Even as the swimmers at Half Hollow Hills change, the goal remains the same. Perfection.
The ThunderColts’ combined boys swimming team has lost only one dual meet in the last 14 years and won the last 13 county titles, according to assistant coach Chris Blumenstetter. And after their 102-66 Suffolk League I victory over Ward Melville at Hills West High School Thursday, this year’s team is determined to carry on the extraordinary winning record.
“It’s difficult and there’s a lot of pressure carrying on this undefeated record,” said Bryan Park, who placed second in the 100-yard butterfly and is a member of Hills’ winning 200-yard freestyle relay team. “Carrying on this undefeated record is really cool as a swimmer, and I feel with each freshman that comes in as a new swimmer and they get to see the caliber and degree of our success is pretty cool to see.”
Hills (2-0) won 11 of the 12 events Thursday, with individual victories by Samuel Park (200 free, 1:58.99), Matthew Szypula (200 IM, 2:08.00), Benjamin Glazebnik (50 free, 22.45), Josh Lee (100 fly, 55.88), Peter Prinzivalli (100 free, 1:00.24), Kevin Wu (500 free, 4:58.02) and Alexander Amanatides (100 back, 1:06.62). Troy Cassera won the 100 breast (1:11.65) for Ward Melville (1-1).
Since Hills’ pool is measured in meters, times are calculated by a meters-to-yards conversion chart, as approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
“I have great confidence in this team,” Lee said. “And we are starting off strong and I hope we continue throughout the season strong.”
The Hills swimmers remember the accomplishments of previous teams and individuals, and they want to replicate the same memories.
“Because of our success, I feel like it’s something people want to experience,” Park said. “When you join as a freshman and you keep coming back, it’s a sport you get to grow into and you get to appreciate a lot more.”
“I think it’s an expectation that when you become a part of this team, you work as hard as you can to carry on that legacy regardless of if you are a freshman or a senior,” coach Kevin Mongan said. “You understand what Half Hollow Hills swimming and diving expects of you as an athlete and a student as well.”