A Triumphant Farewell

Kenny Sanchez named swimmer of the meet
Ryan Duryea, who won the 50 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke (above), also anchored the winning 400 free relay team in Monday’s win — East Hampton’s eighth in a row — over Sayville-Bayport. Craig Macnaughton

With a convincing win over Sayville-Bayport   Monday, and with a similarly stellar victory over Hauppauge, the defending league champion, last Thursday, it appeared likely that the East Hampton High School boys swimming team would wind up as a league titlist for the first time since the program began here under Jeff Thompson in 2010.

Craig Brierley’s charges, who improved to 7-0 (8-0) as a result of their latest triumph, were to have swum at West Islip yesterday, a team that had edged Sayville-Bayport by 3 points and which had lost to Hauppauge by 8. East Hampton, by contrast, left both teams far in its wake. The reported scores, of 91-77 and 89-79, made the decisive victories appear to be closer than they were.

Following Monday’s showdown at the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter, Bonac’s captains, Ethan McCormac, Ryan Duryea, Ryan Bahel, and Jordan Uribe, were uncertain at first whom to name as swimmer of the meet, an indication, it was noted, that everyone had done his best. 

Kenny Sanchez, a fellow senior — all eight of them were honored before the meet began, passing the baton as it were to juniors at the end of traditional 25-yard laps — was finally settled upon as the designee.

Both meets at the Y this past week proceeded in a similar fashion, with East Hampton increasingly pulling away in the final four events.

Going into the 200 freestyle relay (the ninth event) last Thursday, and on Monday as well, East Hampton led the opposition 61-49. And each time East Hampton, urged on by Bonac fans, captured first and second place to go up 73-51. 

The winning team last Thursday comprised Edward Hoff, Colin Harrison, Owen McCormac, and Ryan Duryea; the 200 relay winners Monday were Ethan McCormac, Thor Botero, Hoff, and Owen McCormac.

In an account following the Hauppauge meet, Brierley said, “We have a very strong balance on all fronts and we have yet to face a team that can match that. . . . The coaches are really happy with our swimmers’ efforts, and with their teamwork and the resilience they show going into each event.”

Ethan McCormac won the 200 and 100 freestyle races in both meets; Ryan Duryea won Monday’s 50 free and the 100 breaststroke. Aidan Forst won the 500 versus Hauppauge and was second, by three seconds, to Sayville’s Andrey Dagayev on Monday. Duryea was the breaststroke runner-up to Hauppauge’s Jordan Nielsen last Thursday.

But what put East Hampton well over the top in both meets were the second and thirds it garnered. 

Duryea and Owen McCormac’s one-two finish in Monday’s 50 free (the fourth event) treated East Hampton to a 36-26 lead, and Sayville-Bayport was not able to narrow the gap thereafter.

Likewise, East Hampton — with Ethan McCormac, Botero, Hoff, and Owen McCormac, and with Tenzin Tamang, Will Midson, Kevin Pineda, and Harrison — went one-two in the 200 free relay, putting things well out of reach.

John Ryan Sr., who years ago began “drownproofing” East Hampton’s youngsters by way of a popular junior lifeguard program, gave Brierley a pat on the back after his charges had upended the defending league champions. 

“It was a big win for us — we had to dig deep,” the coach said afterward. “The Sayville-Bayport meet could go either way. . . .”

But as it turned out, there was not much reason to worry. 

As aforesaid, the eight seniors — one of whom, Ramses Jimenez, was absent “because of a family emergency” —  were cited by Brierley before Monday’s meet began.

Ethan McCormac is to go to Providence College, Bahel to Vanderbilt, Duryea to Roger Williams, Uribe to Fordham, Botero to the University of Vermont, Sanchez to the State University at Oneonta, and Luke Tyrell to Boston University. 

As for projected majors, Bahel is eyeing engineering, Tyrell and Uribe biology, and Duryea architecture. The rest said they were as yet undecided.

League II’s meet will be held at Hauppauge High School on Jan. 31, beginning at 4:15 p.m. The county meet is to be held at Suffolk Community College-Brentwood on Saturday, Feb. 9, beginning at 10 a.m.

East Hampton’s coaches, Brian Cunningham and Craig Brierley, huddled up with seven of the team’s eight seniors — Jordan Uribe, Ryan Bahel, Luke Tyrell, Thor Botero, Ethan McCormac, Kenny Sanchez, and Ryan Duryea — after Monday’s win here over Sayville-Bayport. Jack Graves