The Avon High boys swimming team continues to get tested in the pool. The Falcons (3-4) entered the week having dropped two of their last three meets but the individual times are dropping.
Avon overwhelmed Granby last week and lost a close meet to the Bristol co-op team, dropping a 95-88 decision. The Falcons lost the 100 yard freestyle race by 0.18 of a second and the 100 yard backstroke by 0.12 of a second.
The meet was decided on the final event – the 400 freestyle relay that Bristol captured, ensuring that the home meet would end up on top.
“Bristol was our best meet yet,” Avon coach Diana Cesaro said. “The team stepped up as a whole and we are coming together as a unit.”
Sophomore Riley Strassner won the 200 freestyle in 1:50.77 and took second in the 100 freestyle in 49.72, only 0.18 off the pace set by Bristol’s Bryant Burney.
Diver Mimi Murphy won for the second straight day with a score of 138.5. Senior Bill Holloman continued his success in the 100 breast stroke. He has won the event in the last four meets and has lowered his time each time. Against Bristol, he completed the race in 1:06.81.
Kyle Emery was second in the 100 backstroke, only 0.12 of a second behind Bristol’s Matthew Gwozdecke in 59.08. Emery was also second in the 200 free. Avon freshman Matt Bagley was third in the 50 free (24.92) and 100 butterfly (1:01.90) but he swam his best times so far this month against Bristol.
“Many of our top swimmers are young and new to high school swimming so we are growing and learning each meet,” Cesaro said. “We need a lot more hard work in the pool but everything is going in the correct direction.”
Avon overwhelmed Granby, winning nearly every event. Kyle Emery won the 100 and 200 freestyle while Strassner captured the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley. Bagley won the 100 butterfly and was second in the 50 free. Holloman won the 100 breast stroke, Murphy prevailed in diving and freshman Anne Hayes won the 500 freestyle.
Two weeks ago, Avon challenged Watertown and hung with the Indians in the early stages. The Falcons took second in the opening 200 IM relay and Strassner won the 200 freestyle. Senior Erin Hartigan led an Avon sweep of the top three positions in the 200 IM that cut the Watertown lead to four, 25-21.
But Watertown swept top three spots in the 50 freestyle and diving that put Watertown ahead for good. Emery did win a pair of events – 100 freestyle and 100 back stroke – while Holloman prevailed in the 100 breast stroke but it wasn’t enough in a 101-82 loss.
Avon took care of a young Haddam-Killingworth team a few days before the Watertown meet with a 97-71 win. The Falcons captured all three relays and freshman Stephen Pang won two events (200 IM, 100 back stroke). Strassner won the 50 freestyle and Holloman won the 100 breast stroke.
“I do try and make a schedule with teams we should beat and some really tough teams,” Cesaro said.
Avon will be challenged swimming at Middletown on Friday afternoon. Tough meets with Farmington (February 7), Conard and Wethersfield are approaching. Farmington (3-2) lost to Wethersfield by 11 earlier this year and Middletown by four.
Senior Day ceremonies for Avon are scheduled to be held on February 11 when the Falcons host NVL contender Sacred Heart at Plainville High at 3:45 p.m.