HARTFORD - The CCC South Blue swim meet took place on Saturday afternoon as the final tuneup for teams before state competition. Many of the teams involved had swimmers in some unfamiliar positions, but most of the teams involved seemed to come out thinking it was a good day.
Berlin and Plainville were the area teams involved.
The Redcoats came away with a second place finish, while the Blue Devils finished fifth, but both teams are now ready for the states.
Berlin pumped for states
Berlin head coach Dan Thurston came away from Saturday’s CCC meet somewhat surprised. He knew his team was good, but he wasn’t sure it was as good as it swam in that meet.
“I’m still kind of in shock about some of the swims we had [on Saturday],” Thurston said.
It wasn’t even the team’s top swimmers that impressed the coach, as they are more focused on preparing for states than winning the conference meet. It was some of the younger swimmers who showed well and are in position to potentially qualify for states.
“I’m excited about these next couple of weeks,” Thurston said. “We expect our top swimmers’ times to go down significantly this upcoming week, but we had a couple of freshmen, who I think are going to get into states, that I think we are going to have a decent sized team at states.”
While the young kids impressed the head coach in the pool, Thurston still had good things to say about his upperclassmen at the meet.
“They’re resting for states, so they will be fine,” Thurston said. “I was really impressed with their leadership [at the CCC meet], though. They have done a great job of getting this team to jell.
“I looked down at the end of warmups and we had our team lining both sides of the lane, splashing water on each other and pumping the water up and down. It’s clear they get along and it’s great to see how they have formed a cohesive unit.”
That type of leadership has made the progression for this year’s group of Redcoats even faster than was anticipated.
“I’m surprised that we are where we are right now,” Thurston said. “I thought it would take a little bit longer to get to this point where we are swimming this well, but we are definitely ahead of the curve of where I thought we would be.”
Considering the fact that Thurston believes his team is ahead of where he thought it would be, he has high expectations entering states.
“I think it will be a lot of fun,” Thurston said. “We have a few guys that have a real good chance to make the State Open and I have a feeling we will see some school records go down, which is always a great thing, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Plainville has few swimmers, but they will be ready
The Plainville boys swimming team has been dealing with a few injuries this season, so it may not have reached its full potential at any point.
Because of that, the Blue Devils won’t be sending all that many swimmers to states, but there are a few that know they are going and they will be ready.
“We have four guys that have already qualified,” head coach Chris Zagorski said. “They’ve known that they are going to be in states for a little while now, so they are tapering for that meet, not [the CCC meet].”
Lorenzo Samperi, Taegen Brochu and Josh Donaghy are three of the Plainville swimmers that have qualified, and Brochu and Donaghy have qualified in multiple events.
Those three will be joined by diver Bryan Buckley, who qualified with his seventh place finish at the CCC diving meet earlier this week.
There is still a chance that those four could be joined by other swimmers when the auto-adds come out early this coming week, but for now those are the four that are going and Zagorski likes their chances.
“I’m expecting good things from our guys at states,” Zagorski said. “Donaghy is a guy that has some big potential. He finished in the top 10 last year and he is ahead of where he was last year, so we are looking at possibly medaling.
“Bryan is in his first year diving and he will have a chance to jump in our pool for the states, so we will see how he does there. It’s a huge opportunity.
“Lorenzo and Taegen, it’s Lorenzo’s senior year so he knows what he needs to do. He’s hoping to get his [100 butterfly] time down and come back for finals. Taegen is really committed and I know he’s shooting for coming back for finals too.”
Samperi is the lone Plainville senior to have qualified for states, and he is hoping to make the most of it as his swimming career comes to a close.
He isn’t entering with huge expectations, he just wants to continue to improve.
“I’m going to go in there and just try to lower my times,” Samperi said. “Right now I’m at a 1:03, but I definitely want to drop it down to at least a 1:01. That’s basically my goal is to just get that time down as low as I can.”
Michael Woolfson can be reached at or On Twitter: @Bigwoolf5