The combined Huntington-Harborfields boys’ swimming and diving team enjoyed a strong showing in last week’s Suffolk League II championships at Hauppauge, capturing third place in the standings.
“The night was packed with exciting swims and the team achieved 21 personal best performances, an impressive 75 percent ratio,” head coach Meg McConnell said. “As a team, they garnered 10 top six finishes and 18 of the boys were individual point scorers.”
The first event, 200 yard medley relay was a spectacular start to the meet as Dan Oh, Nate Gamboa, Chris Weber and Max Hafen combining to cut almost one and one-half seconds off the team’s previous best while placing fourth and setting up possible All-League status, which the swimmers ultimately achieved.
The 200 freestyle with best times for all three swimmers and points earned by Hafen (third place) Javier Vias (10th place). There were three more personal bests in the 200 IM as Gamboa (third place), Weber (fourth place) and Luke Weiner (eighth place) posted team points.
In the 50 freestyle, which has historically been the toughest event to shave seconds off a swimmer’s time, Chris Haddock did just that, cutting his best mark by a half-second and grabbing eighth place to qualify for the county championships.
“Knowing diving was a key event to gain several points we had the divers increase their degree of difficulty, setting Alex Zhang up to claim the League II champ crown and for Aidan Kavanagh to take fourth place,” McConnell said.
All six of the Huntington-Harborfields swimmers in the 100 and 500 freestyle events notched personal bests with points earned by Hafen (second in 100), Haddock (seventh in 100), Weber (third in 500), Jonathan Larice (eighth in 500) and Ian Reynolds (ninth in 500).
The 200 freestyle relay team of Wiener, Vias, Logan Deegan and Haddock moved up to third place in the finals of the event to take All-League honors. In the 100 breaststroke all three Huntington-Harborfields swimmers hit personal bests while garnering still more team points as Gamboa placing third and Tommy Peer finished eighth.
Capping off the league championships the 400 freestyle relay team of Hafen, Weber, Weiner and Gamboa achieved Huntington-Harborfields’ final best time of the night to place fourth and notch All-League status.
The squad is now looking ahead to later this week. The Section XI diving championships are set for Thursday at Hauppauge with the swimming finals slated for Saturday at Suffolk-West in Brentwood.
“The week leading up to the league championships was marked by animated practices, bursts of sprint training and lots of conviviality,” McConnell said. “The strong team effort resulted in fabulous results both individually and in the team standing. Now the county qualifiers are refocusing on further improvements and more post-season competition and honors.”
Final team standings: 1. Hauppauge-282; 2. East Hampton-250; 3. Huntington-Harborfields-231; 4. Sayville-Bayport-Blue Point-215; 5. Stony Brook-119; 6. West Islip-112; 7. North Babylon-62; 8. Deer Park-61.