The East Hampton High School boys swimming team knocked Hauppauge out of a first-place tie with Sayville-Bayport by defeating the Eagles 95-75 at the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter on Jan. 9, thus improving to 2-1 in league competition and dropping Hauppauge (3-1) into a second-place tie with Harborfields.
The meet was swum before a full house. “Going into the last event, the 400-yard freestyle relay,” said East Hampton’s coach, Craig Brierley, “the top of the roof was coming off. The meet was decided by then, but the crowd didn’t know it.”
“Alex Astilean led off for us with a 1:03, their guy did a 55.5. Rob Rewinski made up two seconds, turning in a 51.9 to their 54.3. They were ahead at that point by six seconds. Trevor Mott’s 51.4 — their guy did a 54.9 — brought us to within two, leaving it up to Thomas [Brierley, Craig Brierley’s son] and their anchor guy, Nicholas Lauritano. They came off the third wall together, and Thomas, who did a 50.1, pulled away in the last lap, and we wound up beating them 3:36.72 to 3:38.63. Everybody in the place was screaming. The parents were on their feet, the Hurricanes, their team. . . . It’s a testimony to how far our program has come. It was awesome, I was really pleased.”
Hauppauge’s best swimmer, Justin Plaschka, who’s been to the states, won the 200 freestyle and the 100 backstroke, but the 200 freestyle relay team he anchored finished second — a very close second — to East Hampton’s, which comprised Rewinski, Thomas Paradiso, Astilean, and Shane McCann. East Hampton’s time in that event was 139.26; Hauppauge’s 1:39.48.
At the intermission (time that would have been devoted to diving at UpIsland schools), East Hampton nursed a 6-point lead, having won the 200 medley relay (with Brierley, Mott, Christopher Kalbacher, and McCann), the 200 individual medley (Brierley) and the 50 free (McCann), and having placed second in the 200 free (Mott) and the 50 free (Rewinski).
Astilean (second), Kyle Sturmann (third), and Kalbacher (fourth) got points for East Hampton in the 100 butterfly, which was won by Hauppauge’s Travis Maida. And Rewinski (third), Robert Anderson (fourth), and Anthony McGorisk (fifth) won points for the Bonackers in the 100 free, which was won by Lauritano.
Brierley ran away with the 500 free in 5:02.61. The runner-up, Troy Maida, finished in 5:30.99. Brierley’s teammates Andrew Winthrop and Nick Pucci placed third and fourth in that long-distance test.
Plaschka, as aforesaid, won the 100 back, though McGorisk was the runner-up, and Christian Brierley, Thomas’s younger brother, was fourth.
Although Trevor Maida won the 100 breaststroke, and thus won 6 points for the visitors, East Hampton’s Mott (4), Joe Gengarelly (3), and Tyler Menold (2) totaled 9 given their second, third, and fourth-place finishes.
Though Plaschka was the fastest swimmer that day, he was limited to two individual events, enabling Brierley to make better strategic use of his older son and Mott. The coach added that McCann’s 24.01 in the 50 was a personal best, as was McGorisk’s 1:02.31 in the 100 backstroke. “He took two seconds off his best time that day — he’s been dropping his time every time out.”
“Guys have been stepping up, and we’re not even into the competitive phase of our training yet. . . . We swam 2,000 yards before the meet even began. Everybody’s at or above their projected potential. Our goal, of course, is the leagues and the countys. We’ll taper for two or three weeks leading up to the county meet. Our yardage will drop, but the quality will be heightened. We’ll be swimming at race pace with a lot of rest, focusing on the details.”
The team’s five captains, Thomas Brierley, Mott, Winthrop, Sergio Betancur, and Christian Figueroa, of Bridgehampton, named Rewinski as the swimmer of the meet. He took third in the 100 free, second in the 50 free, and was a member of the winning 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams.
“He’s been having some soreness in his triceps muscle,” the coach said in an e-mail, “and even though he went for a treatment right before the meet, and wasn’t 100 percent, in his opinion, he said he felt good enough to swim. That willingness to swim so that his teammates wouldn’t be let down was what earned him the captains’ accolades.”