TORRINGTON >> Torrington High School’s girls swimming and diving team is one of a kind in the area.
Fall is officially the CIAC girls season, but Berkshire League swim teams are co-ed units competing in the winter (deemed the boys season by the CIAC).
The Red Raiders invariably deserve their fall spotlight.
Last year they were second in the Naugatuck Valley League with a 9-3 regular-season record.
“We’ll be second again,” said Coach Katie Gregory.
Sacred Heart has the hot hand, finishing the regular season 12-0 for the NVL crown a year ago with a lock on another one this year.
The Raiders have had plenty of turns. They last won it all four years ago; that crown belonged to them for three straight years.
The team thrives in spite of limited practice time at its home pool, the Torrington branch of the Northwest Connecticut YMCA.
The Y’s Laser swim team is the payoff for the bond.
The Lasers offer competitive swimming from grade school age through high school. The team feeds the Red Raiders experienced young swimmers, then offers a year-round competitive home for the most serious.
Torrington, with 23 girls on this year’s roster, graduated 12 swimmers, but picked up 12 new ones from the whole span of high school classes.
Laser experience helps some, pure attitude works for others.
“I think it’s going to be good,” said co-captain Payton Welch. “Everyone is very determined.”
“I think we’ll do well,” agreed co-captain Emily Mazzarelli.
The most significant point losses come from three-time All-Stater Makenzie Welch, Hailey Ross and Chloe Vollaro.
Four new candidates are trying for diving honors, one with experience.
Torrington has just four home meets this year. The first comes against Woodland at 7:45, September 19.
Torrington/NVL swimmers to watch
Payton Welch, senior, Torrington
Jessica Gray, junior, Torrington
Taryn Canfield, senior, Torrington
Cara McCarthy, junior, Torrington
Margaret Flaherty, sophomore, Sacred Heart
Brittany Steinfield, senior, Holy Cross
Sara Bowes, junior, St. Paul
Meaghan Spagnolo, senior, Sacred Heart
Alizabeth Sullivan, junior, Sacred Heart