Girls Swimming preview: Churning the waters

By KEN MORSE

CORRESPONDENT

The opposing teams at last fall’s Class S swim championship barely gave notice to the girls from Plainville, until the Blue Devils finished 9th among the 26 team field. The Devils put up 180 points in their highest finish since a 10th place showing in 2007.

The Blue Devils are back looking to churn up the waters in the CCC after graduating just three seniors Morgan Rogers, Lydia Weinberg and Natalia Galarza from a 5-5 squad that finished as runner-up (3-1) in the Southern Division.

“That was our best finish in the states since I’ve been here,” said head coach Chris Zagorski entering his seventh season as the girls coach along with assistant coach Jenna Donaghy in her fifth season.

“We should be in pretty good shape with what we have coming back. Obviously Moran Rogers who is now with Fairfield University and Lydia Weinberg were our top end swimmers and that will be hard to replace but I like our chances.”

Plainville is deep with experience sporting a five member senior class of Kayla Foster, Elizabeth Susco, Jillian Arens, Phoebe Gediman and Alyssa Macomber.

Juniors Ashleigh Bantz, Claudia Pierscinski and Isabella Samperi along with Tessa Susco, Olivia Unwin and Caitlin Quilter form a solid upperclassman group that is looking to keep the Blue Devils competitive.

Sophomores Julia Smith and Emma Miller are intent on continuing their development. Freshman Natalie Basile, Olivia Sleszynski, Katie Lyman, Vanessa Antunno and Amber Klesitz will have the opportunity to add to the teams overall depth.

Plainville returns half of their 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams and their entire 400 freestyle relay foursome. Samperi and Miller were part of the Class S 9th place 200 medley relay squad.

Samperi and Gediman were part of the 11th place 200 freestyle relay team. Macomber, Gediman, Bantz and Miller teamed up last year to finish 14th in the 400 freestyle relay.

Quilter, Elizabeth Susco and Arens will head up the Blue Devils diving team but the road back to prominence will be a little steeper this season for Plainville.

“We had a lot of success in the post season and having that kind of experience coming back is a good thing,” added Zagorski. “My assistant coach Jenna did a great job with the middle school and the freshman coming in will help our depth.”

“Taking second in our division last year bumps us up this year and we will face some of the top teams in the CCC after they reshuffled the schedule. So we do have our work cut out for us especially early in the season.”

The Blue Devils open the season at home taking on neighboring rival Southington Friday, Sept. 20 and then host one of the top teams in the state Conard on Tuesday, Sept. 24.