Tomorrow, Tom Cohill, the aquatics director of the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter, is to take 16 members of the Y’s youth swim team, the Hurricanes, to a meet at the University of Maryland that is expected to attract Y teams from Massachusetts to South Carolina.
Because it is an Olympic year, with Olympic trial hopefuls among the older teenagers, the Winterfest invitational, as it is known, will be, said Cohill, and one of his assistants, Craig Brierley, “a fast meet.”
So, while the Hurricanes will be one of the smaller groups there, Cohill isn’t expecting a high team placement, “but I’m expecting that our individual performers will be as good as anybody’s, across the board. I wouldn’t be taking them down there if I didn’t think so. They all have fast qualifying times.”
Ten of the 16 — Alex Astilean, Georgie Bogetti, Thomas Brierley, Teague Costello, Carly Drew, Skye Marigold, Maddie Minetree, Mikayla Mott, Amanda Calabrese, and Lilah Minetree — have been training intensely since November, swimming at the Y before (from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. two days a week) and after school, as well as training three hours a week under the watchful eye of Alex Astilean Sr. at his Speedfit studio on Newtown Lane.
Astilean believes his system of short, intense bursts of training, on treadmills (running on the balls of the feet) and with Thera-Bands and medicine balls, prove more effective as far as physical well-being goes than longer workouts in gyms and running on paved roads. A speed/time chart with a ladder of color-coded equivalences for which he’s seeking a patent enables trainees to attain higher levels of fitness incrementally.
A trainee used to jogging along at a 10-minute-per-mile pace, for example, would readily see, using Astilean’s chart, that he or she would be able to run at a more demanding 7:30 pace by cutting the treadmill time from four to two minutes.
Cohill and a number of his charges with whom this writer spoke after a meeting with the parents Monday evening at the Y agreed that mixing Astilean’s explosive hourlong training sessions in with the early morning and afternoon swim workouts had proved to be effective.
“They love it,” Cohill said of his charges’ reaction to the Speedfit workouts. “We work on building a strong endurance base and on improving technique here, and the explosive bursts they go through at Speedfit make them not only stronger, but quicker and more agile. . . . I think it’s great to have so many 12-to-18-year-olds from East Hampton doing this kind of work. I’m really proud of them.”
The Hurricane lineup comprises Maddie Minetree and Mott, who are 17 years old; Marigold, who’s 16; Thomas Brierley and Costello, each 15; Calabrese, 14; Astilean and Drew, each 13; Bogetti, Christian Brierley, Cecilia de Havenon, and Marikate Ryan, each 12; Noelle Capone, 11; Chasen Dubs and Ryan Duryea, 10, and Julia Brierley, 9.