The high school careers of the two best male swimmers in East Hampton program history came to a very satisfying end at the New York State Championships at Webster-Schroeder High School in western New York over the weekend.
Seniors Trevor Mott and Thomas Brierley had their best times of the year in their respective events—Mott in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle races and Brierley in the 100-yard backstroke.
Mott swam in the preliminaries for both the 200 and 500 on Friday, with a time of 1:45.89 in the 200 and 4:49.36 in the 500, both more than a second better than his previous best finishes. Mott’s time in the 200 was good enough for him to qualify for the finals, which he swam on Saturday and took 18th place overall in 1:45.41. He was 23rd overall in the 500.
Brierley had a time of 53.61 seconds in the 100 backstroke preliminaries, qualifying him for finals, where he finished in 11th place with a time of 54.05.
Achieving personal-best times—as well as record-breaking times—was a theme at the state meet. In the preliminaries, nine state records were broken, and seven more were shattered in the finals the next day.
“I was really happy with the way they performed,” East Hampton head coach Craig Brierley said. “You can’t ask for anything more than their best times. Thomas had a goal of going 53 seconds in the backstroke, and he did that, and he’d never done that before, so that was really good for him.
“And Trevor was trying to get the qualifying time for YMCA Nationals in the 200,” he continued. “He didn’t get it in the prelims, but got it in the finals, so he qualified for that.”
Coach Brierley added that in addition to achieving their personal goals, Brierley and Mott left a lasting mark on the Bonac boys swim program, which has rapidly gained in numbers and talent in less than 10 years of existence.
“It’s unprecedented what they’ve done for this program,” he said. “They are the two best swimmers we’ve had in our short life, and they’ve meant a lot just based on the time they put into swimming even outside of the varsity program. Their leadership skills were very big this year as well as in years leading up to this. They were very good role models for the rest of the team. They have a good work ethic and are just good leaders. They’re definitely going to be missed.”
Both swimmers are aiming to continue their careers at the collegiate level, although they have not made final decisions on where yet. Brierley is leading toward Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, largely because the school also has a varsity triathlon program, and Brierley is an avid triathlete. Mott has been accepted to several schools and is hoping to possibly earn a spot on the UNC-Wilmington swim team.