BRISTOL >> This season is one of uncharted waters for the Middletown High girls swimming and diving team.
Eleven meets into the season and the Blue Dragons are winless. Loss No. 11 came Tuesday when Bristol Central won its first meet of the season, 89-77, at the Malone Aquatic Center.
“What we do in a season like this is try to work on improvement,” said Blue Dragons coach Trevor Charles. “We’ve done a lot of talking about character this season. We’ve talked about what it means to be a team and how much harder it is when you’re not winning, when you don’t have that joy of celebrating after a meet.
“We’ve had bumps and bruises along the way.”
Charles meant that figuratively and literally.
Charles took 11 swimmers to yesterday’s meet out of his squad of 23. “I have six kids out with concussions, including three of my divers, and four more are out with shoulder issues. That’s why we had no diving competition today,” Charles explained.
What Middletown does have is star swimmer Adrianna Ciebielski.
Ciebielski, who holds four school records, won both the 100 yard butterfly (1:04.05) and the 100 yard breaststroke (1:12.72). She also swam a leg of the winning 200 yard medley relay.
“Those were her best times of the season in both events,” said Charles. “She is starting to come around and I’m expecting big drops in her times soon. We’ve been working a lot on technique and that’s why her times are not down to where she wants them to be.”
“I haven’t been getting my best times,” said Ciebielski, who finished eighth in the Class L meet in the 100 yard breaststroke last year and was an alternate in the state open. “I’m working really hard now and I’m aiming for the postseason and especially the open.”
Ciebielski won the Central Connecticut Conference South division championship in the 100 yard breaststroke and 200 yard individual medley last fall. She also finished 10th in Class L in the 100 yard butterfly.
“I enjoy swimming for the high school team,” Ciebielski said. “Even though we’re not winning, it’s a nice break from the Cheshire Sea Dogs, where I swim in the off-season. I get satisfaction from just competing individually, but I would like to see the team do well.”
Charles said that not only is his team decimated by injuries, it is also a very young squad.
“I have four seniors, three juniors and everyone else is either a freshman or a sophomore,” he said. “I will say I thought that Emmalynn Lecky did a nice job in the 100 yard backstroke today, as did Kim Chambers in the 200 and 500 yard freestyles.”
After Middletown went 1-3 in the opening relay to take a 10-4 lead, Bristol Central (1-8) dominated the rest of the way. Central slowly built its lead, then put the meet away with a 1-2-3 finish in the meet’s fifth event, the 100 yard freestyle, to take a 58-38 lead.
Middletown’s final dual meet is Friday against Plainville at home at 3:45 p.m. The divisional diving championships are Oct. 30 at Middletown High School and the CCC South championship meet is Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. at Maloney High in Meriden.