The Huntington High School girls’ swimming team is off to a good start, with a young Blue Devil squad starting to cut its times in an assortment of individual and relay events.
Like most Section XI schools, Huntington fields a joint team with a neighboring district. The Blue Devils and Walt Whitman are once again combined for practice and competition and everyone is getting along well and the two groups have bonded into a formidable squad.
Huntington is coached by Christopher Helmke and Meg McConnell. Whitman’s Rufus Shepard is also on the staff. The team is 2-1 in its first three meets.
The Blue Devils’ returnees include freshman Kathryn Montefusco, who swam to All-State honors as an eighth grader in 2018. Also back are sophomores Caelan Clayton, Sydney Cordeiro, and Abigail Lewis and juniors Claire Conner and Angie Mata. Newcomers include sophomores Simonne Bielski-Gregorio Rachel Deegan, Grace McCallion and Ainsley Proctor and eighth grader Zoey Rosario.
“I am really excited about our team this year,” Clayton said. “We are swimming really well so far. We hope to keep doing well in dual meets. This year we have a larger team with 20 swimmers, including two divers. We hope to have more swimmers qualify for championships meets.”
Conner is the team’s proud captain echoed Huntington’s underlying philosophy. The teenager told her teammates to “just keep swimming even if you feel like giving up. Just don’t stop believing in yourself.”
The Huntington and Walt Whitman athletes have come together quite nicely to cover the events. For example, the team’s two divers are from Whitman.
Huntington has claimed victories over Brentwood/Bay Shore and West Babylon and dropped a close contest to Connetquot. More victories are on the horizon.
The team spent the early weeks of the season practicing outdoors at the Bay Club. Since then it has moved indoors to the Huntington YMCA’s pool.