Clark propels Lady Trojans into 5th at SWCs
Junior Olivia Clark gave the Weston girls swimming team a big lift at the SWC championships.
Clark won two events and helped Weston place fifth at SWC championships with 280 points in the 12-team competition at Masuk Monday.
"It was a lot of fun," Clark said. "Everyone was cheering for me and that was the biggest part [that led to my success]."
Although the Lady Trojans lost to third-place Brookfield (378), a team they beat in the regular season, they edged sixth-place New Fairfield (268), a team they lost to in the regular season. Pomperaug (424) won convincingly, Newtown (379) took second and Lauralton Hall (334) was fourth.
"The girls swam well," Weston coach Tom Grace said. "We didn't have a lot of best times. I told them I wanted to get good swims and be competitive. If we ended up in the top five, I'm good."
The Lady Trojans didn't taper for the meet and their focus is on Tuesday's Class S championships at Wesleyan University.
Getting back to SWCs, Clark's first win came in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:21.81.
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"We've been working very hard on strengthening our leg muscles and that was a big part of it," Clark said. "It's also exciting when everyone is cheering for you and that is a big part of it."
Sophomore Brenna Nimkoff (5:51.12) took 15th in the 500-free.
Clark's second win came in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:10.04), where she hung tough throughout.
"I just tried to go as hard as I could because I knew she [Pomperaug's Alaina Papiro, who finished second in 1:11.28] was a tough competitor," Clark said. "I wanted to try my hardest for my team."
Junior Lucy Watson (1:20.61) was 15th in the 100-breaststroke.
Clark swam the breaststroke for the fifth place 200-yard medley (1:59.6). Senior Katie Angelides preceded Clark by swimming the backstroke. Junior Alex Edgar followed Clark by performing in the butterfly and senior captain Catie Ledwick anchored the quartet by swimming the freestyle.
Sophomore Katie Johnson took fourth for Weston in the 50-yard freestyle (25.73) and 100-yard freestyle (56.10). Classmate Dacia Gross finished tied for 12th in the 50-free (27.01) and was 15th in the 100-free (1:01.17).
Angelides was seventh in the 100-yard butterfly (1:07.24) and eighth in the 100-yard backstroke (1:05.74). Nimkoff (1:08.14) and Ledwick (1:09.83) were ninth and 10th, respectively, in the 100-fly.
Both the 200-yard freestyle and 400-yard freestyle relay teams placed sixth. Gross, senior McCall Kelley, Ledwick and Johnson carried the 200-free relay (1:50.01), and Gross, Nimkoff, Edgar and Johnson powered the 400-free relay (4:01.42).
Weston is the defending Class S champions and its goal all year has been to repeat. The Lady Trojans hope to taper for that meet, and Lauralton Hall is expected to be their toughest competition.
"We'll see how we'll do in practice and we'll go from there," Grace said.
If Clark can win two events and lead two relay teams to victory, Weston's chances of repeating, improve.
"I think the relays will be a big part of our success," Clark said. "We always work hard and we deserve it. That will be awesome [if I can win it]. I want to try my hardest and go all out."