West Islip, jr.
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When West Islip’s Patrick Carter stepped onto the diving board for his final dive in the state championship meet, he wasn’t thinking about his score. He wasn’t thinking about how many points he trailed the leader. He focused on himself.
“I knew I was in fourth or fifth and that my last dive was high difficulty,” Carter said. “At this point, I was thinking anything could happen and I just had to hit my last dive.”
That concentration led to a well-executed dive, earning Carter enough points for a come-from-behind victory in Buffalo’s state diving championship meet March 4. Carter scored a 528.40, winning by less than two points.
The junior, who has won the previous four Suffolk championships, was Long Island’s first state diving champion since 2003.
Half Hollow Hills, jr.
Repeating wasn’t easy for Half Hollow Hills’ Alex Park.
The Hills East junior successfully defended his 200 IM state title by the slimmest of margins — winning by .01 seconds — at the state boys swimming championship in Buffalo March 5.
“That race was more than just a close call so I think next year I have to set my standards higher,” Park said. “I need to train a little harder to make sure that .01 margin can get a little bigger.”
Park wasn’t sure if he won immediately after the race. He looked over his shoulder and saw his coaches celebrating before looking up at the final times.
“I looked at the clock and I was like ‘Wow, .01,’ Park said. “That’s the kind of stuff like in the movies.”