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Newtown High School’s boys’ swimming and diving team’s toughest competition likely will come from the always-dominant South-West Conference trio: Pomperaug of Southbury, Brookfield, and Weston. Pomperaug is a powerhouse, but it’s conceivable that Newtown can catch one of the other two traditional leaders of the pack, first-year Coach Adam Fielding believes.
Fielding is striving for a top-three finish in the SWC.
“It’s going to take some work,” he acknowledges.
Among the strong points for the Hawks will be on the diving board, with Kyle Gaynor and Ian Humber, who was fourth in the Class LL state championships a year ago, back in the fold. Both were among the best in the conference last year as well.
Newtown placed fourth in the SWC championships and was tenth in the LL meet as a team a year ago.
Captains are Matt Kretz (50 yard freestyle, 100 butterfly, and 100 backstroke), Tommy Horan (50 free, 100 back, and 100 free). Other top swimmers include Peter Fagerholm (individual medley and 500 free), David Lawrence (distance), Xavier Williams (sprinter), Chris Hiteshew (100 breaststroke and 50 free), and Mason Suba (butterfly and sprinter).
Fielding believes his squad had good ability across the board, but is most dangerous in the off strokes, the breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly.
“We’re looking forward to it. It’s going to be fun. We’ve got a fast team this year, so we’re hoping to place a litter higher than we have,” Kretz said.
Additionally, the Nighthawks are looking to make their mark on the program and pool record board up on the wall above the NHS pool.
“We hope to get some records up there,” Horan said. “We’re close for a lot of them.”
Regardless of whether records are broken, the Nighthawk swimmers will work hard to better their personal records.
“Hopefully we’ll get some best times,” Hiteshew said.
The Nighthawks will get potentially their toughest test of the season in the season opener. Pomperaug visits on Tuesday, December 20, for a 4 pm start. After a holiday break from competition, the Hawks will visit Masuk of Monroe on January 3, beginning at 4 pm. Fielding’s former team, the Bunnell-Stratford co-op, visits on January 10, also at 4 pm.