Northport freshman Chloe Stepanek came into the Section XI Suffolk County Girls Swimming Championships thinking she could break one record. She broke two.
“I was going for the 200-yard freestyle. I said, ‘Hey I have a shot at this.’ I looked up (after the race) and saw all my teammates cheering and yelling and I knew I won,” said Stepanek.
Stepanek’s winning time of 1 minute, 49.98 seconds broke the record of 1:50.73 set in 2007 by Kim Larson of Sayville-Bayport-Blue Point.
Stepanek also won the 500 free, clocking 4:55.60 to better the record time of 4:57.29 set in 2008 by Sayville’s Joan Weaver. Stepanek qualified for the state meet in both events.
“I realized I could break the 500 freestyle (record) and I said let me give this a shot as well. I knew I could push through it and finish it,” said Stepanek.
Margaret Purcell, a junior from Southampton, is an independent swimmer headed to the state meet as a double-winner. She took the 50 free in 24.12 and the 100 free in 52.50.
“I always say to myself I can do it, I can do it,” said Purcell. “Coming in as an independent swimmer is fun. Everyone comes together and theyre competing for a different sense and a different goal.”
Port Jefferson freshman Kyra Sommerstad is also state-bound after winning the 200 individual medley in 2:07.88 and the 100 backstroke in 57.16.
Half Hollow Hills pulled out the team championshiop by winning the final event, the 400 free relay in 3:38.32. Sayville/Bayport–Blue Point was second in 3:39. 65 and Connetquot third in 3:40.22.
HHH senior Kelly Lennon, who swam the third leg in the winning relay, said the team title — the first for Hills — “felt incredible.’’
“Being a senior . . . leaving the team as league champs, county champs . . . I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome,” said Lennon. “All the work we did, all the time we put into this pool. We deserved it. We worked hard and it finally happened.”
“Last year . . . at county we were so close, but this year we made that dream happen,” said Hills’ Rhea Randhawa.
Hills totaled 265 points. Connetquot was second with 260 and Sayville / Bayport-Blue Point third with 256.5.
The state championships at Ithaca College are Nov. 18-19.
“Walking into states, now everyone will know we won counties. They know who we are. It puts more pressure on us but I’m ready,” said Lennon.