The East Hampton boys swim team took away many positives from a hard-fought 52-49 loss to West Islip in a League II meet on Thursday, January 9.
Despite losing to the host Buccaneers by a narrow margin, a slew of individuals achieved personal-best times, and senior Thomas Brierley solidified a return trip to the New York State swim meet by meeting the qualifying standard in the 100-yard backstroke. Brierley won the race in 54.56 seconds, under the state cut time of 56.82 seconds. He will join teammate Trevor Mott at states, as Mott has already qualified in the 500-yard freestyle. The duo qualified for states last year as well, marking the first time in the history of the East Hampton boys swim team that any athletes made it to states.
The meet was a back-and-forth battle throughout, coming down to the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay. To win, East Hampton needed to take first and second place in the relay. Its ‘A’ team of Trevor Mott, Thomas Paradiso, Rob Rewinski and Thomas Brierley took first, in 3:29.65, setting a new team record in that event. The ‘B’ team finished third, in 3:42.70, although it was the best time for a Bonac ‘B’ relay team in that event so far this season.
West Islip earned an additional seven points because it has several divers on its team, while East Hampton does not, because it does not have diving boards at its home pool, the East Hampton YMCA.
East Hampton head coach Craig Brierley said he was very happy overall with his team’s effort and pointed out that both the loss of points to diving and the fact that West Islip’s home pool has only four lanes as opposed to six hampered his team’s ability to get over the hump and earn the win. The four-lane pool puts a limit on how many swimmers can compete, and depth is typically a strength for East Hampton.
Eight swimmers earned personal-best times in individual events, in addition to the personal-best time set by the ‘A’ 400 free relay team. Chris Kalbacher took 0.8 seconds off his previous best time in the butterfly leg of the 200 medley relay (26.01 seconds), while Anthony McGorisk took 0.4 seconds off his previous best time in the backstroke leg of the 200 medley relay (29.22) and shaved 0.2 seconds off his previous best time in the 400 free relay (55.35).
Paradiso took 0.95 seconds off in the 100 free (54.03); Alex Astilean took 0.8 off in the 200 free relay (23.20); Henry Whitney took 0.7 off in the 200 free relay (26.46); Claudio Figueroa took 0.7 off in the 200 free (26.46); Christian Brierley took 0.2 off in the 100 backstroke (1:01.17) and took a second off in the 400 free relay (57.27); and Robert Anderson took a second off in the 400 free relay (54.44).
Paradiso was named the Swimmer of the Meet by his teammates.
Before squaring off against West Islip, East Hampton lost, 109-74, at Hauppauge in another League II meet. The losses dropped East Hampton to 0-2 in league competition, 1-3 overall.
Hauppauge earned an additional 13 points for its diving team.
Joe Gengarelly set a personal record in the 200 medley relay, taking 0.5 seconds off his previous best time in the breaststroke leg of the 200 medley relay, while Figueroa dropped 15 seconds off his time in the 200 free (2:17.74), and took two seconds off in the 200 free relay (27.19). T.J. Calabrese took a second off his previous best time in the 200 IM, finishing in 2:34.08.
Figueroa was named the Swimmer of the Meet.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 1/15, vs. Harborfields, 4:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 1/21, at North Babylon, 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 1/23, vs. Deer Park, 4:30 p.m.