Half Hollow Hills will be looking to make another big splash Saturday in the finals of the Suffolk County swimming tournament.
The combined district team has won the last 11 county team titles and has the potential to make it an even dozen at the finals being held at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.
“We need to go into every meet with confidence but also be humble about it,” said captain Dylan Chan, a senior at Hills West. “Have a mentality that we have to go out there and perform every time. Nothing’s going to be given to us.”
Chan and fellow captain Ethan Tack lead another strong Hills team off a 10-0 dual-meet season, winning the league championship. Northport and Ward Melville each finished 8-1-1, tying each other and losing to Hills, and Hauppauge won Suffolk II with a 7-0 league record, 8-2 overall with losses to Hills and Ward Melville.
The ThunderColts have also posted the most team points at the state championships for public schools each of the last two seasons.
“Definitely, our team’s really deep,” said Tack, also a senior at Hills West. “But you just can’t take anything for granted.”
Chan placed second in the 50-yard freestyle and won the 100 back and two relays for Hills at the league championships, with Tack placing second in the 200 IM and first in the 100 fly. Kabir Randhawa won the 200 and 500 free league titles.
Ward Melville, with three swimmers posting top-10 times in the state and best in Suffolk in their events, hopes to mount a strong challenge. Luka Zuric has the fifth-best 200 free time in the state (1:43.90), David He has the sixth-best 200 IM time in the state (1:53.60) and Nick Bogush has the seventh-best 50 free time in the state 21.25.
Hauppauge’s Jack Casey has the second-best time in the state in the 100 breast (55.69). Shoreham-Wading River’s Jason Louser returns after winning the 100 breast state championship last year in 55.74. He also won the Suffolk 100 breast and 500 free county titles last season, setting a new 500 free county record (4:31.62) in the process.