Tom Cohill, the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter aquatics director, who coaches the Y’s youth swim team, the Hurricanes, took two of his long-distance competitors, Trevor Mott and Georgie Bogetti, to the Senior Metropolitan championships at Lehman College in the Bronx this past weekend, and was duly impressed by their performances.
Another East Hampton swimmer, Marina Preiss, an East Hampton High School junior who is trained by her mother, Meg, “had a fantastic meet” at Lehman, placing third in the 100-yard freestyle, in 51.92 seconds, 10th in the 50 free, in 24.14, 12th in the 100 backstroke, in 58.52, 15th in the 200 free, in 1:55.34, and 22nd in the 200 back, in 2:08.91 — all personal best times that qualified her in each event for USA Swimming’s sectional meet in Buffalo next month.
Meg Preiss said “the winner of the 100 free was Lia Neal,” who won a bronze medal in the 4x100 freestyle relay in the Summer Olympics.
Marina will also swim in USA Swimming’s junior nationals in Orlando, Fla., next month. She’ll compete in four events there.
Marina was, said her mother, “the first swimmer to qualify for the N.C.S.A. junior national championships in three events [the 100 free, 50 free, and 100 back], the first swimmer from East Hampton to medal at the Senior Met meet, and last year became the first swimmer from East Hampton to qualify for and attend USA Swimming’s sectional meet.”
In order to qualify for Senior Met meet 1,000-yard freestyle races, Bogetti and Mott — she is an eighth grader and he is an East Hampton High School junior — had their 1,000-yard times extrapolated from sanctioned 1,650-yard time trials at the Y’s pool here.
Last Thursday, each of them swam in 1,000-yard competitions (the longest race in high school meets is the 500). “Georgie placed 20th among 37 entrants in 10 minutes and 36.33 seconds,” Cohill said during a conversation Monday. “Trevor was 21st of 32 in 10:06.18.”
“Of all my swimmers, Trevor has made the biggest improvement — in all the events, but especially in the long-distance ones — in the past year,” the coach added. It was the first time either one of them had swum the 1,000 in competition.
Bogetti undoubtedly will be warmly welcomed by East Hampton High’s girls swim team coach, John McGeehan, this fall, considering the fact that she has already swum a 500 time that would have qualified her for the state meet in that event had she been a member of the varsity.
Bogetti and Mott each swam in the 1,650 race Sunday — she finishing ninth among 40 entrants, in 17:29.81, and he placing 17th among 41 competitors, in 16:52.43. Those times, said Cohill, were each about 14 seconds faster than those they swam in their sanctioned time trials.
Apparently the longer the race the better they get.
“It was a big meet . . . there were some Olympic coaches there, and former Olympians,” said Cohill, including a friend of his, Glenn Mills, who had been on the 1980 United States Olympics team that, because of tensions with the U.S.S.R., didn’t compete that year.
Cohill said that Mills had told him “it was really impressive to see them swim that well, which I thought was pretty cool, coming from an Olympian.”
Next up for Mott is this weekend’s state meet where he’ll swim in the 500. “This meet at Lehman ought to give him a lot of confidence in the 500,” said Cohill, who added, in reply to a question, that “Trevor’s goal is to make the Y national cutoff, which means he’ll have to do at least a 4:47.99.”
Thomas Brierley, a teammate of Mott’s on East Hampton High’s boys team, had already qualified for the Y nationals in the 100-yard backstroke, the Hurricanes’ coach said. Brierley, who’s also a junior, recently won the county’s 100 backstroke in what was said to be the meet’s most exciting event. Until this year, East Hampton’s four-year-old program had never had a boy qualify for the state meet. Preiss has swum in the state meet three times, the first year as an eighth grader.
The Y.M.C.A. nationals are to be held the first week of April. Meanwhile, Cohill said he will take 41 Hurricanes to the Y’s three-day state meet at Ithaca College in mid-March.
“It’s the biggest group I’ve ever had going to the states,” Cohill said.