Long Island athletes will be looking for hardware this weekend at the state high school boys swim championships at the Nassau Aquatic Center. Long Island had five individual champions and a relay champion last year.
Although Shoreham-Wading River’s Jason Louser is the lone returning individual champion — winning the 100-yard breastroke in an All-American automatic time of 55.74 seconds as a sophomore — there’s much local optimism.
Ten things to look for in Friday and Saturday’s events:
1. THE LOUSER WATCH
Louser is the defending champion in the 100-yard breaststroke, but two Long Islanders have had better times this season. Hauppauge’s Jack Casey won the Suffolk championship in 55.34 and St. Anthony’s Michael Chang won the CHSAA championship in 55.49. Louser clocked a 55.55 this season.
Louser, an All-Long Island swimmer, also has the top time in the 200 individual medley (1:50.63).
2. CHAMINADE’s CHRISTIAN SZTOLCMAN
The returning Nassau Swimmer of the Year placed third in the 200 freestyle and posted the fourth-best time in the 100 free at the state championships last season. The Chaminade senior has the top time in the 200 free (1:39.41), by more than two seconds, and is tied with Great Neck South’s Andy Lee for the top time in the 100 free (45.26).
3. WHAT’S NEXT FOR ANDY LEE?
Great Neck South junior standout Andy Lee seeks his first state title, and he has the top time in the 50 free (20.38 — also a county record), and is tied with Sztolcman for the top time in the 100 free.
4. DON’T FORGET ABOUT TIMOTHY MARSKI
If it wasn’t for Lee’s performance this season, Marski would have the 50 free county record, finishing just .02 seconds behind Lee at 20.40. The two should lead to what could become an epic finish at the 50 free, the quickest race of the championships, as they already have All-American automatic times in the race. Lee also leads all qualifiers in the 100 fly with a 48.54.
5. SPEAKING OF THE 50 FREE
Nassau swimmers — Lee, Marski, Jake Ang, Ryan Aroesty, Michael Jiang and Troy Morris — boast the six top qualifiying times in the 50 free.
5. GARDEN CITY KEEPS PRODUCING TALENT
Although Long Beach halted Garden City’s steak of five-straight Nassau team championships this season, the Trojans still feature plenty of talent. Jake Newmark, a sophomore at Garden City, has the top time of 50.46 in the 100 backstroke. He’s one of three swimmers with a time better than 51 seconds, but Newmark could be on his way to building a potential state three-peat.
6. A HALF HOLLOW HILLS THREE-PEAT?
Half Hollow Hills has earned more points than any public school in each of the last two state meets. Leading the way this weekend will be senior captains Ethan Tack and Dylan Chan. Tack has the second-best time in the 200 free (1:41.93) and 100 butterfly (50.01). Chan will swim with top-10 times in the 100 back and 100 fly. Kabir Randhawa enters with the fourth-best time after winning the Suffolk 500 free in 4:37.69.
The trio will also be swimming on Hills’ 200 medley and 400 free relay teams, which have top-five times in the state.
7. RELAYS TO WATCH
St. Anthony’s will be seeking a third straight title in the 200 medley relay. The team of Ian Fitzpatrick, Michael Chang, Mark Owens and Justin Meyn has the top time coming in (1:35.40).
Chaminade has the top time in the 400 free relay as the team of Nicholas Shopis, Will Takes, Anthony Melchore, Christian Sztolcman posted a 3:09.83 at the CHSAA finals.
8. DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Nicholas Shen, a freshman at Great Neck South, enters with the 14th best score after winning the Nassau championship. He leads a Long Island contingent that includes Garden City’s Cameron Yuen, Kellenberg’s Olivia McNicholas and Deer Park’s Daniella Cornelia.
9. LI SWIMMERS WITH TOP-FIVE INDIVIDUAL TIMES
200 free: 1. Christian Sztolcman, Chaminade, 1:39.41; 2. Ethan Tack, Half Hollow Hill 1:41.93.
200 IM: 1. Jason Louser, Shoreham-Wading, 1:50.63; 3. Michael Chang, St. Anthony’s 1:51.99; 4. David He, Ward Melville, 1:52.51.
50 free: 1. Andy Lee, Great Neck South, 20.38; 2. Timothy Marski, South Side-Lynbrook 20.40; 3. Jake Ang, Sewanhaka, 20.97; 4. Ryan Aroesty, Long Beach, 21.09; 5. Michael Jiang, Syosset, 21.10.
100 fly: 1. Timothy Marski, South Side-Lynbrook, 48.54; 2. Ethan Tack, Half Hollow Hills, 50.01; 3. Orry Zayit, Port Washington/Roslyn, 50.05; 5. Ryan Aroesty, Long Beach, 50.20.
100 free: 1. Andy Lee, Great Neck South, 45.26; 2. Christian Sztolcman, Chaminade, 45.26 AC; 500 free: 4. Kabir Randhawa, Half Hollow Hill, 4:37.69.
100 back: 1. Jake Newmark, Garden City, 50.46 AC; 4. Michael Jiang, Syosset, 50.91; 5. Trenton Burr, Hauppauge, 51.26.
100 breast: 1. Jack Casey, Hauppauge, 55.34; 2. Michael Chang, St. Anthony’s, 55.49; 3. Jason Louser, Shoreham-Wading River, 55.55; 4. John Protano, Garden City, 57.17.
10. WHERE AND WHEN
The diving championships and preliminary swim events are Friday, with the races beginning at 10:30 am. and the 11-dive championship at 1 p.m. The prelims determine seeds for Saturday’s championship races which begin at 10:30 a.m.