Girls swimming: Shelton carries state success into Open

Louise Kim’s first-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle race sparked the Shelton High girls swim team to a 10th place finish in the Class LL State Championship meet held at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven on Nov. 14.

The Gaelettes scored 205 points and were in the middle of the pack among 20 LL schools to score. Greenwich, with 745 points, took first.

“I was very happy with how we swam,” Shelton Coach Tom Jurzynski said. “Class LL is the toughest class in the state and finishing in the top 10 is no small feat. The girls performed very well.”

Kim’s 100 freestyle win in a time of 52.80 marked the third consecutive season a Shelton swimmer won the 100 freestyle at the Class LL meet. Simona Visinski was first in 2016 and 2017.

So what’s Shelton’s secret for success in the 100?

“I just try to play to our swimmer’s strengths,” Jurzynski said. “We’ve had a lot of swimmers with speed come through the program the last few seasons. In the past four seasons, despite personnel changing, we have always been strong in the speed events.”

Kim added a second-place finish in the 50 freestyle with a time of 24.11.

“I was more surprised that Louise won the 100, given that the 50 is her best event,” Jurzynski said. “In my four years of coaching Louise, the 100 free she swam [in the Class LL meet] was the best swim she’s ever put together. She took control of the race early by going out fast and built herself a nice cushion to come home first.”

The 200 freestyle relay of Emma Parkes, Kim, Anastasia Alcaraz-Sim and Alyssa Bretan finished third with a time of 1:40.50.

In the 400 freestyle relay, the Shelton quartet of Kim, Parkes, Kayla Bretan and Alyssa Bretan finished seventh in 3:42.26.

“The relays were in flux all season,” Jurzynski said.. “I really wasn't sure which way we would go until after the regular season was over. I knew we had a chance to finish third in the 200 freestyle relay, but at the same time wasn't expecting it. We have a great tradition of strong relays, and these girls continued it.”

Parkes placed 10th in the 100 freestyle with a time of 54.27.

“Alyssa Bretan swam the 500 freestyle as an alternate and was ten seconds faster than her time from trials,” Jurzynski said. “And as a senior I'm happy she got a chance to go out on a good note.”

Kim, Parkes and the freestyle relays qualified for the State Open meet at Yale University last Saturday afternoon.

Alcaraz-Sim, a junior, and Kayla Bretan, a freshman, qualified for their first State Open as a part of a relay.

“They are the first of the next wave of girls to make it that far and it’s great for them to get the experience of the Open meet,” Jurzynski said.

Kim finished fifth in the 50 freestyle to break her own school record with a time of 23.94.

She also finished fourth in the 100 freestyle with a time of 52.68.

Parkes placed 21st in the 100 freestyle with a time of 54.31.

The 200 freestyle relay of Parkes, Kim, Alcaraz-Sim, and Alyssa Bretan finished 10th with a time of 1:40.08.

The 400 freestyle relay of Kim, Parkes, Kayla Bretan, and Alyssa Bretan finished 14th in 3:42.02.

Shelton’s team finished 18th overall with 113 points. Greenwich was first.