There was much to celebrate at Long Beach High School’s Winter Sports Awards Night, with players winning state honors in hockey, wrestling, swimming and track, on March 14.
The hockey team clinched the state championship for the second year in a row on their home ice, beating Cleveland Hills in a 5-0 shutout in the final game of the playoffs. Goalie Harris Pittinsky was named the MVP of the state championship and was also named to the Newsday All-Long Island team.
Three-time All-State wrestler Dylan Palacio won the state championship in the 160-lb. weight class. He is the tenth wrestler to earn this distinction in the school’s history. This four-time All-American finished off his final season with a 41-0 record. Over the course of his wrestling career, he was a four-time state qualifier and won the county championship three times.
Teammates Mark Raghunandan and Krishna Sewkumar, both seniors, earned All-State honors for the third and second time, respectively. Mark had a 48-2 season, finishing sixth in the state in the 113-lb. weight class. He is a three-time All-State and two-time All-American wrestler. Krishna achieved a 44-8 record, finishing second in the county and third in the state in the 106-lb. weight class. This two-time All-State wrestler won last year’s Nassau County Championship.
Junior Nicholas Stoski and freshman Max Willard were both state qualifiers in boys swimming. Nicholas, a three-time state qualifier who also qualified for the junior nationals, broke the school record in the 100-yd. breaststroke with a time of 59.47. Max, who qualified for states in the 500-yd. freestyle, finished fifth in the county in both the 500 and 200-yd. freestyle.
In boys track, David Henry was a state qualifier in the Triple Jump. He finished first in the conference and second in the county in this event.
In addition, the gymnastics, boys basketball and girls basketball teams all made it to the playoffs. The gymnastics team was honored with the Todd Heimer Sportsmanship Award.
The varsity cheerleaders were the school’s unsung heroes, giving moral support to the basketball team throughout the winter season. Long Beach resident Neil Sterrer, who once again announced all home games for the boys and girls teams, was acknowledged as the “Voice of Long Beach Basketball.”
A total of 40 students received other individual honors, with 11 All-County, 22 All-Conference, five All-Division and two All-Class athletes named. Winter athletes proved to be equally dedicated to academics, with the girls basketball, gymnastics, boys swim, boys track and girls track teams all earning scholar-athlete status, achieving team academic averages of 90 percent or higher.