Swimmers Lose Two ‘Exciting’ Meets

“The scoring was back and forth the whole way, and it came down to the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay.”
T.J. Paradiso, above, was voted East Hampton’s swimmer of the meet at West Islip. Ricci Paradiso

    The East Hampton High School boys swimming team, which, while strong, must yield up to 13 points in away meets to teams that have divers, lost twice last week, at Hauppauge and at West Islip, though both meets, said East Hampton’s coach, Craig Brierley, were exciting.

    The Bonackers lost 109-74 to Hauppauge, and 52-49 to West Islip. Absent the diving points, East Hampton would still have lost to Hauppauge, but would have bested West Islip.

    It was also not to East Hampton’s advantage in the latter meet, contested last Thursday, that West Islip had a four-lane pool, “which, because of our lineup’s depth, hurt us,” Brierley said.

    “We’d expected this meet to be a barn burner, and it was,” the coach continued in an email account. “The scoring was back and forth the whole way, and it came down to the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay.”

    “We had to win and take second to win. Our A-team [Trevor Mott, T.J. Paradiso, Rob Rewinski, and Thomas Brierley] won, setting a new team record of 3 minutes and 29.65 seconds, but our B-team took third — it’s hard to expect a B-team to beat an A-team. Nevertheless, our B-team’s 3:42.70 was its best time of the season.”

    “Adding to the excitement was the fact that Thomas Brierley’s winning time of 54.56 in the 100 backstroke qualified him for the state meet. The state benchmark is 54.82.”

    “While the loss was disappointing, our boys did their absolute best and cheered each other on loudly throughout. You can learn so much more from a loss than from a win. I know they’re all the more motivated now to continue to improve.”

    T.J. Paradiso, who “p.r.’d” in the 100 freestyle — one of eight Bonackers, aside from the aforementioned 400 relay teams, to turn in personal best performances that day — was voted East Hampton’s swimmer of the meet.

    That honor went to Claudio Figueroa following the meet at Hauppauge. Figueroa, who pared 15 seconds from his previous best time in the 200 free, was one of several swimmers asked by Brierley and his co-coach, Brian Cunningham, to compete in races outside their comfort zones.

    Others in that situation were T.J. Calabrese, who swam in the 200 individual medley, Christian Brierley, who swam the backstroke leg on the A 200 medley relay team, and Anthony McGorisk, who did the same leg with the B medley team.

    Personal bests at Hauppauge were Joe Gengarelly’s 31.63 in the 200 medley relay, Figueroa’s 2:17.74 in the 200 freestyle, and Calabrese’s 2:34.08 in the 200 individual medley.

    East Hampton and Harborfields were to have swum here at the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter yesterday.