make the grade for her event's State Open competition Friday, Nov. 16 at Hamden High School.

In swim competition, the Green Wave's 200-yard medley relay quartet of Hanna Caridad in backstroke, Jena Hook in breaststroke, Page in butterfly and Brienne Saraceno in freestyle placed 18th at the Class LL trials.

The NMHS foursome sliced more than a second off their previous best time to qualify for the Class LL finals Nov. 14 at Wesleyan University in Middletown.

Page also placed third in the 100-yard butterfly and first in the 100-yard backstroke to head into the Class LL finals as one of both events' top seeds.

In the process, Kira lowered her own NMHS record for the butterfly to 59.34.

The state's top swimmers will compete Saturday, Nov. 17, in the climactic State Open meet at Yale University in New Haven.

"Although we will miss the depth our six seniors added, this year was a building year for the team and we are set up very nicely for next season," said coach Caridad. "I look forward to getting back into the water next year for another great season."

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