Boys 8th Among 29 Schools Vying in County Meet

Craig Brierley, East Hampton’s head coach, and his assistant, Brian Cunningham, took nine competitors with them
Colin Harrison was among seven Bonac swimmers who bettered previous-best times at the county meet. He did so in the 100 butterfly, above, and in his 50 butterfly leg in the 200 medley relay. Jack Graves

The East Hampton High School boys swimming team finished eighth among the 29 schools that vied in the county meet Saturday at Suffolk Community College-Brentwood, one spot lower than the 2014 team led by Thomas Brierley and Trevor Mott, though there were fewer schools at that meet four years ago.

Craig Brierley, East Hampton’s head coach, and his assistant, Brian Cunningham, took nine competitors with them, all underclassmen, a group that was led by Ethan McCormac, a junior, who had earlier in the season qualified for the coming state meet in the 100 and 200-yard freestyle races.

McCormac, whose brother, Owen, was sick that day and thus did not compete, anchored the fourth-place 200 freestyle relay team that comprised himself, Ryan Duryea, Aidan Forst, and Fernando Menjura. He placed seventh in the 100 butterfly (bettering his previous-best time by 3.05 seconds), seventh in the 200 free (in a state-qualifying time of 1:46.98), and ninth, along with Forst, Joey Badilla, and Menjura, in the 400 free relay.

His 54.03 in the 100 butterfly was a personal best as were his 22.39 as the 200 free relay’s anchor and the 48.55 he swam in leading off the 400 relay.

McCormac will be East Hampton’s sole competitor in the state meet, which is to be held over the March 2-3 weekend at the Nassau County Aquatics Center.

The elder Brierley said in an emailed account that a number of his charges swam personal bests at the counties, including Badilla’s 27.36 in the 50 backstroke as part of the 200 medley relay and his 57.92 in the 100 back, and Colin Harrison’s 26.01 in his leg of the 200 medley relay and his 1:01.40 in the 100 butterfly.

Ryan Duryea’s 22.86 in his leg of the 200 medley relay was a personal best, as was Menjura’s 23.61 in the 50 free, his 58.38 in the 100 fly, and his 52.36 in his leg of the 400 free relay.

Ryan Bahel’s 24.03 in the 50 free and Forst’s 52.55 in the 100 free and his 23.31 in his leg of the 200 free relay were personal bests.

Ryan Duryea, a Pierson junior, was named as East Hampton’s swimmer of the meet. “He was asked to swim the 50 free three times,” said Brierley, “all prior to his signature event, the 100 breaststroke. . . . When it came to the 100 breast he really had to push himself, and finished within .6 of his personal best — a fantastic display of mental and physical toughness. All season Ryan has been a huge asset to the team, contributing his utmost in every event. The coaches have total confidence in his ability to deliver.”

In other events, East Hampton (Badilla, Jack Duryea, Harrison, and Ryan Duryea) placed eighth in the leadoff 200-yard medley relay, good for 22 points; Menjura won 3 points by placing 14th in the 50 free; Forst won 3 points by finishing 14th in the 100 free; Badilla won 4 points by finishing 13th in the 100 back; Ryan Duryea won 6 and Jack Duryea won 5 by placing 11th and 12th in the 100 breast, and the 400 free relay team of Ethan McCormac, Forst, Badilla, and Menjura in placing ninth garnered 18 points.

The meet was won by Half Hollow Hills, with 418 points. The top 10 was rounded out by Ward Melville (326.5), Northport (198), Hauppauge (191), Connetquot-East Islip (140), Smithtown (137), Huntington-Harborfields (121), East Hampton (115), Sayville-Bayport-Blue Point (114), and Stony Brook (84). 

Hauppauge, with a 7-0 record, won League II, with East Hampton (6-1) the runner-up. Hauppauge and East Hampton were likewise the top two teams in the recent league meet. East Hampton defeated Huntington-Harborfields in a dual meet this season. “Their diving points enabled them to finish ahead of us in the county meet,” Brierley said.

The coach added that his team’s showing in the county meet “was all the more impressive given that there were so many personal best times turned in two weeks ago at the league championships. We’re thrilled with the efforts the boys have put in.”

All of his county competitors would continue with competitive swimming, the coach said in reply to a question, as members of the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter’s youth swim team, the Hurricanes.