By BRIAN JENNINGS
PLAINVILLE – You’ve probably heard Kermit the Frog singing the tune, “It’s not easy being green.” And for the Plainville Blue Devils boys swimming and diving team, it wasn’t going to be easy holding a meet with green pool water.
On Tuesday, Feb. 3, the Blue Devils boys swimming and diving team were scheduled to swim against the Bristol Eastern-Bristol Central-St. Paul co-op team at Plainville High School. But when the Plainville maintenance staff discovered a green tint to the pool water on Tuesday, the meet was rescheduled to Thursday, Feb. 5.
Unsure about what had caused the pool water to turn green, Plainville coach Chris Zagorski said he was impressed with how the situation was handled.
“It’s an issue with the facilities,” said Zagorski. “To their credit, they got it back up in 24 hours after they had found that there was an issue. It really only affected this meet. The meet was on Tuesday and we ended up having practice instead, moving it to the YMCA. But we still got in our time in the water. We came back yesterday and the water was crystal clear.”
The Bristol co-op defeated the Blue Devils, 91-71. Bristol clinched the meet after the 200 freestyle relay. Bristol had first-place finishes in every event (eight events), but the 200 freestyle, not counting exhibition races.
Although Bristol co-op won the meet, Bristol coach Gary Harrigan thought it wasn’t his team’s best performance. “We were flat,” said Harrigan. “Some of the practices that we’ve been missing hurt a little bit. Swimming, we were way off of our times, nowhere near our best times. Overall, we were just flat from missing pool time.”
In diving, Bristol’s Ben Marcil ascended from the board and into first place with a score of 138.45. Matt Pittman (132.65) and Anthony Mola (109.20) followed with second and third-place finishes.
“It wasn’t the best day for the divers, but the divers are doing well,” the Bristol coach said. “They’re very consistent. So I am happy with the way diving is going.”
For Bristol, the team of Roland Horvath, Will Litwinczyk, Matt Gwozdecke, and Weston Marshall (1:48.28) took first place in the 200 medley relay. And the team of Griffin McGowan, Marcil, Elijah Ortiz, and Ronan Shaknaltis (1:39.49) took first in the 200 freestyle relay.
In the second individual swimming event, Litwinczyk (2:16.97) took first place in the 200 individual medley. Gwozdecke (22.60) dominated the 50 freestyle with a first-place finish. Marcil (1:10.86) added to his diving successes with a first-place time in the 100 fly. Marshall (53.33) also added a first-place finish in the 100 freestyle. And Gwozdecke (4:58.15) wasn’t done, adding a third first-place finish in the 500 freestyle.
“Matt Gwozdecke in the 500 did have a best time,” said Harrigan. “It’s an off-event for him. He was trying to break five minutes. So him going under five minutes was one of the high points of the meets.”
“All season long we’ve had a very solid team rather than one or two individuals standing out,” the Bristol coach said. “We’re good across all three lanes and that was pretty evident today. We had other very solid swims. The whole team has been doing well.”
“If I had to pick one thing that we need to get better on, I would say turns,” said Harrigan. “And as it gets later in the season and we start tapering, hopefully that extra energy will help. Plainville swam well. They pushed us in a couple of events. We know the team well.”
The Blue Devils only first-place finish came from Lorenzo Samperi (2:04.56) in the 200 freestyle, getting close to his best time of the season. However, the Plainville coach said he saw a good performance from his team, given the circumstances they’ve been dealt with.
“I think considering the fact that we’ve been losing some practice time to the storms, we started the meet off strong,” said Zagorski. “I think because we’ve missed a lot of practice time, it’s hurting us down towards the bottom of our events. Some of those event starts were a little slower than I’m used to seeing. It’s just something that we have to get over. It’s a winter sport. It happens. But, with hard work, I think we can get by.”
Plainville’s Isaiah Bandle (1:01.11) swam his best time of the season in the 100 freestyle. Jarred Karal (6:01.93) also swam his best time of the season in the 500 freestyle. For Trevor Bloom, the meet represented his first week back since January, recovering from knee surgery. Bloom (25:99) finished the 50 freestyle with a personal-best time.
“To do that after being out for a month just shows the willpower and dedication that Trevor Bloom has,” the Blue Devils coach said. “He’s got a month left in the season, he’s trying to get up to speed, and I think he’ll do good things this season and in the future.”
The Blue Devils look to recover this week on the road against Bulkeley-HMTCA and Platt-Maloney. Bristol co-op will be away this week as well at Platt/Maloney and Berlin.
Comments? Email bjennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.
By BRIAN JENNINGS