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A pair of pool records were broken in a meet that could be called a bit of a heartbreaker for Newtown High School’s boys’ swimming and diving team as the Nighthawks were nipped by visiting Weston 94-92, on February 7.
Tommy Horan broke the NHS pool mark in the 100 yard freestyle, sprinting to a time of 48.79, and diver Kyle Gaynor shattered the pool record with a score of 294.20.
The Nighthawks took home five first-place finishes to Weston’s seven firsts, but were in contention for the team victory all the way until the end, thanks the team’s depth, which yielded several key second- and third-place outcomes.
Weston narrowly edged Newtown in the 200 yard freestyle relay race, clocking in with a time of 1:34.61 with the Nighthawks making their final touch in 1:34.90.
“Two points is one touch,” Newtown Coach Adam Fielding commented after the meet.
“You never take a moral victory,” said Fielding, adding that, however, hanging close with one of the South-West Conference’s and state’s perennially elite squads, which has only been beaten by SWC powerhouse Pomperaug of Southbury, was “a huge boost of confidence.”
This was somewhat of a moral victory for the Hawks. After all, they were edged by less than a second for first and second place in some of the events.
David Lawrence was third in the 200 free, with a time of 1:56.09, less than a second away from winning. In the 200 individual medley race, Dawson Stout came in third with a time of 2:03.77, five one hundredths of a second behind Weston’s second-place time of 2:03.72. Mason Suba placed third in the 50 free with a time of 24.08; Weston’s top two 50 free times were barely faster at 23.51 and 23.93. In the 100 free, Rick Irving was third in 54.84, less than a second behind Weston. Peter Fagerholm was second in the 100 backstroke with a time of 57.44, about a second away from first.
“Any one of those touches goes our way it reverses the order,” Fielding pointed out.
The Nighthawks did pull out some close races, including in the final event, the 400 free relay. The team of Mason Suba, Xavier Williams, Fagerholm, and Horan finished in 3:27.71, beating Weston’s time of 3:27.76. Newtown’s first three swimmers kept it close and Horan made up some ground in the last leg of the relay to pull out the nail-biting win.
Newtown’s fastest 200 yard medley relay team of Peter Fagerholm, Ian Peng, Dawson Stout, and Xavier Williams came in second, with a time of 1:50.25. Suba was second in the 100 butterfly (times were not tracked in this event). Stout won the 500 free easily with a time of 4:56.64. Peng placed second in the 100 breaststroke race, making his final touch in 1:11.79, narrowly beating out teammate Colby Delia (1:12.46).
Fielding came into the campaign with the goal of knocking off one of the SWC’s top squads — Pomperaug, which his team has already lost to, Weston, or Brookfield. The Weston meet was close enough to prove the Hawks right there — “It was a great meet. Everybody did their job,” Fielding noted — and the Hawks will get their shot at Brookfield when the Hawks host the Bobcats on Tuesday, February 14, beginning at 7 pm.
“It’s going to be a very good meet,” Fielding anticipates.