Season in Review: Nonnewaug Swimming Makes History


NHS Swim and Dive

The 2021-22 Nonnewaug swim and dive team had a successful season under new head coach, Abby Walsh.

Ben Stewart and Madelynn Orosz

WOODBURY — The Nonnewaug swim and dive team had a successful season under new head coach Abby Walsh. Walsh was All-State during her time swimming at Sacred Heart High School and even holds a school record there. Her knowledge was joined with that of assistant coaches Missy Orosz, former head coach of the Seymour High girls team, and Mike Cappiello, who also swam at a high level in high school. 

The Splash meet was a telltale sign for the postseason of the Chiefs in the water, as they finished third without the boys. They continued that success by finishing third at the Berkshire League championships and ninth at the Class S state finals. Those placings were the highest the program has finished at each of those meets.

Grace Walkup became the first girl in program history to place at state finals, and the girls medley relay became the first all-girls relay in program history to score at state finals. 

Berkshire League Championships

Olivia Bernardi, Amelia Pillis, Madelynn Orosz, and Julia Longoria finished second in the girls 200 medley relay. Walkup placed third in the girls 200 freestyle, while Aidan Barry placed second overall. Kyle Viveros placed second overall in the 200 IM. Bernardi finished third in the girls 50 free. Collin Bootsma finished second overall in the 100 butterfly. Longoria finished third in the girls 100 free. Barry finished second overall in the 500 free. Pillis, Orosz, Madi Stampp, and Walkup placed second in the girls 200 free relay. Bootsma won the 100 back. 

Viveros finished third overall in the 100 breaststroke. The girls 400 free relay of Madison Strubbe, Stampp, Bernardi, and Kaitlyn Boyce finished second for the girls. Chris Culkin, Viveros, Barry, and Bootsma took home first place in the 400 free relay overall.

Class S Championships

The medley relay of Juliana Bailey, Pillis, Orosz, and Stampp placed 17th. Barry finished 17th in the 200 free. Viveros finished 10th in the 200 IM. Bootsma finished fourth and Culkin finished 17th in the 50 free. Orosz finished 30th in the 100 fly. Bootsma finished fourhh and Chris Culkin finished 18th in the 100 free. Culkin, Bootsma, Barry, and Viveros finished fourth in the 200 free relay.  Barry finished 20th, Walkup finished 23rd, and Pillis finished 25th in the 500 free. Viveros finished 20th in the 100 breast. Viveros, Culkin, Barry, and Bootsma finished seventh in the 400 free relay. 

Collin Bootsma became the first swimmer in NHS history to make the State Open. He will competed in the 50 free on March 19 at Cornerstone Aquatics Center in West Hartford. (Derek Ward Photography)

Nonnewaug swimming not only had a great overall season, but the team also made school history and headlines around the state. This winter season, Nonnewaug had a lot of outstanding successes, but its total record is the most remarkable. This is the first time in the program’s six years that Nonnewaug has had a winning season (7-6).

This program put forth a lot of effort this year, with ups and downs as the season progressed. This squad can only get better as a program and has the ability to compete with some of the best competition in the state. Based on the team’s overall success this season, it’s safe to say that the Nonnewaug swimming program has a bright future ahead.