Long Beach High School is located on a barrier island, just a few dozen feet from Reynolds Channel. The Atlantic Ocean lies a mile to the south. The school sits on stilts in case of flooding.
It's a fitting home for the 15-time county champion Long Beach boys' swim team, which defeated visiting Cold Spring Harbor, 102-80, Wednesday.
More than a quarter of the team's members are lifeguards at local beaches. Living in Long Beach also breeds a sense of loyalty to their school over their swim club.
Often top high school swimmers practice with their clubs and go to the school pool only for meets. Not so in Long Beach.
Cold Spring Harbor won eight of 12 events, but Long Beach won thanks to depth and relays.
"The best part of this team is being at practice with everyone," said senior Nick Febrizio, who anchored the winning 200-yard medley relay and swam on the winning 200-yard freestyle relay.
"It really builds the team atmosphere," said senior John Nash, who led off the 200 medley.
Long Beach never trailed. Nash, Febrizio, classmate Michael Rice and freshman Nick Stoski won the first event, the 200 medley, by four seconds (1:49.47). Nash, who swam on Long Beach's county champion medley team last season, said this year's team is better. A big reason is Stoski.
Said Nash: "He's a natural."
Stoski, nicknamed "The Stanchise" by his teammates, also won Long Beach's only two individual races, the 200-yard IM (2:12.26) and 100-yard breaststroke (1:06.67).
The final win for the Marines came in the 200-yard freestyle relay, won by Rice, Febrizio and juniors Shane Alton and Ryan Murray in 1:39.47. They outpaced teammates Alex Stonitsch, George Ambrosini, Matthew Shouldis and Luke Meyers by .18 seconds.
Said Rice: "I said we were coming to win today. It meant a lot."
Cold Spring Harbor's Erik Heinemann won as many individual events as Long Beach, taking first in the 100 butterfly (56.79) and 100 backstroke (58.93). Also winning races for CSH were Lowell Nickey (100 free), Will Wendt (500 free) and the 400 freestyle team of Tim Genovese, Heinemann, Wendt and Lowell.
CSH's Kelsey Morgan won the 1-meter dive (154.20). Morgan plays tennis in the fall, which prevents her from diving for the girls' team.