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Long Island swimmers clean up at state championships

Timothy Marski, Christian Sztolcman and Jason Louser won two events apiece to share the Most Oustanding Competitor Award while St. Anthonys took the overall team crown.

Sights and sounds from the state Federation boys swimming and diving championships at the Nassau Aquatic Center in East Meadow on Saturday, March 3, 2018. (Credit: Newsday / Melissa Kramer)

Lynbrook’s Tim Marski never swam for his varsity team before this season, always thinking of school swimming as “fun, but slow.”

But after talking and hearing his club teammates boast about their school dual meets and championships, the senior wanted the chance for more competition.

“I realized that all my friends that I usually compete with outside of school, on my club teams, they’re all doing it,” said Marski, competing for the combined South Side-Lynbrook varsity team. “So I was like ‘Oh, it’s going to be like that?’ I just love racing these guys.”

And on Saturday at the boys swimming state championships atthe Nassau Aquatic Center at Eisenhower Park, Marski locked arms with Chaminade’s Christian Sztolcman and Shoreham-Wading River’s Jason Louser as the trio each won two individual championships and were named co-most outstanding swimmers.

“It’s great to see that swimming isn’t only in warm places like Texas and California and all those places,” Louser said. “It’s here on Long Island. People think they have to travel to Florida to swim fast but really all the competition they need is right here.”

Marski won the 50-yard freestyle in an All-American automatic time of 20.53, edging out Great Neck South’s Andy Lee by 0.34 seconds. Marski later won the 100 fly in an All-American automatic time of 48.53, saying he “saw the championships coming” because of his training regimen.

“When I first hit the wall, I’m praying that I (won it),” Marski

said. “Then I look at the clock and it’s such a relief.”

Sztolcman won the 200 free and 100 free in All-American automatic times of 1:37.21 and 44.62, respectively, after finishing third in the 200 free last season.

“It’s a whole different story standing on No. 3 and then on No. 1,” Sztolcman said. “It’s just a feeling you can’t even explain and it’s a moment I’ll remember forever.”

Louser won the 200 IM state championship in relative ease,with his 1:48.20 nearly three seconds faster than Ward Melville’s David He and St. Anthony’s Michael Chang’s time of 1:51.13.

The 100 breast, however, was an entirely different story. Louser, trailing the majority of the race, made a strong push in the final 25 yards to win in 55.07. Hauppauge’s Jack Casey and Chang finished second and third, in 55.19 and 55.54, respectively, with all three All-American automatic times. It was Louser’s second-straight 100 breast state title.

“It was definitely incredible because when I touched, I didn’t

even know if I got first,” Louser said. “I had to check the scoreboard and once I saw the No. 1, I was just ecstatic.”

Ward Melville’s 200 medley relay of Ryan Kaplan, He, Luka Zuric and Cameron Kubik won the opening event in 1:33.79, edging out St. Anthony’s by 0.09 seconds. Lee won the 100 free public school championship in 45.08.

But as Marski, Louser and Sztolcman made their frequent individual trips atop the podium and then received the most outstanding competitor award as a group, they just looked to soak in the moment.

“It was really nice to stand there all next to each other,” Sztolcman said. “Long Island swimming has really been picking up the pace.”

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