Pisces swimmers finish strong, overcome pool hardship

Tammy Lombardo and Alexis Abellard led Trumbull Pisces at Age Group Championship and Eastern Age Group Zone swims, respectively.

Tammy Lombardo and Alexis Abellard led Trumbull Pisces at Age Group Championship and Eastern Age Group Zone swims, respectively.

Trumbull Pisces / Contributed photo

Since the pool at Hillcrest Middle School closed last spring, the Pisces were forced to overcome obstacles like traveling to pools in Milford and Orange late in the evening as well as a reduction of practice time. Even without a home pool, the Pisces persevered throughout the recent short course season. Over the last two weekends, the team event saw two swimmers excel in the region's championship meets.

At the 10 and under meet, Tammy Lombardo finished 18th overall in the 50-backstroke at the Age Group Championships, the final state championship meet of the season with all of Connecticut’s fastest swimmers together at one meet. To qualify, swimmers need to achieve time standards set by the Connecticut Swimming and USA Swimming Associations.

Alexis Abellard, age 13, competed at the USA Eastern Age Group Zone Championships in Webster (NY) and placed sixth overall in the 50 Freestyle with a time of 24.44. The Eastern Zone Championships is the stage after Age Groups and requires swimmers to achieve the challenging time standards then compete against swimmers from states all along the east coast from Maine to Virginia.

Coach Bill Strickland said, “This season was a struggle for the Pisces with our home pool of Hillcrest being shut down. We played hopscotch with different pools and times and it was extremely difficult.

“These challenges stretched our swimmers, parents and coaches fairly thin. but the Pisces Pride has kept the team moving in the right direction, and we were very proud to have Tammy and Alexis represent us at this season's championship meets.

“While our pool situation has an impact on our success in our short course season, we are excited to get back to work now that we have a constant practice site outside of Trumbull. I couldn’t be prouder of our Pisces swimmers - their drive, dedication, and flexibility is beyond impressive."

Pisces president Tom Racicot said, "The resilience and dedication that we have seen this season from our swimmers is inspiring. I am so proud of Tammy, Alexis, and Coach Bill for their accomplishments. Pisces pride is still strong in Trumbull.”