Trumbull Eagles swim with the best

Trumbull High’s girls swimming and diving team has a large roster and hopes to turn its depth into a successful campaign.The Eagles lost to Westhill/Stamford, 103-83, in a home meet at Hillcrest Middle School on Friday and fell to 0-3. The early-season struggles can be chalked up – in part – to the high level of competition Trumbull has faced. The first two meets were against defending state class champions Darien and Greenwich.

“We started off against two of the toughest teams in the state,” coach Bill Strickland said. Hidden in the team results are individual efforts, and there’s been progress in the early going. “Our times are dropping,” he said.

Strickland has been pleased with how his squad has come together and performed well despite not having access to its home pool for tryouts and preseason practice; the team trained at the outdoor pool at Tashua Knolls Golf Course.

“The girls have done a great job persevering,” he notes. “As a team, we’re really starting to gel.”

Strickland notes that last year’s team had 15 state championship meet qualifiers, and he’s hoping the Eagles send more into the postseason this time around. Trumbull is also seeking a top-five FCIAC finish.

“We have a long way to go if we’re going to get there,” Strickland said. “We just have to put our heads down and work for it.”

The roster has a whopping 43 team members, and Strickland says the squad is working out who will swim in which spots, and when, as the season unfolds. “It’s a luxury,” Strickland said. “The advantage is you have the depth in a meet, but the disadvantage is limited pool space for training.

The Eagles have adapted well to sharing pool time with each other, and have a good attitude.

“We’ve really been coming together as a team. We’ve been doing a lot of team bonding activities,” captain and middle-distance swimmer Sarah Dwyer said.

“Everyone’s had a great attitude so far,” captain and breaststroker Amanda Daigle added. “The team spirit’s through the roof.”

In the meet against Westhill/Stamford, the team’s home opener, the 200 yard medley relay group of Samantha Werner, Delaney Walsh, Skyler Marini, and Sophia Bragg placed second in a time of 2:42.68. Dwyer was runner-up in the 200 freestyle race, making her final touch in 2:05.27.

The 200 individual medley race yielded another second-place finish for the hosts, as Walsh finished in 2:21.67. Trumbull had the top swimmer in the 50 freestyle as Bragg led the way with a time of 25.95.

In the diving competition, Kristen Miolene placed second with a score of 139.90. Out of the diving break, the Eagles had yet another runner-up outcome as Marini finished the 100 butterfly race with a time of 1:08.34.

Dwyer provided another first-place finish by winning the 100 freestyle in 56.42. In the 500, Werner came in second in a time of 5:47.81.

In the 200 free relay race, Bragg, Karina Walsh, Nancie Ziegler, and Dwyer finished first in 1:47.15.

Werner placed second in the 100 backstroke race, with a time of 1:04.90. Delaney Walsh was second in the 100 breaststroke race in 1:14.46.

In the 400 free relay competition, Marini, Stephanie Chow, Katie Merkle, and Karina Walsh took the second spot in 4:02.39.

Other seniors and juniors who help lead the way, including Victoria Batchelor, Natalia Ignatov, Teresa Nguyen, Bridget Nusom, Emma Roca, Louisa Rossel, Halley Shambra and Madeline Weinstein.