Girls swim: Shelton pushed by North Haven, gearing up for postseason

Shelton High’s girls swim team is preparing for the postseason, beginning with the Southern Connecticut Conference championships at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven on Nov. 1.

The Gaelettes continued to strive to do their best and, at the same time, were pushed by North Haven, at the Shelton Community Center pool, on Friday afternoon.

Shelton lost 97-71 to North Haven, despite some individual standout performances.

Louise Kim, who was beaten by North Haven’s Madeline Bergin by the slimmest of margins — just one hundredth of a second — in the 100-yard freestyle race of last year’s SCC championship, won in their most recent matchup.

Kim made her final touch in 54.18 seconds, and Bergin finished in 55.32.

“She really pushed me to get that time. I probably wouldn’t have gotten it without her,” said Kim, adding that the two have become friends through their competitive nature in the pool.

North Haven gave the Gaelettes a bit of a taste of what is to come in this year’s championship season.

“I definitely think we thrive under pressure and we use some of the best teams in our league, such as Cheshire and Lauralton Hall to push us. We’re definitely going to have a great showing in postseason,” Shelton captain Alyssa Bretan said.

Since an Oct. 5 visit to Cheshire, the Gaelettes have been progressing nicely, Shelton coach Tom Jurzynski said.

“We’ve been on the right track since then,” the coach said.

Kim also nipped Bergin in the 50 as the top finishers clocked in at 24.63 and 24.89.

North Haven won the 200 medley relay by five seconds. Shelton’s runner-up time, turned in by Bretan, Olivia D’Addio, Emma Parkes and Kim, was 2:02.63.

Parkes won the 200 freestyle race in a time of 2:01.53; Bretan was second in 2:07.39.

North Haven took the top three spots in the 200 individual medley race.

Greta Parkes was third in the 100 butterfly in 1:12.87.

Emma Parkes placed third in the 100 free behind Kim and Bergin, finishing in 56.75.

Bretan took the top spot in the 500, clocking in with a time of 5:37.74.

Shelton’s 200 free relay of Anastasia Alcaraz-Sim, D’Addio, Kayla Bretan and Tania Montano was second in 1:52.37.

North Haven claimed the top three spots in the 100 backstroke race.

D’Addio was second in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:18.29.

The best 400 free relay time came from Emma Parkes, Alyssa Bretan, Alcaraz-Sim and Kim in 3:52.18.

While the Gaelettes have been dropping times throughout the season, Shelton did not swim its best meet against North Haven, Jurzynski said, but that was pretty much to be expected under the circumstances.

“Today, they’re kind of beat up and tired,” Jurzynski explained.

The coach has been pleased with his team’s collective attitude throughout the season.

“They’ve been great. It’s a really easy group to coach. They work really hard,” Jurzynski said.

Shelton ended a stretch of five consecutive meets without a win with a 90-80 victory over Foran of Milford on Oct. 16, before falling to 5-6 overall in the setback to North Haven.

“Our league’s tough. We don’t have an easy schedule by any means,” Jurzynski points out.

The Gaelettes hope their hard work, and tough schedule, pay dividends as they strive to swim their fastest in the SCC championships.

“We always look forward to SCCs. It’s a big meet on our calendar. We look forward to it every year,” Jurzynski said.