Blue Devil Girls’ Swimming Returns to Pool

The Blue Devil girls' swim team is practicing at the Huntington Yacht Club.

August 31, 2016

All-State junior Trish Arceri will lead the Huntington High School girls’ swimming and diving team into the fall season.

Coached by Christopher Helmke and Meg McConnell, the Blue Devils also return All-League swimmers Noelle Harvey, Sigrid Cassell, Francine Nastasi and Camille Stafford. Huntington finished fourth in the league and 15th in the county last year.

Walt Whitman High School combined with the Blue Devils to form one team this fall. The squad includes about seven Whitman athletes and 19 from Huntington. The team is practicing outdoors at the Huntington Yacht Club until school starts. It will then move over to the YMCA’s indoor pool.

The Blue Devils graduated only two swimmers off the 2015 squad and while Caroline McCartney and Nina Cartwright will definitely be missed, Huntington’s experienced roster depth is expected enhance the team’s fortunes.

Arceri won the league diving title and was second in Suffolk and 14th in the state championships as a sophomore. With three varsity seasons already under her belt, the teenager is expected to be one of New York’s best on the 1-meter board this fall. “Her accomplishments are incredible,” Helmke said.

A freestyle and backstroke specialist, Harvey qualified for the county meet in three relay events last fall. Helmke called the junior a “positive influence” with “speed and versatility that continues to drive our team forward.”

Cassell excels in all four swimming strokes. The junior qualified for the county championships in six different events last season. “She’s an amazing athlete with incredible speed,” Helmke said.

Nastasi was new to the team last fall, but the junior quickly became indispensable. Specializing in freestyle and backstroke, she, too, qualified for the county meet in three relay events. “She’s hardworking, versatile and dedicated with a great personality,” Helmke said.

Stafford also turned in a very nice campaign in her first season with the team last fall. The senior is a fast freestyler who reached the county championships. Helmke cited her “great personality,” which when combined with her skills in the pool, make her an integral part of the Blue Devil scoring machine.

Sophomore Hannah Bailin is another freestyle specialist. She qualified for the Suffolk meet in three relay events as a freshman. Helmke called her “a hardworking and dedicated swimmer.”

The combined Huntington-Walt Whitman team has been pushed into a different and more competitive league this fall. “It should be a challenging and exciting season,” Helmke said.

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