Half Hollow Hills (10-0) is team to beat at Suffolk championships

Michael Mattera of Half Hollow Hills competes in

Michael Mattera of Half Hollow Hills competes in the 200-yard individual medley race during the Suffolk County varsity boys' swimming championships and state qualifiers at Suffolk County Community College Grant Campus. (Feb. 16, 2013) (Credit: James Escher)

They have seven swimming titles under their belt, and No. 8 may not be far behind.

Half Hollow Hills, at 10-0, is the team to beat Thursday in the Suffolk League I championships at Sachem East.

"I would say we are the favorites," Thunderbirds coach Jason Wiedersum said. He can back that up with the fact that six of his swimmers -- Michael Mattera, James Gordin, Justin Chang, Daniel Lee, Dylan Chan and Alex Park -- have already qualified for the state meet, and the Thunderbirds are hoping to qualify Ethan Tack and several other of his swimmers for the big show Feb. 28-March 1 in Webster, near Rochester.

"We have some young guys who would really accomplish something special if they could make the cut," he said.

Hauppauge, Smithtown and Ward Melville, Wiedersum said, will be Hills' toughest competition in the nine-team conference meet.

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