In the past four seasons, Shelton High\u2019s boys swimming and diving program has seen significant improvement. The improvements have come in the win-loss department, first-time triumphs over tough competition, school records set, conference championships and, this year \u2014 with all of that success under its belt \u2014 a bump up in conference divisions (two levels, no less, from Division III to I). A big reason for all of these accomplishments has been the leadership of coach Tom Jurzynski, who is approaching the finish line of his fourth campaign with the squad, as well as the efforts of his five seniors. \u201cI ask a lot. They\u2019re getting used to swimming hard in practice,\u201d Jurzynski said. Jurzynski, along with captains Hunter Wronski and Juan Carlo Rojo, and fellow seniors Brian Callinan, Sebastian Musante and Jack Piscitelli, all joined Shelton\u2019s swim program at the same time and have worked to develop the Gaels into a force in the Southern Connecticut Conference. \u201cWe\u2019ve all grown so much. We\u2019ve been improving every year,\u201d said Musante, who swims the 500 and 100 yard freestyle events and is part of the 200 free relay. \u201cCoach Tom has just been amazing. He\u2019s helped us so much... \u201cWe\u2019re like a family. Coming to practice here is fun \u2013 we look forward to it.\u201d The Gaels had a record of 5-9 in Jurzynski\u2019s first season and turned that around in a hurry, posting an 11-3 mark the following winter. Shelton again posted an 11-3 record the next campaign. Back-to-back SCC Division III titles in those 11-win seasons earned the Gaels not only trophies, but a move up to the SCC\u2019s top division for this campaign. \u201cWe\u2019ve just been trying to get better every day and each year,\u201d Jurzynski said. In the past couple of seasons, the Gaels have beaten Branford and Xavier of Middletown for the first time in the program\u2019s history. \u201cFrom where we started to where we are now it\u2019s been a good run,\u201d said Callinan, who competes in the 50 and 100 freestyle events. The run has included another winning season this winter. \u201cWe have a lot of fun really,\u201d said Rojo, who swims primarily the 100 backstroke and 200 IM. Shelton carried an 8-4 overall mark into a Feb. 17 meet against Oxford. \u201cThe team\u2019s grown a lot,\u201d adds Piscitelli, who races in the 50 yard and 100 yard freestyle events. Jurzynski said, following Shelton\u2019s 93-77 win over visiting Seymour on Feb. 3, that he was thrilled with the performances of his team members. \u201cToday was a big step forward for us. That\u2019s the fastest I\u2019ve ever seen us in a dual meet here in my four years,\u201d the coach said. \u201cThey were fired up and ready to go.\u201d The 200 medley relay team of Marc Maleri, Wronski, Jack Marciano and Reid Chavez clocked in at 1:44.08, narrowly missing the school record time of 1:44.02. Wronski also put in stellar swims in the 200 freestyle (1:50.52) and 100 breaststroke (1:02.20) events. Chavez finished the 200 individual medley in 2:03.22, just off the school record, and was also solid in the 100 free. The Gaels are looking to finish among the top 10 in the Class L State Championships \u2014 they were eighth two years ago and 10th last year \u2014 and be among the top 20 in the State Open. \u201cIt\u2019s going to be tough competition at the state level,\u201d Jurzynski said. \u201cIf we swim like we did today (Feb. 3) we\u2019ll be in good shape.\u201d Challenging for an SCC DI title may not be so easy but the Gaels certainly are rising to the level of competition and not backing down. \u201cWe\u2019re hanging around with these guys,\u201d Jurzynski said. Said Piscitelli: \u201cIt\u2019s obviously tough competition but we\u2019re still holding our own.\u201d This chapter of Shelton swim success is nearing a close. The seniors have one home meet left, Friday, Feb. 17, when Oxford visits at 4 for Senior Night. \u201cI\u2019m going to miss them. They\u2019ve meant a lot to the program. They\u2019re the ones who helped get this program turned around in the right direction,\u201d Jurzynski said. Wronski, who is headed to Roger Williams to continue his swimming career, holds Shelton\u2019s 100 breaststroke and 100 free records, and is part of the school\u2019s top 400 free relay and 200 medley relay. What Wronski will miss most is the friendships that are established, including those outside of the team, with opposing coaches and swimmers. \u201cIt\u2019s a close community,\u201d Wronski said. Shelton High\u2019s boys swimming team has had a successful run thanks in large part to coach Tom Jurzynski and his five seniors. Pictured are (l-r) captain Juan Carlo Rojo, captain Hunter Wronski, Jurzynski, Sebastian Musante, Brian Callinan and Jack Piscitelli.