Hewlett swims to county title


Hewlett dominated relays and produced top three finishers in eight other events on the way to capturing its first Nassau County boys’ swimming championship since the 1991-92 season on Feb. 11 at the Aquatic Center in East Meadow.

Leading the effort for the well-rounded Bulldogs was junior Jonah Kirschbaum, who captured the 50-yard freestyle (21.38 seconds) title, anchored two winning relays (200 medley and 400 freestyle), and finished runner-up in the 100 freestyle. Sophomores David Kushnirsky (100 breaststroke champion), Ethan Nus (second in 200 individual medley, third in 100 butterfly) and Ethan Silver (second in 200 freestyle, third in 500 freestyle) were also among the key figures.

“You need to have a deep team and you need to perform well on both days [of the meet] to win a county championship,” Hewlett coach Gregg Solnick said. “It’s really exciting. The kids are going to be walking around with smiles on their faces for a long time and it’s something they’ll never forget.”

The Bulldogs, who placed fourth in the county last season, amassed 395 points to hold off Syosset, which had 362. Jericho was third with 312.

“Jericho jumped out to a big lead after the diving and at certain points we were also trailing Syosset,” Solnick said. “I’m not exactly sure which event got us into the lead, but going into the last event [400 freestyle relay] we just needed to avoid a disqualification to win. My message to those [four] kids was to have safe starts.”

Nus, Silver, Kirschbaum and senior Ethan Golduber iced the title in style, winning the relay with a time of 3 minutes, 12.39 seconds.

Hewlett, which compiled a regular-season dual meet record of 8-2, totaled 138 points in three relays. Golduber led off the winning medley relay with the backstroke, followed by Kushnirsky (breaststroke), Nus (butterfly) and Kirschbaum (freestyle.) The second-place 200 free relay was comprised of Kushnirsky, Silver and seniors Ryan Shapiro and Jacob Kogan. Shapiro also finished sixth in the 100 fly and 10th in the 200 freestyle.

The Bulldogs’ depth was on display throughout the meet, Solnick said. Some prime examples included the 200 IM, with Nus (1:56.33) runner-up, Kushnirsky seventh and sophomore Jason Shapiro at 13, and the 100 freestyle with Kirshbaum, the school record holder in the event, getting second in 47.04, Golduber 11th and Kogan 14th.

Golduber placed second in the 100 backstroke (52.20) and is the school record holder in the event.

Kushnirsky rebroke his own school record in the 100 breaststroke (57.36) and is ranked No. 2 in the state in the event.

The state meet is March 3-4 at Ithaca College. In addition to Kushnirsky, Kirschbaum, Nus, Silver, Golduber, Kogan and Ryan Shapiro will look to close the campaign with one more big splash.

“High school swimming is a team sport,” said Solnick, who has coached the Bulldogs for more than 25 seasons. “Everyone on the roster plays an important role.”