It was a score that couldn’t be beat. That is until Ryan Savit came along.
The Half Hollow Hills diver broke a 30-year-old Suffolk County record on Jan. 23 with a six-dive total score of 344.76. Brentwood’s Glen Barroncini set the previous record in 1982 with a score of 333.98.
Going into the meet, Savit had one goal in mind: to beat the school record.
“I didn’t want to leave my senior year without breaking it. I knew it would be my last chance,” he said. “I put everything into perspective and ended on a great note.”
Not only did Savit beat the Half Hollow Hills record, but now his name will also be carved in Suffolk County history.
The record-breaking diver is enjoying his time at the top, but there are far bigger things ahead, including the state championships. Savit came in third as a junior and is hungry for the first place title.
To prepare, Savit takes on a double training schedule. After diving practice at Half Hollow Hills, he drives an hour into the city five days a week to practice at Fordham University where he dives on the club team under the direction of an Olympic trainer.
Back at home, Savit credits much of his success to the work of his coach Chris Blumenstetter.
“I’m so proud of him,” he said of Savit breaking the record. “You imagine it happening and hope for it, but when it actually happens, wow.”
The pair has been working together since Savit’s first year on the varsity squad while in the eighth grade. Having watched one another grow up over the past five years, the two have an incredible bond. Savit dedicated his record-breaking dive to his coach’s second son, Carter, who was born just three days before the meet.
“I’m going to miss him like one of the walls in the pool is missing,” Blumenstetter said of Savit.
While he only has a few more months left on the team, Savit has taken on a mentoring role for the squad’s younger divers, who are already proving to follow in his footsteps.
The team is the strongest the school has seen yet. The divers are going for their sixth straight league and county championship next month. In addition to Savit, the team has Lawrence Wolf Sonkin, and freshmen Alex Cohen and John Natalone, who are already showing potential for greatness. The coach described Cohen as the "silent assasin." "He goes out and takes care of business," Blumenstetter said. Natalone is known on the team for his ability to remain calm, cool and collected under pressure. The combination is tough match for any opponent.
As for Savit, his senior year isn’t the end. The diver has verbally committed to the University of Southern California where he will continue the sport.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he said.