MVP Fortin leads Lady Trojans to 2nd at SWCs
Everything looks good for the Weston girls swimming team.
Weston, who hopes to win the Class S title, finished second at the SWC championships on Saturday with 346.5 points at Masuk. Weston raised its record to 7-3 and defeated two teams that beat the Lady Trojans in the dual meet season, New Fairfield and Newtown.
"We had a lot of kids in a lot of events and we went in with a lot of heart and determination and did very well," said Weston coach Tom Grace. "I had it in the back of my head that we'd do very well, starting with [senior captain] Christina [Brasco] winning diving on the fourth."
"I had a couple of rough dives and I had to recover from them," said Brasco. "I tried to stay with it the whole time."
Senior captain Shelby Fortin repeated as the most valuable swimmer.
"It was really exciting and nice to repeat it," said Fortin. "It was cool to get it senior year and leave with a bang."
Fortin won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:57.48. Senior captain Danielle Fontaine took 14th (2:14.17) in the 200-free.
"Over the whole race, I didn't feel I was going to win it [because I didn't swim my best] but I thought I would win it because I had the best seed time," said Fortin. "I didn't expect a personal best but I tried to stay smooth and strong."
In her next individual event, Fortin set an SWC-meet record in winning the 100-yard freestyle (53:02).
"Because my 200 wasn't that great, I channeled my anger and in the 100-free," said Fortin.
"I was very happy," said Fontaine. "I worked hard this season and it showed how far I came since freshman year."
Fortin anchored the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:45.33) to second place and the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:49.76) to third place. Junior Karen Bottger, Fontaine and freshman Alex Edgar preceded Fortin in the 200-free relay and Bottger, Fontaine and junior Victoria Arel preceded Fortin in the 400-free relay.
Bottger (5:23.38) and Arel (5:23.67) took second and third, respectively, in the 500-yard freestyle. Freshman Olivia Clark (5:51.49) was 11th in the 500-free.
"I didn't know I'd swim it until the last minute and I talked to my coaches, [Lady Trojan assistant coach] Jessica Guttenberg and Tom Grace about pacing myself," said Bottger. "We work on practicing sets on how to pace for the 500 and it came together. I've been working on breathing, my strokes and flip turns."
"I made sure I streamlined off all my walls," said Arel.
Clark placed third in 100-yard breaststroke (1:14.19) and Arel grabbed fourth in the 200-yard individual medley (2:22.07). Sophomore Katie Angelides was 14th in 200-IM (2:32.60).
"I've been working on my weakest strokes, which is the breast and butterfly, a lot, and I worked on my transition," said Arel.
Angelides, Clark, Arel and Edgar carried the 200-yard medley relay team (2:01.43) to fifth place. Edgar took seventh and sophomore Katie Ledwick (28.39) was tied for 17th in the 50-yard freestyle. Ledwick led the team in the 100-yard butterfly (1:09.16) by placing 11th. Sophomores Carly Rosen (1:13.36) and Charlotte Berger (1:13.80) were 15th and 18th in the 100-fly. Bottger led the Lady Trojans in the 100-yard backstroke (1:05.40) by taking seventh. Edgar (1:07.59), Sykes (1:7.63) and Angelides (1:08.77) were 12th, 13th and 15th, respectively, in the 100-back.
Moreover, this is Weston's best finish at SWCs this decade, possibly ever. In fact, the Lady Trojans finished fifth at SWCs in 2006, the year they won the Class S title.
"Since we didn't expect to do this well because we didn't taper is exciting," said Fortin. "We did so well because we weren't focused on placing. We swam to swim, not to win. I think this gives the girls confidence because we did so well against the big teams."
Fontaine said, "I'm really excited and it shows how far we came as a team and how much we improved since the last meet."
Brasco said, "It's fantastic and a testament to how hard the team has worked all year. Hopefully, more good things will come in Class S."
Weston will swim at Class S trials on Saturday and at the Class S championships next Tuesday.
"I have no idea what [defending Class S champion] East Catholic will come back with," said Grace. "The way we swam, handled and comported ourselves is a good sign."
Brasco said, "I hope everyone continues to do as well as we've been doing. Our accomplishments our because of what each individual member of the team has done."