Shelton swimmers come oh so close to victory

Shelton High’s girls swim team put forth a strong effort but lost – the difference being mere hundredths of a second – 86-84 to Hand of Madison at the Shelton Community Center on Monday.

It may be hard to pinpoint one race, especially the first in a 12-event team competition in which there were many close calls, as being the difference.

But that arguably was the case as Hand narrowly edged out Shelton in one of the closest finishes of the day to win the meet-opening 200 yard medley relay race, clocking in at 1:59.71 to Shelton’s 1:59.78, earning four more crucial points than the Gaelettes.

“We win that, we win the meet. Everything else went according to plan,” Shelton coach Tom Jurzynski said. “I knew our best chance was to win all three relays.”

The Gaelettes took first in the 200 and 400 yard free relay races and came oh so close to winning all three.

Heading into the 400 free relay, the last event of the day, the Gaelettes trailed 82-74 and needed both first and second place results to win the meet, but Hand got runner up to close the door.

“We swam great today. We just didn’t have enough,” Jurzynski said. “It was a good meet. A nice competitive meet. Obviously you want to win but we swam well today.”

In the 200 medley relay race, Shelton’s team of Simona Visinski, Olivia D’Addio, Emma Parkes and Louise Kim were edged out by Hand’s quartet but they were not the only Gaelettes to put forth a solid swim only to settle for runner-up.

In the second event of the meet, the 200 yard freestyle, Alyssa Bretan clocked in 2:05.03 not far behind Hand’s Ruby Redlich’s 2:03.37.

Of course, the Gaelettes recorded some close victories of their own, highlighted by each of the relay wins.

The 200 free relay team of Kim, Marcella Hundt, Caitlin McGuire and Breton finished 14 hundredths of a second faster than Hand’s squad, in a winning time of 1:47.75.

The 400 relay of McGuire, Hundt, Bretan and Viskinski was first in 3:54.01, five hundredths of second faster than Hand’s runner-up time.

In the 200 yard individual medley, Parkes finished in 2:23.20, less than three seconds better than Hand’s second-place time.

Not much time separated all four point-getters in the 50 free.

Hand claimed the top two spots in 26.83 and 27.50 and McGuire was third in 27.70, three hundredths of a second faster than Hand’s fourth-place finisher.

Visinski won the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:02.79. Hand was next in 1:03.08.

Shelton had the top two times in the 100 free as Parkes and Kim clocked in at 55.25 and 55.56.

In the 500 free, Bretan was first as she beat out Redlich 5:34.72 to 5:36.03.

Viskinski was runner-up in the 100 backstroke in 1:04.01.

D’Addio placed second in the 100 breaststroke in 1:19.85.

“I could tell a lot of the girls were upset when they lost,” said McGuire, a captain, adding that the Gaelettes can use this hard-fought defeat as motivation going forward.

“It’s definitely exciting. I’m sure it was exciting to watch but it was nerve-racking to be a part of,” added Hundt, also a captain.

Shelton will visit Amity tonight at 7:20 at the Orange Community Center Pool.