WEBSTER, N.Y. -- The finalists for the 100-yard freestyle walked out in their team warmups or sectional hoodies, marching together toward the starting blocks. All of them that is, except Hauppauge junior Justin Plaschka. He was draped in a towel, still wet after just completing the 100 butterfly minutes earlier.
Plaschka -- who finished second in the butterfly with a time of 48.92 seconds, placed third in public schools (fourth overall) in the freestyle with a time of 45.86 at yesterday's New York State Swimming and Diving Championships at the Webster Aquatic Center. Long Island athletes placed in every event -- highlighted by Huntington's Gunther Cassell title in the 100-breaststroke.
Plaschka shaved a second and a half off his personal best in the 100 fly as he touched second to Ithaca's Ryan Nicholson (state record 48.3). Four minutes later he was back in the pool in the 100 free.
"I stepped up and I knew that I would have to push it and go all out,'' Plaschka said. "Afterwards I looked at my time and I knew it wasn't my best but I was happy with it after what I just did [in the 100-fly].''
Hauppauge assistant coach Brandon Modrov was impressed with Plaschka's accomplishments.
"At this level of competition it's almost an impossible thing to do back-to-back 100s with literally no time in between,'' Modrov said. "I'm really proud of him for the entire year and the entire season -- every swim he's done has been phenomenal. To want to challenge himself with two back-to-backs in a row and end up with a second and a third and it's like 'Oh, man,' but it's still second and third in the state -- it's incredible.
"I think it's going to make him hungry for next year to know how the season went and what to do for next year," Modrov said.
Daniel Mo of Great Neck South also finished strong in the 100 butterfly, placing fourth in 50.97.
Other Long Island finalists: Joe Lozano of Garden City, third in the 100 breast (57.0) and Ben Cono of Smithtown fourth (57.05); Lozano fourth in the 200 IM (1:53.2); Connor Brown of Garden City fifth in the 500 free (4:35.14) and Kevin Konarski of Lindenhurst eighth (4:41.82); Konarski sixth in the 200 free (1:42.19); Travis LeGuyader of St. John the Baptist fourth in the 50 free (21.38) and sixth (46.82) in the 100 free; Trevor Dearstyne of Massapequa third in the 50 free (21.21); and Dan Lagalante of Chaminade fifth in the 100 back (51.87).