Huntington boys’ swimmers enjoyed a strong season as the Blue Devils and Harborfields combined on a team that compiled a 6-3 overall mark.
Coached by Meg McConnell and Jeremy Cuebas, the Huntington contingent was led by sophomores Nate Gamboa and Tommy Peer, who both captured All-League honors and county qualifier Christopher Weber, a talented freshman. Seventh grader Jonathan Larice was a fourth Blue Devil standout.
“Nate continues to be a tremendous asset in the pool in several events,” McConnell said. “He once again qualified for the counties and garnered several points at the league championships. He also has become a strong leader and provided a great link of communication among his teammates and coaches.”
A fourth place league finisher, Peer excelled in the breaststroke, sprints and relays. “Tommy truly came into his own this season, achieving tremendous drops in his times and qualifying for the counties,” McConnell said.
Weber also shined in several events. “Christopher again pushed himself to improve extensively in the 500 yard freestyle and notched a major drop in his times while qualifying for the counties.”
Larice is on his way to becoming one of Huntington’s great swimmers. “Jonathan was a tremendous contributor to the team, consistently placing in all of his events during our dual meets,” McConnell said.
The Blue Devils defeated Connetquot/East Islip (94-90), Stony Brook (53-38), East Hampton (100-81), West Islip (54-48), North Babylon (87-76) and Deer Park (99-80). The team fell to Half Hollow Hills (95-85), Sayville/Bayport (96-90) and Hauppauge (103-82).
“Our combined team again showed great spirit and strength during workouts and competition,” McConnell said. “The Huntington contingent of athletes only span grades 7-10, but always showed maturity and a great amount of dedication as well as a strong work ethic. The boys all worked hard throughout the season and constantly improved in their events. Although our main focus is, of course, performance in the pool, one of the best parts of the season was having the whole team at the leagues with all our non-qualifiers helping out and cheering on their teammates.”
Almost every post-season participant notched at least one personal best time and all three relays also posted best times to cap off the year at the league and county meets.
“With such a strong contingent of younger swimmers and divers returning the team should do very well next year in dual meets as well as post-season competition,” McConnell said. “Besides our top returning athletes we will look for strong contributions from Henry Cartwright and Dan Maier, who will have many more opportunities to shine as well as Javier Vias, who was sidelined most of this season with an injury.”
Huntington will also be returning current seventh grader William Spada and eighth graders Kyle Kennelly and Thomas Rosselli. All three athletes will be looking to break into the starting lineup.
The Blue Devil swimmers and their Harborfields counterparts placed third in the league standings and seventh in Suffolk.