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Mar 6, 2018 11:26 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Ethan McCormac Overcomes Illness, Has Best Results Yet At State Swimming Meet

East Hampton junior Ethan McCormac reached the finals and placed 21st in the 100-yard freestyle of the New York State Boys Swimming Championships this past weekend. MARIA PROTANO
Mar 6, 2018 11:26 AM

Prior to this past weekend’s New York State Boys Swimming Championships at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow, the last time East Hampton junior Ethan McCormac went in a pool was nearly two weeks earlier at the Senior Metropolitan Winter Championships, due to a bad case of the flu. With no practice leading up to the state meet, McCormac and his East Hampton coaches debated holding him out of it.

The day before the meet began on Thursday, March 1, McCormac made the decision to go and compete, and he’s glad he did.

In his second appearance at the state level, McCormac had his best finish yet in the 100-yard freestyle, reaching the finals on Saturday for the first time and placing 21st overall in 48.46 seconds, matching his previous best time. He reached the finals by finishing the preliminary race on Friday in 48.72 seconds. McCormac also made his first states appearance in the 200-yard free and finished 54th in 1:49.43, which was three seconds slower than his state qualifying time, but considering he hadn’t been in a pool in nearly two weeks, it was a commendable effort.

Being the only swimmer to represent East Hampton, McCormac said it was important for him to be at the state meet. He is one of the few Bonac athletes ever to qualify for two different state meets in one season, having also qualified as part of the cross country team in the fall. Since he qualified for YMCA Nationals as part of the East Hampton Hurricanes swim team in April, McCormac won’t be on a spring school team.

“I just wanted to represent East Hampton. I wanted to make sure I was going,” he said. “I was pretty worried to begin with but I was really happy. It was worth it.”

“My mental toughness pushed me through to do my best,” McCormac added. He also said that next year his goal is to reach the state meet for a third consecutive season and win an event.

East Hampton head coach Craig Brierley said that he, his coaches and McCormac all decided he had nothing to lose and that he was willing to give it his best shot.

“It was a great experience and a very fast meet that in the end, Section XI (Suffolk County), was crowned the sectional state champions for the second year in a row,” he said in an email. “Long Island swimming, and East Hampton swimming, is going strong with a bright future for our sport in both our boys and girls programs.”

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