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With only a couple of meets under their belts, and facing significantly less-experienced competition, the Nighthawks can still show their first-year Coach Adam Fielding a lot — in terms of both their competitive edge and depth — this season.
That’s why Fielding, in a matchup with his former squad, the Bunnell-Stratford co-op featuring a roster of only 12 mostly new to competitive swimmers, on January 10, mixed and matched his lineup — which is twice the size of his former team’s — to continue to get a feel for who that surprise third backstroker or sleeper breaststroker could be for the postseason. With an understanding of who his top-tier swimmers are, Fielding is getting a feel for the rest of his lineup and just how much he can mix and match depending on team needs in relays and individual events.
The Nighthawks cruised to 72-59 victory, exhibitioning the last several events after sealing up the team win early on.
Newtown’s 200 yard medley relay team of Peter Fagerholm, Dawson Stout, Ian Peng, and Rick Irving was first in a time of 1:51.11, narrowly beating out teammates Tommy Horan, Mason Suba, Matt Kretz, and Xavier Williams (1:51.94).
Stout won the 200 freestyle event in 1:55.61, Suba took first in the 200 individual medley race, clocking in at 2:18.25, and Fagerholm captured the 50 free victory in 24.21.
Kyle Gaynor and Ian Humber continue to show off their skills in the diving event, pushing Newtown to a 54-10 team lead.
Out of the diving break, Tommy Horan exhibitioned in the 100 butterfly event, and had the fastest time, finishing in 59.03; Suba was the second-fastest swimmer in the event, and was very close behind, recording a time of 59.22.
Sean McCleary won the 100 freestyle race, making his final touch in 59.19. Just behind him were Mike Yo with a time of 1:00.14 and McKinley Seaver, finishing in 1:01.34. In the 500 freestyle race, Stout logged the fastest time, finishing in 4:04.45.
The 200 free relay contingent of Suba, Stout, David Lawrence, and Williams was fastest in 1:38.75. Right on their heels were Fagerholm, Michael Annesley, Horan, and Jack Wojtowicz in 1:39.24.
In the 100 backstroke race, Yu finished in 1:07.27 to lead Newtown, and Horan was next in 1:09.94.
Horan had the best time in the 100 breaststroke race, finishing in 1:09.94.
The 400 free relay team of Yu, Annesley, McCleary, and Williams recorded a time of 3:54.25, edging out teammates Seaver, Fagerholm, Lawrence, and Ben Marini, who had a time of 3:54.57.
Fielding will continue to rotate swimmers into unfamiliar events when the opportunities present themselves. The NHS coach said it was a pleasure to see his former swimmers.
“It was fun to see them. They’re a great group of kids,” Fielding said.
Up next for the Nighthawks is a visit to New Milford on Tuesday, January 17, beginning at 7 pm.