Swimming, diving: Getting better all the time

By BRIAN JENNINGS

STAFF WRITER

Head Coach—Chris Zagorski.

Seasons Completed as Head Coach—4.

Assistant Coaches—Jenna Donaghy (2nd year).

2016 Regular Season Record—2-9 overall (1-6 home, 1-3 away).

CCC South Region Record—1-6.

CCC South Blue Division Record—1-3.

2016 CCC South Blue Championship—

2016 Class S Championship—15th/28.

Class S Champion—Weston.

Class S Runner-Up—East Catholic.

2016 State Open—Did not qualify.

State Open Champion—Greenwich.

State Open Runner-Up—Ridgefield.

Graduated (3 seniors)—Angelina Calderoni, Caitlin Erb, Audrey Gediman.

Key Losses:

Caitlin Erb—multiple-year state qualifier, team’s top breaststroker.

Audrey Gediman—multiple-year state qualifier, team’s top distance freestyler.

2017 Team Captains—TBA.

Other Key Returners:

Bella Bantz—senior; 100 breaststroke/distance; state qualifier in 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay.

Lydia Weinberg—junior; freestyle/100 fly; state finalist in 50 freestyle and 100 fly.

Phoebe Gediman—sophomore; freestyle/distance; state finalist in 500 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay, and 400 freestyle relay.

New Key Additions:

Bella Samperi—freshman; 100 fly/freestyle.

Olivia Unwin—freshman.

The Observer asked Zagorski the following questions about the upcoming season:

Observer—What were your overall thoughts about last year? What did the team/program accomplish or gain?

Zagorski—Last year, the girls worked very hard to continue making strides at the Class S meet. While most of the girls were able to come away with best times, we struggled, at times, to stay as focused on the goal as we could have. I believe that the group this year will do a better job of carrying through the end of the season at full speed.

Observer—What can be taken from last season into this season?

Zagorski—Looking at how we competed in dual meets, I believe we pushed some teams more than they expected us to. I believe that can continue into this season.

Observer—What are the keys to having a successful team/program for the upcoming season?

Zagorski—Teams are successful when they are able to come together and help each other achieve their potential in practice. It is up to this year’s group to decide if they are willing to push, not only themselves, but the other girls on the team as well.

Observer—What are the team’s strengths?

Zagorski—We have a solid breadth of swimming ability in all four strokes. Every swimmer has a background in the sport to some extent. This has allowed us to hit the ground running and immediately focus on improving technique, as opposed to teaching from scratch.

Observer—What stands out or is different, interesting, and unique about this team?

Zagorski—This group has quite the bit of personality at the top, with talent to match. I expect a good season from these girls.

Observer—What does the team have to work on or improve most to be prepared for the upcoming season?

Zagorski—We always need to work on our ability to compete from the start of the race to the finish. Endurance work will be a necessary part of each practice this season to prepare them for the conference and state meets.

Observer—Why should people follow the team?

Zagorski—This team will be a great representation of Plainville’s ability to work and compete against much larger teams. We have started to get a reputation for swimming up to our competition, and that will continue this year.

Observer—If you had to headline the upcoming season, what would it be?

Zagorski—Getting better every day.

To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at bjennings@southingtonobserver.com.