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  • I’ve read that the greatest Christmas gift is the knowledge that one is blessed, and I know that that is not a frequent occurrence.

  • Lori King, a long-distance swimmer and part-time Amagansett resident, Ed Cashin, Mike Bahel, and Annette MacNiven, a late mountain-biker and youth swim coach, were honored at the Old Montauk Athletic Club’s recent holiday dinner at the South Fork Country Club in Amagansett.

    King, who this past summer swam the Catalina Channel, a 22.5-mile agon, mostly in the dark in 8 hours, 51 minutes, and 15 seconds, making her one of only 37 Catalina swimmers since 1927 to break nine hours, was OMAC’s athlete of the year.

  • This time at its holiday dinner, which was held recently at the South Fork Country Club in Amagansett, the Montauk Rugby Club had something to celebrate — a 6-0 fall season in the Empire Geographical Union’s Division III, into which it had been cast following a winless 2013 Division II campaign. The singular season, moreover, earned Montauk a bye in the first playoff round in the spring.

  • There will be three Polar Bear Plunges here on New Year’s Day, beginning with the one at Gurney’s Inn in Montauk, which is to be followed by plunges at East Hampton’s Main Beach and at Wainscott’s Beach Lane.

    The plungers at Gurney’s are to meet in the spa lobby at 11 a.m.

    East Hampton’s plunge is to be held at 1; registration will be from noon.

  • Colton Kalbacher on Saturday became East Hampton’s first Frank (Sprig) Gardner tournament champion in four years, capping a sweep of the tough 152-pound class with an 8-0 victory over the county’s sixth-ranked wrestler, Ward Melville’s Matt Fournaris, in the final.

  • The Bridgehampton High School boys basketball team, the Killer Bees, served notice on League VIII Friday by routing Pierson 77-50 in what was the league opener for both teams.

    Dan White’s Whalers had expected to do better, but were done in by a 21-9 third quarter during which Josh Lamison, the Bees’ tough inside player, essentially took over the game.

    Pierson went into that frame trailing by 11, and immediately pared it to 9 after Andrew James stole the ball from Charles Manning and Robbie Evjen put back a Stephen Musnicki miss.

  • The East Hampton High School boys basketball team, which lost to a tough  Amityville squad here Monday (story on D1), acquitted itself well for the most part in a nonleaguer versus Rocky Point, a fellow Class A school, on Dec. 9.

    The Bonackers won that game 67-53, playing three good quarters and one bad one — the third.

  • Yani Cuesta, who coaches the East Hampton High School girls winter track team, said, in reporting on the girls’ showing earlier that day in an invitational meet at Suffolk Community College-Brentwood, that she thought her charges would stand a good chance at winning the league meet at the end of January.

    The other teams in League V are Shoreham-Wading River, Elwood-John Glenn, Hampton Bays, Southampton, Babylon, McGann-Mercy, Port Jefferson, Mount Sinai, Bayport-Blue Point, and the Knox School.

  • “Where’s the brief?” I asked Mary after we’d seen a somewhat long film about Stephen Hawking, who wrote “A Brief History of Time,” which I’ve taken the time to peruse again in an effort to constantly expand my consciousness, just like the universe.

  • They go for Christmas in a big way in Palm Springs, where we’ll be at the end of the month, with lights and ornaments all around. Yet even if I weren’t jaded when it comes to the mandatory bonhomie of the season, it seems all the more ludicrous to submit this year given the recent baffling refusals of grand juries in Missouri and New York to try police officers who killed unarmed citizens, one who had been told to get up on the sidewalk and another who was placed in an outlawed, and fatal, choke hold for selling single cigarettes.

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