Hard work pays off

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Woodland’s Morgan Reichard does the breaststroke during the 200 medley relay versus Holy Cross in Beacon Falls Sept. 16. –LUKE MARSHALL
Woodland’s Morgan Reichard does the breaststroke during the 200 medley relay versus Holy Cross in Beacon Falls Sept. 16. –LUKE MARSHALL

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland girls swim and diving team is off to a fast start.
A combination of leadership, perseverance and some up-and-comers has led to wins over Wilby, East Haven, Holy Cross and Torrington.

“The chemistry on the team has been excellent,” Woodland head coach Mike Magas said. “We have a great group of captains — Emma Sardinskas, Sara Fowler, Kiley Soulier and Katie Drewry. They have worked hard in practice and all of the other girls have followed their lead and understanding that by working as hard as them in practice good things will happen.”

In the most recent victory, an 88-82 win over Torrington last Friday, Chole Ariola (50 free), Sarah Bryden (100 free) and Tatiana Lynn (500 free) all had individual event first-place finishes.

Woodland also scored a victory in the 200 free relay. Ariola, Brooke Pope, Lisa Thrasher and Lynn finished in a time of 2:00.43 — almost 4 seconds ahead of a team from Torrington.

In addition to first-place winners, many other Hawks have earned key points for Woodland. Magas noted Taylor Amore, Morgan Reichard, Erin Mascoli, Veronica Dergachev, Kyla Drewry and Carly Erickson.

“We have had a few girls that have been stepping up and performing well so far,” Magas said.

Magas also gave credit to the improvements made by the divers — Fowler, Lauren Lombardo and Lexie Byczko.

Woodland’s Lauren Lombardo executes a dive Sept. 16 during a meet versus Holy Cross in Beacon Falls. –LUKE MARSHALL
Woodland’s Lauren Lombardo executes a dive Sept. 16 during a meet versus Holy Cross in Beacon Falls. –LUKE MARSHALL

“After struggling through some early season injuries the divers are working hard to get into mid-season form,” Magas said. “The divers have been a strength so far and they have been starting to really come on.”

The early season success shows that the hard work in the pool has paid off so far. The development of the team in the first few meets has Woodland a team to watch in the NVL.

“At this point in the season I feel pretty good about where the team is,” Magas said. “We are a team that doesn’t really have any type of rec or YMCA team feeding the program so to see some of the times and dives we’ve been posting to date can be attributed to their hard work. Some of our goals are to work hard and get better every day and have fun along the journey and we seem to be right on track.”

The Hawks (4-1) suffered their first loss Tuesday to Oxford. Next up, the Hawks will face Watertown Friday at 4 p.m.