Hauppauge-Smithtown’s Leah Treglia after winning the 100 yard freestyle during...

Hauppauge-Smithtown’s Leah Treglia after winning the 100 yard freestyle during a Suffolk girls swim meet against host Connetquot on Oct. 10. Credit: Bob Sorensen

There was something special about the Hauppauge/Smithtown girls swimming and diving team — togetherness.

“Just the camaraderie,” coach Sean Montalvo said. “They’re a family.”

The desire to work at being great and the ability to swim fast helped, too.

That all paid off with championships in November, first with a repeat at the Suffolk meet to complete back-to-back undefeated seasons locally, and then with just the swimmers across two days at the state meet inside Webster Aquatic Center.

The team finished second overall in the Federation standings, but first in the NYSPHSAA standings. It marked the first time Hauppauge/Smithtown won a state championship as a combined program after never having won it separately. It was the third season combined after previously being together in the 1980s.

“It’s amazing,” Montalvo said. “It’s something that we’ve been working on for years for this day. Day in and day out, these girls, they work extremely hard. I’m very happy for them.”

One girl was the focal point, University of Miami-bound senior Leah Treglia.

“She’s just a great leader, a great teammate, a great person,” Montalvo said. “Everything she gets, she deserves because she puts in the time, puts in the effort, puts in the heart. She leads the girls. She’s special. She’s very special. … She puts everybody on her back, and everybody follows.”

“I think she’ll have a great [college] career,” he added. “She’s just a hard worker, and hard worker works.”

Treglia swam on the NYSPHSAA and Federation champion 200-yard medley relay team and the NYSPHSAA champ 400 freestyle relay. She was the NYSPHSAA runner-up and third overall in the 100 butterfly. But she was really after the 100 backstroke for her first individual state title.

And she got it. Her Suffolk-record and automatic All-American time of 54.43 was good for second overall, but No. 1 among NYSPHSAA swimmers.

“Throughout the whole season, I was first in the state for a while,” Treglia said. “To actually come [to the state championships] and perform and get first means a lot. Something on paper doesn’t mean anything to me.”

The Smithtown West student swam the anchor leg for the 400 freestyle relay there, following junior MaryGrace Waring, seventh-grader Sarah Lucca and junior Sofia Burns. They teamed for a county-record time of 3:30.64.

Treglia also was the lone senior on the 200 medley relay, which set a county record of 1:45.33 in the win at the state meet. She led off that event, followed by junior Madison Dominger, Lucca and Burns.

“We all push each other and we make each other work harder, and we encourage each other to do our best,” Burns said.

“Together, us four as a team, we just work really well together. We just fit together, and I had a feeling that we were going to do great.”

Burns was feeling a bit nervous but determined when she dove in for the freestyle anchor leg in that final, which was tight at the time. And when she touched first?

“It was exhilarating,” Burns said. “it was the best moment ever.”

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