Any discussion of swimming in Suffolk starts with Ward Melville. The Patriots have won 18 straight county titles with depth as their primary weapon. Freestyle specialists Taylor DaSilva and Shannon Lampe (who won the 100-yard backstroke at the Suffolk finals) and distance swimmer Jessica Fabrizio lead an experienced group primed for No. 19.
If there are rough waters ahead, Connetquot presents the biggest challenge. Mikaila Gaffey, who swam the lead leg of the winning 200-free relay (1:37.99) and was part of the third-place 200-medley relay (1:50.16) at the state Federation meet, returns to lead a talented squad. She also finished third in the 50-free (24.24). Nicole Hetzer swam the anchor leg on the 200-free relay and also was part of the 200-medley team. She won the 200-IM at the Suffolk finals. The program has added depth to its flourishing stars.
A young nucleus led by Kayleigh Toth and butterfly specialist Selina Ng helped Half Hollow Hills to a League I crown in 2009 and the team could be a sleeper at counties.
Carolyn Koch finished fourth in the 100-free (52.92) at the Federation meet for Babylon and took first in the 100 free (52.92) at counties. Heather Glenday placed second in the 500 free (5:10.98) at counties.
Huntington's Molly Arceri won the Suffolk diving championships in 2009 (411.75), securing her first trip to states. Still just a junior, her confidence and gymnastics background make her tough competition.
Garden City, winner of 11 straight county titles, is Nassau's resident dynasty. Despite winning just one event, the Trojans ran away with the 2009 title thanks to a deep team led by Megan Zarriello (third in 100 backstroke, second in 100 butterfly) and Kelly McGrath (second in 200 IM).
Long Beach returns distance swimmer Cady Zawatson, who was third in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle at counties.
Sophomore Trudiann Patrick, a state qualifier in the 50 and 100 freestyle, is a young swimmer on the rise for Jericho. The deep squad is looking to move into the top three at counties.
All eyes are on Sewanhaka because of Olivia Chan. The sophomore won the 200 IM (2:06.35) and 100 breaststroke (1:04.48) at the state public high school championships.
Angela Sun took second in the 100 backstroke (57.57) and placed fourth in the 100 butterfly (56.84) at the state federation meet for Great Neck South. Julia Festa won the 500 free (5:02.33) and anchored both the winning 200 free relay and 400 free relay team at counties.
Alexa Aliprantis and Kelsey Brown are impact players for Manhasset.
Sophomore Lauren Cecco finished third in diving at counties (252.15) for Hicksville and could be Honey's biggest challenge.
Sophomore Casey Francis, who placed ninth in the 200 IM and 500 free and swam the lead leg on the fourth place 200 free and 400 free at Federations, keeps Sacred Heart afloat. She will be helped by Emily Tan and Francis Warren. who could have a breakout year. Twin sisters Chandler and Shannon Lulley were state qualifiers in the 100 free, team co-MVPs and will try to lead St. Anthony's to a title.