Swimmers keep fighting to stay above .500

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Spencer Michalek qualified for the state meet in the 200 IM as a freshman during the Blue Devils, 84-69 win over Bulkeley-HMTCA co-op Friday, Feb. 7.

The Plainville boys swim team is making strides towards a team goal that remains in reach. The Blue Devils went 6-6 last year, and they came into this season with a goal of finishing above .500. After starting the season with a pair of losses to CCC powerhouses Farmington and Southington, the devils have won four of their last five meets.

“We started the season off with two very tough opponents,” said Plainville head coach Chris Zagorski. “That is by design to have the kids see where they are and where they need to be.”

Zagorski and assistant coach Pete Dalena have the Devils well within reach of the team goal with five meets to go in the regular season. Plainville takes on Platt-Maloney co-op on Tuesday Feb 11 and finish the week at Hartford Public on Friday Feb 14.

“We have good strong leadership among our seniors and a solid group of up and coming swimmers,” added Zagorski. “The team as a whole is pretty much where I thought they would be at this point in the season. I feel we can, in fact finish above .500 with the potential we have on this team.”

Seniors Wyatt LaCombe and Zachary McGough in the 200 freestyle, Christopher St. Lawrence and Tyler Mandeville in the relays, diver Zachary Dery and Dominic Sousa in the 100 freestyle along with Jacob Molloy and Jared Serrano-Aviles are setting the example and leading the way for the Devils.

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Plainville saw a three meet win streak snapped on Feb. 5 against CCC Southern Region Patriot Division foe Middletown in a tough, 98-85 loss. Brandon Paznokas swam to victory in the 100 backstroke (1:03.8) and Matt Lagassey took first in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.61), the only first place finishes for the Devils.

Nate Lyman scored two second place finishes in the 200 freestyle (2:00.13) and 500 freestyle (5:27.36),and Joe Michalic matched that effort in the 50 freestyle (24.98) and 100 fly (1:00.94) to keep Plainville within striking distance. The 200 medley relay squad of Lagassey, Paznokas, Michalic and Colin Blake took second in 1:52.19.

On Friday, Feb. 7, Plainville got out to fast start against Bulkeley-HMTCA co-op and cruised to an 84-69 victory, improving to 4-3 on the season. The 200 medley relay team of Brady Stevens, Lagassey, Sousa and St. Lawrence got things started with a first place time of 1:55.84.

The 200 medley foursome of Matt Morneault, Nico Fasold, Darrell Gorneault and Dan Sozanski swam to a third place showing to give Plainville a 10-4 lead.

Paznokas (2:02.49) and LaCombe (2:19.13) scored a 1-2 finish in the 200 freestyle, while Michalic (2:18.3) and Spencer Michalek (2:20.48) finished 1-2 in the 200 IM. That set up the Devils with a commanding, 35-10 advantage.

Bulkeley-HMTCA co-op did manage to put up a fight, swimming to first place in three of the next four events, but they didn’t have the kind of depth to make a significant difference. Especially when Plainville was taking second, third and fourth place to outscore the visitors by 9-7 scores to build a 72-33 lead.

Paznokas (25.79) and Lagassey (26.92) swam second and third in the 50 freestyle with Justin Niziolek taking fourth. Christian Ellis took first in diving with a score of 154.95 and Zach Dery was second at 136.05.

Sozanski was second in the 100 fly (1:08.43), Fasold was third (1:09.87) and Michalek was fourth. In the 100 freestyle Lyman was second (54.25), Sousa was third (56.87) and Stevens fourth (58.89).

The Devils secured the meet in the win column by taking first and second in the 500 freestyle with Michalic (5:40.68) and Lagassey (5:48.94) pushing the lead out to 84-37 before Plainville swam the rest of the meet in exhibition.

“I’ve never been one to focus too much on the won loss record,” said Zagorski. “It’s more about improving each day and to do your best at the conference and state meet. I’m excited about what we can accomplish the rest of the season.”

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