When the day and the weekend began, Jake Newmark wanted to do something special that would be remembered forever in his final high school swim meet. And boy did he deliver.
The Garden City senior won both of his individual events at the state boys swimming championships at the Nassau Aquatic Center on Saturday, one in state record time. Newmark won the 200-yard freestyle in 1 minute, 35.88 seconds, surpassing the 1:36.19 mark of Canisius' Jack Boyd set in 2013.
“Anything can happen, but I felt pretty good at practice this morning and it’s nice seeing the results,” Newmark said. “I really thought I was going to show up and put up some good swims. And that [200 freestyle] record, I was thinking about it since I saw it last year. I was like ‘That’s very doable for me.' ’’
Newmark also won the 500 freestyle in 4:23.24, which is a Nassau record, surpassing his own mark of 4:27.10 set in winning last year’s title at states. Newmark won both his races in All-American automatic times Saturday, defending his state title in both events. He also set a county record Friday with his 100 leg of 44.78 during the 400-freestyle relay.
“This is huge,” said Newmark, a six-year varsity swimmer committed to Wisconsin. “It’s hard to believe this is my last meet and I don’t think I could have asked for a better way to go out.”
“He makes it look like butter,” Garden City coach Anne Sullivan said. “He makes it look so easy even though he personally trains very hard. This was his goal this season — to come back and repeat as champion in the 200 and 500.”
Newmark was one of four Long Island swimmers to win individual federation championships, and Sewanhaka’s Jake Ang won a public school title in the 50 freestyle.
St. Anthony’s had two winning relay teams, taking the 200 freestyle (1:24.33) and 400 freestyle (3:05.88), along with scoring most team points at the meet.
In one of the most exciting races of the finals, Great Neck South’s Justin Whang edged Miller Place’s Henry Shemet by 0.63 seconds to win the state title in the 200 individual medley in 1:51.12. Whang set a Nassau record, surpassing the 1:51.42 mark of Great Neck South's Samuel Mo.
“It’s so exciting,” said Whang, a junior. “I looked over and I turned and I saw him next to me, so I just kept swimming hard and I came out on top. Usually I try to swim my own race, but if I see a guy right next to me, I just try to keep my head down and see what I can do.”
Ang, a senior, won the public school 50 in 20.91 after Sandon Karinsky of the CHSAA’s St. Francis Prep posted a 20.81 in the 50.
“Knowing that it’s my last ride, I knew I had to give everything,” Ang said. “It hasn’t really set in yet. I’ll probably feel it a couple hours from now, but this is the best feeling for me.”
Chaminade’s Nicholas Shopis won the 100 freestyle in 45.45. Even though he didn’t have a strong swim in the preliminary races Friday and entered with the sixth-best time from the day before, the Flyers’ junior felt confident he could win.
“Going in Lane 8, obviously I wasn’t next to the top heat, but it really didn’t give me any advantage,” Shopis said. “I just went out and wanted to win.”
St. Anthony’s Billy Swartwout won the 100 backstroke in 50.27 and was a part of two winning relay teams, with Christopher Stange, Mark Owens and Matthew McManus. Swartwout was the anchor in the 400 freestyle relay, the meet's final event, and finished his 100-yard leg in 44.87. His leg was the fastest of anyone in the race and the Friars edged second-place Chaminade by .21 seconds.
“I was talking to my coach before that and he was saying how we have to get in first in that to win the meet and I love that,” Swartwout said. “Those scenarios when I’m on the block and it’s a close race is usually when I perform my best, so I’m glad I was able to end my career with that.”
St. Anthony’s had 219 team points to edge Fordham Prep (210). It’s the third-straight season the Friars had the top team score at the state championships.
“It’s amazing,” Stange said. “Three years in a row, it’s all I could have asked for, honestly, and win as a team. And we did it.”
Boys swimming state champions chart
(All events are measured in yards)
Federation state champions
200 freestyle: Jake Newmark, Garden City, 1:35.88 (new state record)
200 individual medley: Justin Whang, Great Neck South, 1:51.12 (new Nassau County record)
100 freestyle: Nicholas Shopis, Chaminade, 45.45
500 freestyle: Jake Newmark, Garden City, 4:23.24 (new Nassau County record)
200 freestyle relay: St. Anthony’s, Christopher Stange, Mark Owens, Matthew McManus, Billy Swartwout, 1:24.33
100 backstroke: Billy Swartwout, St. Anthony’s, 50.27
400 freestyle relay: St. Anthony’s, Christopher Stange, Mark Owens, Matthew McManus, Billy Swartwout, 3:05.88
Public school state champion
50 freestyle: Jake Ang, Sewanhaka, 20.91