New Britain Herald Athletes of the Week are Southington's Olivia Fournier and Berlin's Alex Halkias

Published on Monday, 25 September 2017 22:58
Written by SHELBY IAVA


NEW BRITAIN - There’s always players on a team that go the extra length, whether it be during a game or practice, to help the team succeed.

Southington senior swimmer Olivia Fournier and Berlin running back Alex Halkias are those athletes.

The Southington girls swimming and diving team improved their record 2-0 last Wednesday afternoon in its meet against E.O. Smith. And in the Blue Knights 88-74 win, they swept every event with the help of Fournier.

The senior anchored for Southington in the first event to kick of the meet. The 200 medley relay team consisted of Maddie Symecko, Julie Duszak, Meghan Hammarlund and Fournier. They took first with a time of 1:57.20.

“Liv is senior and captain, with great aspiration of swimming in college,” Southington head coach Evan Tuttle said. “As good as she is, she’s very humble, works her tail off. Morally she’s a great kid. I don’t think there has ever been a point in time where she’s not doing the right thing. I’m looking forward to her senior season, but I’m certainly going to be sad to see her go at the end of it.”

Fournier wasn’t done there, winning all of her events including 50 freestyle (25.26), 100 freestyle (1:08.94) and was part of the 400 freestyle relay. Fournier also competed in the 100 backstroke for the first time in over a year and took first place with a time of 1:08.94.

“It was good, it went really good,” Fournier said. “I could have gone a lot faster but it’s OK, I was tired.”

Although Fournier is taking first place in her events, she’ll be the first to admit there is always room for improvement.

“I have to work on my sprint turns, I think I kind of lost them a little bit,” she said. “I need to definitely work on the arm speed going in and coming out, the underwater kicks; just getting them really fast and clean.”

For the rest of the season Fournier is focusing on state opens.

“I think right now I’m choosing more sprints, but I definitely want to beat my records (50 freestyle, 24.69 100 freestyle, 53.56 200 freestyle, 1:59.57), finish really well in states because it’s my last year.”

During the Redcoats game Friday night against Northwest Catholic, head football coach Joe Aresimowicz decided to put the ball in the hands of Halkias with big results.

The junior tailback rushed for 125 yards and three touchdowns on just nine carries as Berlin shut out the Lions 24-0 to move to a perfect 3-0 early in the season. Halkias also caught a pass for 47 yards.

“We put the ball in Alex’s hands and good things happen,” Aresimowicz said. “He hits that edge, he’s hard to stop.”

Good things certainly did happen as Halkias came close to setting a personal best for the most touchdowns he’s scored in a game.

“When I was 8 years old I scored 4 once, in a game against Durham, but I was 8,” he said.

Aresimowicz said Halkias is a hard worker is and talented and with the game he had against Northwest Catholic told the team’s offensive coordinator to “leave it up to the kids, let them decided.”

Halkias told the Redcoats that he wanted the ball, so they gave it to him. The result - 17-yard touchdown run with 4:13 left in the game.

“That’s the type of leader ship you want from the team,” Aresimowicz said.

Berlin has some tough competition coming up within the next few weeks.

This upcoming week both Fournier and Halkias have challenges to face. Southington will swim Plainville on Friday, while Berlin will take on RHAM Saturday.

Shelby Iava can be reached at (860)-801-5096 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, Athletes of the Week, Berlin, General Sports, Southington on Monday, 25 September 2017 22:58. Updated: Monday, 25 September 2017 23:01.