Every Ward Melville team goal comes together when the girls meet their individual goals.
That’s how coach Chris Gordon simplifies things for his Patriots swimming program year after year and it continues to work.
Ward Melville (5-0 League I, 7-0 overall) returns to the postseason in search of its 22nd consecutive county title, as it prepares for the League I championship meet, held at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 30 at Sachem North.
“I don’t have to mention it,” Gordon said of the current county title streak. “There’s pressure involved and nobody wants it to end. This group has the tendency to stay focused. Every girl sets a personal objective and goal to achieve. They’re all doing well.”
One of the key components for the Patriots is senior Rachael Bertini, who specializes in the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle. Her best 50 free (25.65) this season came in the Patriots’ first meet against Harborfields, whereas her best 100 free (56.80) came against Connetquot.
“Obviously, she is important in her individual events,” Gordon said of Bertini. “We are hoping she can place well in those events.”
Bertini anchors the 200 medley relay by swimming the freestyle, while sophomore Casey Gavigan does the backstroke, Sarah Schoenfeld swims the breaststroke and Cassandra Willie executes the butterfly.
Their best time in the 200 medley relay this season was a 1:53.36 against Smithtown.
Willie leads off the 200 freestyle relay, which also features sophomore Katie Wang, junior Jessica Vairo and Bertini. Their best time in that event was a 1:45.47, also against Smithtown.
“Those are probably our two strongest relays,” Gordon said. “Our four person relays, anybody can carry the relay.”
Gordon is also counting on senior Kristen Pozmanter and Willie to continue their strong individual work. Pozmanter’s top events are the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle, where her personal best times this season are 2:01.90 and 5:16.60, respectively.
Willie has “qualified for the county meet in every single individual event that she has competed in, nine total,” said Gordon, “and she is strongest in the 100 butterfly.”
The road toward another county title for the Patriots begins at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 8 during the Section XI Diving Championships at Hauppauge, before the Section XI Swimming Championships kick off at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 9 at Suffolk County Community College (Brentwood Campus).
“It starts with the girls taking care of themselves, setting personal bests, and if they can do that they are on track,” Gordon said. “We talk about winning the county.”

Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV Credit: Newsday

NewsdayTV talks to Zeldin at RNC ... Explaining Nassau transgender athlete ban ... New animals at game farm

Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV Credit: Newsday

NewsdayTV talks to Zeldin at RNC ... Explaining Nassau transgender athlete ban ... New animals at game farm

ONE-DAY SALE26¢ for 5 6 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME