Huntington High School boys’ swimmers performed admirably this past winter, helping the combined Huntington-Harborfields team finish third in league competition.
Like many high school boys’ and girls’ swimming and diving teams, Huntington has teamed up with a nearby high school to field a joint team to help ensure there are enough athletes to cover every event. It has become a standard practice, not on in Suffolk, but across the state.
Huntington’s 11 athletes on an overall roster of 28 were very hard workers according to head coach Meg McConnell. The group was captained by junior Nate Gamboa.
“Our team continues to be a strong, cohesive bunch showing tremendous group effort to cap off the season with over 75 percent personal bests at the league and county championships, including all of the relays,” McConnell said.
The Blue Devil contingent was led by eighth grader Jonathan Larice, freshman Logan Deegan, sophomores Christopher Weber and Javier Vias and juniors Tom Peer and Gamboa.
Gamboa, Weber, Vias and Deegan each swam to All-League honors. “Our combined team remains a tightknit bunch of talented and driven athletes,” McConnell said. “The boys continue to work hard together in the pool and support each other with vigor during all of our meets. Although we are constantly struggling to get enough pool time, the boys work hard to succeed and always rise to the occasion in our meets. Our strong nucleus of upper classmen have taken the lead in mentoring our solid groups of junior high boys and together they have worked to achieve great personal and team success.”
Snapshots of Huntington’s top swimmers include:
• Nate Gamboa: “Nate is a tremendous team leader as well as a very talented and intelligent student athlete,” McConnell said.
• Tom Peer: “Tommy is one of the fiercest competitors I’ve had,” McConnell said. “He was hit severely hard with illness this season, which impacted his performance. We’re definitely hoping for a great senior year.”
• Javier Vias: “Javier is a talented and well-rounded swimmer who is really coming into his own,” McConnell said. “We are expecting him to really fill-in for the graduating seniors from Harborfields.”
• Christopher Weber: “Christopher has really begun to explode in the pool and he should be among the top flyers in the county next year,” McConnell said.
• Logan Deegan: “Logan was able to meld right into our tea and his fly and sprinting strengths proved very helpful,” McConnell said. “As only a freshman, he brought a good amount of speed to our team and we look for great improvements from him in the future.”
• Jonathan Larice: “Jonathan continued to be a great contributor to our team, always scoring for us in whatever event he was asked to swim,” McConnell said. “He’s a great distance swimmer as well as a fierce competitor. Jonathan should be a great help to our success in the future.”
Huntington swimmers also included seventh graders Pierre Leroy and Martin Newman, eighth graders William Spada and William Weber and junior Henry Cartwright.
“My favorite accomplishment of the season actually occurred before our first meet,” McConnell said. “Because of an early first scheduled contest, we were forced to hold an array of dry land practices over Thanksgiving break to allow the boys enough practice. The camaraderie and level of commitment the boys showed was great to witness and seeing the fun they had wa a great start to the season.”
All of Huntington’s 11 athletes will be returning next season. Five Harborfields swimmers are set to graduate in June.
“Our deep younger group are posed to make quite a mark in our league and county next year,” McConnell said. With enough work, we have a chance to send a few athletes and possibly a relay to the state championships. We also have a solid group of rapidly improving junior high students. Our two Wills (Spada and Weber) continued to make great strides and our two seventh graders gave their all to help our team’s success, including our mighty Pierre Leroy, who truly came into his own, both in and out of the pool.”
The team compiled a 4-3 record in league meets and went 4-5 overall. The squad placed seventh in Suffolk.