With a record number of athletes on the roster and plenty of talent as well, it’s shaping up to be a banner year for the East Hampton boys swim team.
More than 30 boys—33 to be exact—joined the team this year, a jump of nine swimmers from last season, and the team is not only deep but has more talent than ever before. The team has strong participation from both Pierson and Bridgehampton as well, with four swimmers from Pierson (Joe Gengarelly, Adam Heller, Kyle Sturmann and Baxter Parcher) and three from Bridgehampton (Rob Rewinski, Claudio Figueroa and Christian Figueroa).
After its first meet of the season, a 102-79 loss to Sayville/Bayport/Blue Point on December 11, the Bonackers had a handful of swimmers and relay teams meet the qualifying standard for the Suffolk County swim meet at the end of the season.
While the final score may indicate that the loss to Sayville was a lopsided one, East Hampton head coach Craig Brierley was very satisfied with the results, pointing out that because the meet was at Sayville’s pool, which has diving boards, Sayville began the meet with a 13-point advantage. East Hampton’s home pool, the East Hampton YMCA, does not have diving facilities and, therefore, the Bonackers do not have any divers on their roster.
Bonac juniors Trevor Mott and Thomas Brierley, the coach’s son, are the top swimmers on the team and had the best results against Sayville last week. Brierley won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:06.36. (The following times have been converted using a formula from USA Swimming because Sayville’s pool is measured in meters). Brierley also won the 100-yard freestyle in 50.66 seconds. Mott was first in both the 200 free (1:51.88) and the 500 free (5:02.91).
Freshman Alex Astilean was second in the 100-yard butterfly in 1:01.62; Shane McCann was third in the 50-yard free in 24.13 seconds; Christ Kalbacher was third in the 100-yard fly in 1:07.30; and Tyler Menold was third in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:17.91.
The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Mott, Robert Anderson, Astilean and Brierley was first in 3:42.36; the 200-yard free relay of McCann, Adam Heller, Rob Rewinski and Mott was second in 1:39.23; and the 200-yard medley relay of Anderson, Astilean, Menold and Thomas Paradiso was second in 1:57.17.
After each meet, the East Hampton captains are supposed to vote on a “swimmer of the meet.” Last week, however, that choice was made by Brierley because team captains had not yet been officially named. Brierley, with the approval of the rest of the team, chose freshman Thomas Paradiso, mainly, he said, because Paradiso stepped up and swam in another event of fill in for a teammate who could not compete.
Based on their performances at that meet, several swimmers have already qualified for counties, a nice achievement so early in the season. Mott has made the cut in the 200- and 500-yard free races; Brierley in the 200-yard IM and 100-yard free; McCann and Rewinski in the 50-yard free; Anderson in the 100-yard free; the ‘A’ relay team in the 200-yard free; and both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ relay teams in the 400-yard free.
Coach Brierley said both his son and Mott have their sights on possibly making the state cuts as well. If they do that, they would be the first swimmers in program history to advance that far. Marina Preiss has been to states several years for the girls team, but an East Hampton boys swimmer has never made it.
Coach Brierley said that leading the team this year has been a pleasure. He was an assistant coach for a few years before taking over for Jeff Thompson, who decided to step down. When asked to account for the bump in numbers on his roster, Brierley had a few theories.
“I think as more kids do it, their friends come along,” he said. “They hear how good the program is, and how much fun they’re having, and I think they want to come along for the ride. It was also an Olympic year, and sometimes that helps fuel interest.”
ON THE SCHEDULE: Thursday, 12/20, at Sachem East, 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 1/3, at Huntington, 4:30 p.m.