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The best of the South-West Conference’s swimmers and divers competed in the SWC championships March 1 and 3, with the diving competition at Pomperaug High School in Southbury followed by the swimming events, at Masuk High of Monroe, two days later.
Newtown High, backed by a pair of first-place swims by Tommy Horan, placed third as a team. The Nighthawks scored 370 points. Pomperaug, with 586, won the 12-team meet, and Weston was runner-up with 426. New Fairfield came in fourth with 275.
Horan was first in the 50 yard freestyle race, sprinting to the finish in just 21.99 seconds, and took the top spot in the 100 freestyle event with a time of 48.19.
“He really won both races on the start. He was fast off the block,” said Newtown Coach Adam Fielding, adding that he believes Horan has a lot left in the tank for the upcoming state championships.
Newtown had a two-four finish in the diving competition with Kyle Gaynor finishing runner-up with a score of 430, and Ian Humber logging a score of 417.15. Both divers will compete in the state championships.
The first swimming event of the meet was the 200 yard medley relay race, and Newtown’s team of Peter Fagerholm, Colby Delia, Dawson Stout, and Xavier Williams finished fifth in a time of 1:47.01..
In the 200 freestyle event, David Lawrence cracked the top-ten; he placed eighth in 1:54.07, Rick Irving placed 11th in 1:55.13, and Sean McCleary was 17 in 2:01.18.
Fagerholm earned fifth in the 200 individual medley in 2:02.37, Michael Annesley was 11th in the 200 IM, clocking in at 2:11.46, and Matt Kretz came in 16 in 2:20.86.
Suba placed ninth in the 50, with a time of 23.45, and Williams placed 18th in 24.36.
Stout was fourth in the 100 butterfly race, making his final touch in 53.34. Suba and Annesley gave the Nighthawks an eight-nine finish in the fly with times of 57.49 and 57.54.
In the 100 free, Irving took tenth with a time of 52.32, and Williams came in 13th in 52.99.
Fagerholm and Stout finished four-five in the 500 free, with times of 4:55.26 and 4:56.21. Lawrence was ninth in the 500, in 5:08.28, and McCleary placed 18th in 5:35.25.
The 200 free relay team of Suba, Williams, Lawrence, and Horan placed third in a time of 1:32.39.
Ian Peng came in tenth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:06.91. Delia and Kretz were 17th and 18th in the 100 breaststroke with times of 1:11.84 and 1:11.87.
Newtown’s 400 free relay contingent of Suba, Stout, Fagerholm, and Horan was third in 3:24.04.
The 12 Nighthawk swimmers who qualified will continue their postseason with the Class LL State Championships, at Wesleyan University in Middletown, on March 14, but Horan says in the end the SWC meet will be the highlight.
“This is my favorite championship out of all of them,” said Horan, because of the strong representation by the Nighthawks.
Also competing in the conference championships, having earned the opportunity due to meeting SWC qualifying standards, were Newtown’s Ben Marini, Jack Wojtowicz, Josh Bent, Mike Yu, Kevin Tran, Mckinley Seaver, and Chris Hitshew.
“I was super happy,” Fielding said of his team’s representation and performance in the conference competition. “We looked really prepared for the meet.”