Port swimming finishes season with a splash

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Courtesy of Daniel Rich

Senior Will Smith takes part in the 100m breaststroke event on Jan. 17 against the Syosset Braves. This season, Smith set a school record with a time of 107.27 seconds in this event. Smith won his event, but the Vikings went on to lose the meet.

Eric Fishbin, Sports Editor

After a full season of diving and thriving, the Port Washington boys swimming team concluded its year with a win.  The Conference II team finished second in Division B with an 8-4 record (two in-conference losses), only behind Syosset.

As the season progressed, there were many memorable victories and moments for the Vikings.

“The most memorable moments for me this year have to be our wins against Cold Spring Harbor and Great Neck South.  We have had a few matches against each of these schools, but had never beaten them.  It was nice to get ourselves a win against them,” said senior captain Gavin Walsh.

These were two crucial wins for Port, as they would help their conference record moving forward.  The meet against Cold Spring Harbor was the closest of the season, with only nine points between the teams.

“Our meet against Cold Spring Harbor was probably the best of the year.  We had never beaten them in prior years to this, but as a team, we managed to get the win this time around.  It was an exciting meet, proving to be the most memorable,” said sophomore Owen Walsh.

Unlike many other sports teams at Schreiber, the swimming team is highly based on the individual.  An individual swimmer can qualify for the Nassau County Final Meet, and can be recognized as All-County, or even All-State.  Senior captain Will Smith has qualified for the Nassau County Final Meet five times, every year he has been with the team.

“Individual swimmers need to qualify for a spot in the meet by getting a certain time in that race.  As a five-time finalist, it has been a great experience.  There are only a few swimmers who have met the time requirement and I am humbled to be included in that group,” said Smith.

Although the team will be losing a few cherished seniors, those who are departing are excited for the team’s potential, along with talent coming up from Weber.

“The team is in good shape for the next couple of seasons as we have young talent arising.  Sophomore Owen Walsh is a key swimmer that will make the team stick out.  The swimmer to keep an eye on is Derek Knight who is currently in 8th grade and will be a Viking next year.  His times qualify him for certain meets despite his young age,” said Smith.

Coach Mr. Joseph Lennon, an elementary school teacher at Manorhaven, enjoyed his season, along with the rest of the team.

“Thank you for my greatest county experience for the boys team.  You are the hardest working and most dedicated team I have ever coached.  It was a great showing today.  Amazing,” said Coach Lennon in an address to the swimmers at the county meet.

Not only was Coach Lennon proud of the team, the five departing seniors were as well.

“As it was my last season, I really could not have asked for a better team, and a more memorable experience.  We were able to achieve almost all of our goals as a team, and individuals.  Not only did we show our improvement through our results, we bonded, and were able to connect as a team.  I will certainly remember my time with the Port swimming team,” said Smith.

Upcoming leaders on the team include O. Walsh, the younger brother of graduating senior captain G. Walsh.

“This past season was actually one of the best years we have had.  Multiple swimmers broke personal records, along with some of our top swimmers breaking school records.  We were able to accomplish a good win-loss ratio, and we are definitely proud of that.  As for the future, we expect that we will continue on the right path, and our team will get better each year.  We have some exciting talent coming up from Weber, which we all look forward to,” said O. Walsh.

From the start of the season, some of the swimmers did not expect as good of a year as they had.  Despite it not being one of the more well-known teams at Schreiber, the boys swim team had one of the most successful years of all thus far.

“I would say we did really well this season, and we definitely exceeded most of our expectations from last year.  It was great for us seniors to go out on such a high note,” said G. Walsh.