Devils swim to 5th at CCC South championship

Nate Lyman swims the backstroke at a regular season meet, above. Lyman placed fifth in 500 freestyle and eighth as a member of the 200 medley relay at the CCC South championship.

The Plainville boys swim team ran into some stiff competition at the CCC South championship meet on Friday March 6. The Blue Devils swam to a 5th place showing with a team total of 96 points.

Bristol (Eastern, Central) co-op won the South title compiling 305 points just ahead of runner-up Berlin with 292 points. Middletown took third (258) and Meriden (Platt, Maloney) co-op finished fourth (171).

“It’s always tough competing in the CCC,” said Plainville head coach Chris Zagorski. “I thought as a team we did well especially for a Class S team going up against Class L teams.”

Brandon Paznokas earned All-CCC honors for his 2nd place finish 100 backstroke with a time of 1:00.30. The Plainville junior also took 9th in the 200 freestyle at 2:00.78 and was part of the 5th place 400 freestyle relay and the 8th place 200 medley relay.

The Blue Devils had a few more top 10 finishes with Nate Lyman taking 5th in the 500 freestyle at 5:22.88, Joe Michalic finished 7th in the 100 fly at 59.55, Brady Stevens was 9th in the 100 backstroke at 1:05.12 and Colin Blake had a 10th place showing in the 200 IM at 2:16.77.

“The kids really worked hard to improve,” said Zagorski. “We had 41 best times out of the 24 kids that competed. That was the most we’ve had all year so I was pleased at the way we swam.”

Plainville picked up some valuable points in the relays with the foursome of Dominic Sousa, Blake, Paznokas and Matt Lagassey finishing 5th in the 400 freestyle at 3:43.45.

The 200 medley team of Paznokas, Lagassey, Michalic and Lyman posted an 8th place finish in 1:51.58 and the squad of Blake, Michalic, Sousa and Chris St. Lawrence finished 8th in the 200 freestyle at 1:40.08.

The Blue Devils finished in a pack in other events that added to their point total. Christian Ellis finished 10th in diving with a score of 152.70 and Zach Dery placed 12th at 136.7.

The 50 freestyle saw three Blue Devils break 25 seconds and some change with Sousa finishing 12th at 25.23, St. Lawrence 13th at 25.48 and Wyatt LaCombe at 25.68.

Plainville placed three swimmers under a minute in the 100 freestyle with Blake finishing 13th at 55.03, Sousa 14th at 55.57 and Stevens 17th at 58.82. In the 100 breaststroke Lagassey was 10th at 1:09.66, Spencer Michalek 12th at 1:13.89 and LaCombe 13th at 1:14.40.

The Blue Devils will graduate seniors Zach Dery, Wyatt LaCombe, Tyler Mandeville and Zach McGough along with Dominic Sousa, Chris St. Lawrence and Jared Serrano-Aviles.

Plainville will return a very competitive group of juniors led by Paznokas, Michalic and Blake along with Lagassey, Lyman, Stevens, Darrell Gorneault and Sam Masco. Freshman Ellis and Michalek made a good first impression and will be relied on to carry a bigger role next season.

“Nate (Lyman) swam his second best time in the 500 and is closing in on the school record of 5:02,” said Zagorski. “The returning swimmers it all comes down to how well they prepare in the off season for next year.”

With the CIAC cancellation of the postseason, Plainville’s season came to an end at the conference meet.

Zagorski said that there’s a lot of potential left on this team. “It’s just a matter of taking it to the next level,” he said. “Our seniors did a good job leading this team and we were able to post back-to-back 6-6 regular season records.”

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