Wethersfield High School’s girls’ swimming and diving won a 14th straight conference title this fall and ended the season in style, winning two relays at the state tournament.
Head coach Lee Schwartzman had a young team this fall, yet the Eagles maintained their conference domination and placed 3rd overall at the Class M championships in mid-November.
Schwartzman, who also coaches the boys and just wrapped up his 16th year coaching the girls’ program, called the last quarter of the class championship, “The most exciting 45 minutes in my entire swimming career.”
Over the final four events, the Eagles won both the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays.
In the 200-freestyle relay, the foursome of Milena Brodowicz, Jilian Pitchell, Oliva Krout, and Sabrina Schuster easily defeated field, besting the runner-up relay team from Pomperaug by nearly four seconds.
The 400-freestyle relay was a different story, as senior Anabella Cartiera joined Brodowicz, Krout, and Schuster to pull off a feat that even surprised Schwartzman, who was hoping for a top-two finish.
Prior to the finale, Schwartzman said he told an opposing coach, “It was nice to win one, but I’m selfish, I’d really like to win this one.”
Schwartzman’s 400 freestyle relay delivered, as Schuster passed three teams on the final leg to give the team a slight edge over the relay teams from Pomperaug and Guilford, who finished second and third, respectively.
Schwartzman described the 400 free relay win as “a walk-off homer.”
It ended a championship-worthy meet for the Eagles, who also had great individual performance from Schuster, a junior who placed 2nd in the 50 freestyle and 3rd in the 100 freestyle, and Brodowicz, a freshman who placed 2nd in the 100 breaststroke.
Schwartzman said Schuster is “consistent and really hard working.”
“If you talk to her outside the pool, she is always laughing and dancing, but she definitely has that drive once the races starts,” added Schwartzman.
The performance by Brodowicz was the cherry on top of a fantastic first season at WHS for the budding superstar. Earlier in the season she teamed with Sophia Klementon, Isabella Korzinski, Madison Tracy to break the program’s freshman record in the 400-freestyle relay.
Schwartzman, who also coaches youth swimming in Wethersfield, said he knew Brodowicz had the talent coming into the high school, but was surprised at how versatile was in the pool.
“I didn’t expect how good of a sprinter she would become. She is good at everything, but I didn’t expect she would get so fast at the 50 and 100 free,” added Schwartzman.
Captaining the team this year were Krout, Cartiera, and diver Charlotte Dingle.
Schwartzman said that his captains helped lead by example and he was happy that both Krout and Cartiera were both able to be part of the champion 400 free relay team.
“We wish more people would come to the swim meets, so I told [the relay team] to try and do something that would make people wish they were here,” stated Schwartzman. “We would love to win the meet but winning the last event in that fashion and walking off the deck with a win, I’ll take it.”
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin