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Diver Patricia Arceri will try to add to family legacy

Patricia Arceri, Huntington-Whitman, girls swimming

Patricia Arceri, Huntington-Whitman, girls swimming

Athletic accomplishments run in the Arceri family.

This fall Huntington senior Patricia Arceri will try to add a diving state championship to the list.

As a junior she set the Suffolk diving record with a score of 618.10 at the county championship and went on to finish fifth in the state.

Her sister Molly was a three-time county champion diver who finished second in the state as a senior in 2011 and her brother John was a state champion wrestler in 2015.

“I’ve always been in competition diving with my sister but I really want to be able to break records,” said Arceri who competes for the Huntington/Walt Whitman team.

It took every bit of the record breaking performance for Arceri to capture her first county championship when she narrowly defeated Lindenhurst’s Grace Reeves last season.

“We’d been going against each other for the last few years and It came down to the last dive,” Arceri said. “She got really high scores so I knew what I had to do. I put everything into it.”

After training as a gymnast as a young child Arceri followed her sister off the balance beam and onto the diving board as a 10-year old and has been perfecting her craft ever since.

“We have very high expectations for this season,” Huntington/Walt Whitman coach Chris Helmke said. “We hope she can improve on what she’s already done.”

Arceri is well on her way after scoring a 257.32 in the first meet of the season on Sept. 5. The county qualifying standard is 159.80, according to Helmke.

“The experience I’ve had definitely does help and since I’ve been to states a few years I feel less pressure because I know what the diving board is like,” Arceri said. “The competition is tough so I know what type of mindset I have to have.”

Another Suffolk competitor who enters the season with a championship mindset is Northport’s Chloe Stepanek. The sophomore set two Suffolk county meet freestyle records last season in the 500 yards (4:55.60) and the 200 yards (1:49.98).

“Her technique has always been her strong point and she just has the natural ability,” Northport/Commack coach Drew Modrov said. “She swims very efficient and effortless but is very intense and trains hard.”

Modrov said Stepanek swam in the U.S. Open and junior nationals this summer and that it helped her improve tremendously.

Sacred Heart’s Lauryn Johnson returns to try to better her CHSAA state record in the 500-yard freestyle. Her time of 4:52.62 broke a nine year old record previously set by Emily Kelly of Sacred Heart in 2007. Johnson was named the CHSAA championship’s most outstanding swimmer.

Long Beach will again be one of the top teams in Nassau. After graduating 20 seniors the Marines will certainly have a new look, and that includes first-year head coach Lynn Volosevich, who takes over after nine years as an assistant.

Juniors Kaley Skarren and Emily McDonnell and sophomore Isabella Defonte all swam at the state championships last year and Volosevich said she expects the younger swimmers and a solid group of divers to step up.

“Everybody always asks — what are you going to do now?” Volosevich said. “The girls I have are very confident and they know there’s always expectations.”

5 to watch

Patricia Arceri, Sr., Huntington

Set the Suffolk diving record with a score of 618.10 last season. Arceri already qualified for this season’s county diving championships with a score of 257.32 in her first meet of the year.

Lauryn Johnson, Jr., Sacred Heart

Johnson set the CHSAA record in the 500-yard freestyle (4:52.62) and was named the most outstanding swimmer of the CHSAA championships last season.

Claire McNeary, Sr., Manhasset

Finished sixth in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:05.32 and swam an All-American consideration time of 56.12 in the final of the 100-yard backstroke at the NYSPHSAA championships.

Chloe Stepanek, So., Northport

Stepanek returns after competing in the U.S. Open and Junior Nationals this summer. Last season she set the Suffolk meet freestyle records for 200 yards (1:49.98) and 500 yards (4:55.60).

Elizabeth Walsh, Sr., Bellmore-Merrick

Walsh swam an All-American consideration time of :56.27 in the 100-yard backstroke at the NYSPHSAA championships, qualified for the 200-yard IM, led off Bellmore-Merrick’s fourth place 200-yard IM relay team and was a part of the seventh place 400-yard freestyle relay team.

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