Huntington's swimmers and coaches are formidable. (Rachel Learned photo.)
Huntington's swimmers and coaches are formidable. (Rachel Learned photo.)

Great Season for Blue Devil Boys Swimmers

March 20, 2024

The Huntington boys’ swimming and diving team closed out another great season that saw the Blue Devils and their collaborators from Walt Whitman, Harborfields and John H. Glenn finished third in the Suffolk championships and 16th in New York State.

Huntington's All-State swimmers Max Leroy and Lucas Spagnoletti. (Rachel Learned photo.)

Huntington is the host school for the “super team” that includes athletes from the aforementioned high schools. The Blue Devil contingent included seventh grader Owen McGaw; eighth grader Trevellyan Peters; freshman Quinn Rinaldi; sophomores Ryan Donovan and Samuel Klaaren, juniors Gavin Deegan and Max Leroy and senior Lucas Spagnoletti.

Longtime Blue Devil head coach Meg McConnell and veteran assistant Christopher Helmke comprise the Huntington coaching staff.

Spagnoletti and Leroy both swam to All-County and All-State honors. “Lucas has been a tremendous asset to our team the last three years,” McConnell said. “He is a very versatile swimmer who excels at all strokes, especially the fly and breast.”

Leroy also shined. “Max has a very smooth freestyle, which allows him to enjoyed great success at all distances from the spring 50 right up to the distance 500,” McConnell said.

Deegan and Klaaren were both All-League and each qualified for the county championship meet. “Gavin is a tremendous athlete who is a great sprinter in the pool,” McConnell said. “After returning from knee surgery he was anxious to get into shape and finished out the season with a bang. Sam has hit his stride this year, managing to harness his strength and really making the middle distance freestyle events his home. Over the course of the season, Sam dropped almost 20 seconds in the 500 free and is set to be among the best in the county next year.”

Both Huntington and the super team as a whole is dominated by underclassmen. “Our team is on the young side, but full of talent and enthusiasm,” McConnell said. “Combining now four districts has helped to give us greater diversity in abilities as well as bringing a diver onto our squad. The boys work well together and are very supportive of each other both in and out of the pool.”

Only two super team members will be lost to graduation in June. “The rest of the team will be returning,” McConnell said. “I hope to be gaining a few new boys plus some of our new boys from this year have joined club teams and have already greatly improved.”

All things considered, McConnell was happy with the season. “The boys really gelled for the post season, with an incredible showing at the league championships with many personal best times, including our relays,” she said. “The 11 swimmers at the counties combined their strength to allow us to take third place. All buy one swimmer posted season best times and we had a second relay qualify for states.”