South Side-Lynbrook's Nicholas Rhodes swims in a preliminary heat of...

South Side-Lynbrook's Nicholas Rhodes swims in a preliminary heat of the 100 yard backstroke during the 2022 NYSPHSAA Boys Swimming & Diving Championships in Ithaca, N.Y., Friday, March 4, 2022. Credit: Adrian Kraus

Nicholas Rhodes couldn’t help but let it all out.

Rhodes, a senior from South Side competing for the South Side/Lynbrook boys swimming team, stood atop the podium after not only just winning a county championship, but doing so in record-setting fashion. He caught a glimpse of his mother in the crowd and was overcome with emotion.

“I got emotional after,” Rhodes said. “I was crying on the podium. I was looking up at my mom and she was crying in the stands. It meant a lot to me.”

Minutes prior, Rhodes won the 100-yard backstroke in an All-American automatic time of 48.87 seconds, setting a county record at the Nassau boys swimming championships Saturday at the Nassau Aquatic Center. Jake Newmark of Garden City set the previous record of 49.22 seconds in 2020.

Rhodes, who is committed to swim at Seton Hall, said it was his goal entering the meet to break that record. And he believed he would do so.

“That was really special because I was just thinking of all the effort and the practice I put in to achieve that time and that record,” said Rhodes, who was one lane over from Newmark in 2020.

“Being next to him, seeing him go 49.2, and then there was me as a little freshman going like 53-54 [seconds]. I aspired to swim like him,” said Rhodes, who competes for the same club team as Newmark. “He’s been an inspiration.”

Rhodes felt proud for setting the Nassau record but has his eyes on more. His time was 0.21 seconds away from the 100 backstroke state record of 48.66, set by Burnt Hills’ Sam Brown in 2022. He hopes to make more history at the state championships on March 3-4 at Ithaca College.

“I have my competition,” Rhodes said. “There’s a lot of kids that are really fast in the 100 back. The 100 back is really competitive this year between catholic school kids and kids upstate. It’s going to be a lot of fun, but the main goal obviously is to win the state title and also to break the state record.”

Rhodes didn’t have the only historic performance, as Hewlett won its first team title since 1992, according to coach Gregg Solnick. Hewlett had 395 points, edging out Syosset (362) and Jericho (312).

“That was our goal since the beginning of the season — to win counties,” said Hewlett junior Jonah Kirschbaum. “We had other goals but that was the main goal. That was the mission we set out at the beginning of the season and achieving that was great.”

Kirschbaum won the 50 freestyle in 21.38 and placed second in the 100 freestyle. David Kushnirsky won the 100 breaststroke in 57.36 and Hewlett won two of the three relays.

“To be a part of the biggest achievement that the team has probably ever had, that feels good,” Kirschbaum said. “It feels really good.”

The team of Ethan Golduber, Kushnirsky, Ethan Nus and Kirschbaum won the 200 medley relay in 1:34.78. Golduber, Ethan Silver, Nus and Kirschbaum won the 400 freestyle relay in 3:12.39.  

Long Beach's Joseph Cash won the 200 freestyle in 1:40.87 and 100 freestyle in 46.97. Syosset's Allan Chu won the 200 individual medley in 1:54.99. Manhasset's Patrick Broderick won the 500 freestyle in 4:35.68.

Jack Skarren, Finn Morris, Brian Cash and Joseph Cash won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:28.87. Jericho's Tristan Yang won the diving event with a score of 575.50.


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