Law swim reaps reward
Perseverance and dedication are the tools needed to overcome adversity.
The Jonathan Law girls swim team has all the tools in the shed and has battled to win back-to-back meets for the first time in 12 years.
Head coach Melanie Paolini has stayed the course even through the lean years when Law had small numbers and was just outmatched by the competition.
Over that time, the Eagles never gave up and kept working hard and are reaping the benefits this season.
“We have a large group of girls this year,” Paolini said “And the upperclassmen are setting great examples and making it so much fun for the newcomers.”
Law is led by senior captains Sam Kingkittisack and Amanda Smith, along with seniors Sam Murphy and Sally Ng.
The Eagles entered the win column Thursday with a convincing 90-77 win over the Stratford Red Devils.
Ng has proved to be the team’s unsung hero, according to Paolini, and lived up to that billing by racking up two victories in the 200 freestyle at 2:23.60 and the 500 freestyle with an effort of 6:21.12.
Law came right out and put Stratford on notice by racing to victory in the 200 medley relay with Angelica Jamie Loma, Elizabeth Gregorio, Amanda Smith and Sam Murphy posting a winning time of 2:16.22.
“We have some very versatile swimmers,” Paolini said. “Along with Loma, Smith, Murphy and Ng we have Taylor Keramis and Phoebe Herbert swimming multiple events.”
After Ng won the 200 freestyle, Law picked it up a notch and began to pull away with the lead.
Loma swam to a first-place finish in the 200 IM at 2:29.18 and the diving team of Kelsey Kopazna, Justine Bannon and Molly Wasson kept the pressure on with Kopazna taking first with a score of 146.55.
Gregorio bested the field in the 100 butterfly with a swim of 1:20.36.
Law closed out the first victory of the season with the 200 freestyle relay team of Hazel Kaylioglu, Danica Wens, Murphy and Ng putting up a winning time of 2:07.84.
On Friday, Law traveled to Waterbury to take on the Kennedy Eagles from the Naugatuck Valley League.
Law broke the century mark posting a 102-81 win for its second victory in a row.
“The girls are swimming great,” Paolini said. “They are working hard. We have 14 new girls on the roster and that represents 50 percent of the team.”
Law got out in a hurry taking the 200 medley relay with Loma, Gregorio, Smith and Murphy posting a 2:16.43 effort.
Loma and Ng were double winners to pace the Eagles, with Loma taking first in the 200 IM and the 100 backstroke.
Ng continued her winning ways taking first in both the 200 and 500 freestyle events.
Gregorio raced to a first-place finish in the 100 butterfly with Elizabeth Fowler winning the 100 breaststroke.
What is putting Law in the position to rack up the victories is depth that the team has struggled with in the past.
This season, juniors Lydia Dupree, Rebecca Golden, Isamar Mejia and Brittany Scott team up with sophomores Aubrey Bepko, Melissa Hanania, Mathlida Hill and Elizabeth Jenkins, along with Taylor McNary, Nicole Thibodeau and Kailee Tierney, to provide the added team depth.
Freshman Camila Arojo, Megan Casey, Alyssa Paladino and Jessica Schrieber round out the rest of the roster, as Law sets its sights on adding to the win total.