There was much to write home about when it came to East Hampton swimmers this past week.
The varsity boys team just missed out on winning two meets. “Five more yards and Thomas [Brierley] would have won the 400-yard freestyle relay for us,” Jeff Thompson, the varsity coach, said after the Jan. 10 meet here with Harborfields.
Going into the aforementioned finale, the Bonackers trailed 79-77, but despite Brierley’s blazing 51.51-second split in the anchor leg — the best split by far in the race — the visitors, who won by a little more than a second, pulled the meet out by a score of 87-83.
Thompson’s deep team, which has logged more than 1,469 football fields to date in practices, swam away with a meet here with North Babylon last Thursday. The score was given as 97-70, though some entries “exhibitioned,” which is to say weren’t counted.
Moreover, the 16 members of the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter’s Hurricanes youth swim team who competed in a big meet at the University of Maryland over the weekend also made waves, according to the Hurricanes’ coach, and the Y’s aquatics director, Tom Cohill.
Of special note, he said on his return here Monday, were the facts that Skye Marigold, 16, had tied for first place in the open 50-yard freestyle in 24.36 seconds, “her best time ever,” and had thus qualified for the nationals; that Georgie Bogetti, 12, had placed second in the 11-12-year-old 500 freestyle, in 5:19.30, and that the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Carly Drew, Maddie Minetree, Marigold, and Mikayla Mott had also qualified for the nationals, placing eighth in the final in 1:40.79. The same girls, Cohill said, had almost qualified for the 200 medley relay as well. “They needed a 1:58.89 and finished with a 1:58.98!”
“We had a lot of top-eight athletes,” Cohill continued, adding that Thomas Brierley, who swims with the boys varsity as well, had broken, “for the first time ever,” five minutes in the 500 free. Brierley’s 4:59.33 put him within striking distance of the Y.M.C.A. nationals’ qualifying time of 4:47, the coach said. “Thomas and Georgie stood out in the distance events . . . it was an inspired weekend with the kids and their families. Everybody pitched in.”
During the next six weeks or so “there will be a number of meets we’ll go to,” said Cohill, when asked what was next for the Hurricanes. “We’ll be focusing on training in this period so that we’ll peak for the Y state championships, which are the third weekend in March, the 16th to the 18th, in Buffalo, and for the Y nationals, which are going to be the first week of April in Greensboro, North Carolina. . . . We’re hoping that we’ll qualify for at least one more relay for the nationals, and there are several individuals who are on the cusp.”
Getting back to the varsity, Thompson, in reviewing the Harborfields results, said, “We were looking to get one-two in the final relay, but got two-three instead. Thomas [who had started well behind] almost got his guy.”
East Hampton was swept in the penultimate event, the 100-yard breaststroke, “but we knew we’d take a hit in that — the whole meet went as I had expected. . . . Harborfields beat us significantly last year. But even if we’d won, I would have forfeited the meet because I saw that our B team jumped the gun in the final relay. It’s to be expected — they’re young. The ref didn’t see it, but I did.”
The coach said Brierley’s 57.57 in the 100 backstroke, which he won, had been “a lifetime best.”
Among the “honorable mentions” that day were Jeremy Pepper’s 2:12.68 in the 200 free, “a lifetime best”; Adam Heller and Rob Anderson’s sub 2:30s in the 200 individual medley; Heller’s 1:06.48 and Sergio Betancur’s 1:14.06 in the 100 butterfly; Brierley’s winning time of 52.21 in the 100 free; Trevor Mott’s winning time of 5:11.06 in the 500 free, “his best this year”; Pepper’s 6:13.25 in the 500; the 1:37.75 the winning 200 freestyle relay team (Dan Hartner, Brierley, Peter Skerys, and Mott) swam; Rob Anderson’s 1:09.47 in the 100 backstroke, good for fourth place, and Ryan Lewis’s 1:19.47 in the 100 breaststroke. “Ryan never swam the breaststroke until the Lindenhurst meet,” said Thompson.
Among East Hampton’s winners in the meet with North Babylon were the 200 medley relay team of Hartner, Thomas Paradiso, Heller, and Paul Dorego; Mott in the 200 and 500 free; Brierley in the 100 free; Hartner in the 100 back; the 200 free relay team of Hartner, Brierley, Skerys, and Mott, and the 400 free relay team of Mott, Heller, Skerys, and Brierley.