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Brett Powell's victory helps West Islip top Northport in swimming

Brett Powell of West Islip surfaces during the

Brett Powell of West Islip surfaces during the breaststroke portion of the 200-yard individual medley event in a Suffolk boys swim meet against Northport at West Islip on Thursday. Credit: James Escher

Brett Powell was happier about what his individual victory meant for his team than himself.

The West Islip senior was the team’s lone swimmer to win his race -- and the Lions needed it. With a true team effort and rallying up many second- and third-place finishes in its home dual meet against Northport, West Islip edged the Tigers, 52-49, in Suffolk League II boys swimming Thursday afternoon.

"It’s always great to win," said Powell, who won the 200-yard individual medley in 2 minutes, 14.96 seconds. "I love getting best personal times, but for this, it’s more about winning and just getting it for the team. I’m more happy that I got the points for my team than I am for myself."

Coach Mac Loudon credited his team’s depth for scoring enough points for the victory. Kevin Nelson, who placed 14th at the state diving championships last season, won the diving with a score of 277.50.

"The true indicator is we didn’t have a lot of firsts," Loudon said. "We had a few firsts, but we all know it’s the second- and third-place finishes that win meets and finally, I feel like we have a little more of that this year and we are going to ride it as long as we can."

Northport had three swimmers win two individual races. Aidan Greenfield won the 100 butterfly (54.15 seconds) and 100 backstroke (59.43). Rudy Mastrocinque won the 200 freestyle (2:00.70) and 500 freestyle (5:23.39). Austin Kingsley won the 50 freestyle (22.95) and 100 freestyle (51.95).

"We try to compete with each other, see who can get better times," Greenfield said. "We motivate each other."

Northport also won all three relays and Austin Neuf won the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.65.

More than anything, all the student-athletes were just thrilled to be competing again. All swimmers wore masks until stepping on the starting blocks and socially distanced outside the pool.

"This gives us a sense of normalcy during all this," Nelson said. "We’re definitely hoping there is a finish to the season."

And with this being Powell’s senior season, he’s just grateful to compete for his school after months of uncertainty.

"I always love the swim season," he said. "I always look forward to it and I was kind of upset my senior year I wasn’t going to be able to do it. But once I learned we were, I was really happy that I could get back together with my friends and swim with them."

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