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James Gordin paces Half Hollow Hills to Suffolk swimming crown

Half Hollow Hills' James Gordin swims in the

Half Hollow Hills' James Gordin swims in the preliminaries of the 100 yard freestyle. (March 1, 2013) Credit: Adrian Kraus

Half Hollow Hills has done it again. The Thundercolts, who went 10-0, won their eighth consecutive Suffolk boys swimming championship Saturday.

"We've accomplished one of our main goals of the season," coach Jason Wiedersum said of his swimmers, who scored 434 points to beat Hauppauge's 247 for the title at Suffolk CC-Brentwood. "This feels great."

Junior James Gordin won the 50-yard freestyle in 21.83 seconds and the 100 freestyle in 47.96, both state qualifying times. Gordin and his 200 freestyle relay teammates Justin Chang, Alex Park and Dylan Chan placed first in 1:29.81.

Senior Michael Mattera placed first in the grueling 500 freestyle in 4:48.71.

"I got very tired and was just trying to hold on," Mattera said of the longest event. "I'm very proud of finishing first."

Freshman diver Max Gerber qualified for states with his fourth-place finish with a score of 433.85. West Islip's Patrick Carter placed first with 514.20.

Although League II champion Hauppauge placed second, Notre Dame-bound Justin Plaschka did what he does best: win. He won the 200-yard individual medley in 1:49.11, an automatic All-American and state-qualifying time.

The 200 medley relay with Plaschka, Trevor Maida, Phil Quartararo and Nicholas Lauritano placed first in 1:35.46. Plaschka also placed first in the 100-yard backstroke in 49.05, beating his own county record by .73 second.

"I knew it was going to be tough defending my record," Plaschka said. "I'm very happy with the way I swam."

Plaschka was presented the county's outstanding swimmer award, given by the Long Island Swimming Officials Association.

Huntington's Gunther Cassell and Smithtown's Ben Cono went head-to-head in the 100 breaststroke. Cono won the race in 56.08, breaking a state record that was previously set by Cassell in 2013.

"They are both evenly matched," Smithtown coach Terry Martin said. "But today, Ben was better prepared mentally and physically."

Half Hollow Hills will have some time to celebrate the victory before Wiedersum and his eight qualifiers head upstate to Webster Aquatic Center on Feb. 28-March 1 for the state meet.

"I'm looking forward to bringing the younger guys to states for the experience," Wiedersum said. "And I plan on bringing them back to that meet year after year."


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