Chris Schleider couldn’t find Ari Regev.
The Syosset boys swimming coach was walking up and down the side of the pool, looking toward the team bench minutes after Tuesday’s meet, to no avail. But all he had to do was turn around and there was Regev in the place he knows best — the pool.
After winning two individual races and a member of Syosset’s 400-yard freestyle relay team which posted the top time, the sophomore swimmer was in the pool getting ready for the following day.
“After swimming, you feel tired and you want your muscles ready for your next event,” Regev said. “So just getting back in the pool and warming down and getting ready for the next day is very important. Because recovery for your muscles is very important for anything — your next practice and that next meet.”
Regev proved he was ready Tuesday as he won the 200 freestyle in 1:50.96 and 500 freestyle in 4:58.56 as host Syosset defeated Garden City, 107-73, in Nassau Conference I boys swimming. Both times were personal bests on varsity this season, Schleider said.
“He’s a swimmer, he just loves being in the water,” Schleider said. “He wants to be in the water and he wants to get better and it pays off in days like today.”
Syosset (6-0) posted top times in nine of the 11 swimming events with six different individual winners (200 individual medley, Ethan Chen; 50 freestyle, Danny Zeng; 100 butterfly, Joseph Chen; 100 backstroke. Giovanni Ramirez; 100 breaststroke, Patrick Van; along with Regev’s two victories).
Jake Newmark, who won the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle state championships last year, won the 100 freestyle in a state-qualifying time of 47.86 in the only individual race he competed in for Garden City on Tuesday.
Syosset has won its last 45 dual meets, according to Schleider, and entered this season with four straight undefeated dual-meet seasons. For the swimmers, the streak provides additional motivation.
“We talk about it a lot,” Regev said. “We always want to keep that streak, but at the end of the day, we’re a team and we just want to keep having fun. That’s what it’s all about.”
Fun for the swimmers, but what Schleider called “trouble” because as he said, “they always come to an end.” But the winning streak shows the depth of the Syosset program.
“These kids haven’t known a dual-meet loss,” he said. “It’s a cool feeling for them, but it’s nerve-wracking as a coach because you want [the streak] for them.”