Half Hollow Hills' depth pays off
No winners? No problem.
Half Hollow Hills won its seventh straight Suffolk swimming championship yesterday totaling 307 points, and it did so without winning a single event. Smithtown finished second with 279 points and Ward Melville was third with 225.
"I'm ecstatic,'' Half Hollow Hills coach Jason Wiedersum said. "We had no individual wins, we had no relay wins. But I think that shows how incredibly deep our team was this year.''
Coming into the season with only six returnees from last year, Wiedersum admitted that he was unsure if his team could keep its streak going.
"I was a little concerned,'' he said. "But after I saw how we performed in our early dual meets, I knew we'd be in the mix to compete for the championship.''
Half Hollow Hills was led by state qualifiers James Gordin, who was third in the 100-yard freestyle in 48.44 seconds, and Michael Mattera, fourth in the 100 backstroke in 54.56.
"I feel honored just to be able to keep this legacy going for our school,'' Gordin said. "We knew we would have to work very hard this season and now that it's over, it feels amazing.''
The Thundercolts also got a boost from their diving squad of Alex Cohen, John Natalone, Max Gerber and Lawrence Wolf-Sonkin, as they placed second, third, fifth and 11th, respectively, in Friday's competition.
"I can't say enough about our diving squad,'' Wiedersum said. "To have four guys qualify for counties and all four place in the top-12 is a huge accomplishment.''
Wiedersum, who also coaches the Half Hollow Hills middle school team, said the younger swimmers also made a big difference yesterday, earning points for the team.
"I brought up six guys from the middle school, and every one of them scored for us today,'' he said. "They really performed and they gave us the depth we needed to get this win.''