Teams Making Waves

East Hampton High School boys swimming team defeats Deer Park 85-75
Kevin Pineda, who won the 100-yard backstroke for East Hampton in last Thursday’s meet with Deer Park here, did so in a personal-best time of 1 minute and 7.20 seconds. Craig Macnaughton Photos

The East Hampton High School boys swimming team improved to 2-1 in League II competition by defeating Deer Park here by a score of 85-75 last Thursday. Going into this week, the team was 4-1 over all.

The news has been good insofar as the Y.M.C.A.’s youth swim team, the Hurricanes, goes also. At a recent tristate Y meet at Eisenhower Park, in Nassau County, Tom Cohill’s charges were impressive: East Hampton’s 13-to-14-year-old girls were the third-place team; Daisy Pitches, in the 8-and-under group, and Sophia Swanson, in the 13-14s, won high-point trophies; Maggie Purcell was the second-highest point-getter in the open (15-and-up) division; Julia Brierley was third all-around among the 13-14s, and Ethan McCormac, who swims with the boys varsity, recorded personal records in the 500, 200, and 100 freestyle races.

Purcell, a Southampton High School junior who competes as an independent in interscholastic meets, has already qualified for the Y nationals in seven races, “and she’s very close in the backstroke,” said Cohill, who added that his 100-strong team, pretty much evenly divided between boys and girls, is looking to win the Y state meet this winter and, for the first time, to score at the Y nationals.

Toward that end, two former Olym­pians, Jason Lezak, whose come-from-behind anchor leg in the 2008 400 freestyle relay enabled Michael Phelps to win his eighth gold medal, and Amanda Beard, a four-time Olympian who made her debut as a 14-year-old in 1996, gave clinics in the fine points of racing to the Hurricanes at East Hampton’s Y.M.C.A. over the past weekend, beginning with the 8-to-11-year-olds Friday afternoon.

“I want the kids to be more athletic in the water, to be explosive as they go into and out of their flip turns, among other things,” said Cohill during the first session, just before Beard, who once held the world record in the 200-meter breaststroke, lunged, dolphin-like, for the wall from about five feet out.

As Beard was encouraging the kids to approach the wall more explosively, Lezak, “one of the fastest freestylers ever,” in Cohill’s words, showed them how to execute quicker, tighter flips, and, with his hands linked straight over his head and leaping up and down in place, was showing them how further to streamline their exits from the walls.

These were techniques that he taught as well, Cohill said in answer to a question, “but it’s good for them to hear it from Olympians.”

Getting back to the varsity, Craig Brierley, the team’s head coach, said “there were many, many best times last Thursday as we played host to our third League II meet of the season. . . . Deer Park had very impressive frontline swimmers, but was no match when it came to the depth that Bonac displayed.”

East Hampton won half of the 12 events — the 200 medley relay (Christian Brierley, Ryan Duryea, T.J. Calabrese, and Owen McCormac), the 50 freestyle (Brierley), the 100 free (Ethan McCormac), the 200 free relay (Brierley, Owen McCormac, Aiden Forst, and Ethan McCormac), the 100 backstroke (Kevin Pineda), and the 400 relay (though Brierley chose to “exhibition” in that event rather than claim the win).

Among its runners-up were Forst in the 200 free, Ethan McCormac in the 200 individual medley, Calabrese in the 100 butterfly, and Joey Badilla in the 500 freestyle.

Third-place finishers were Luke Tyrell, Dylan Feit, Pineda, and Nick Sigua in the 200 medley relay, Ryan Bahel in the 200 free, Owen McCormac in the 50 free, Pineda in the 100 fly, Conor Flanagan in the 500, Calabrese, Sigua, Andrew Wilson, and Ryan Duryea in the 200 freestyle relay, and Tyrell in the 100 backstroke.

The captains, Christian Brierley, Feit, and Wilson, chose T.J. Calabrese, a fellow senior, as the swimmer of the meet. “Having just come back from having been sick, he swam a personal-best 50 fly leg in the medley relay, which posted a season-best time of 1 minute and 48.55 seconds,” the elder Brierley said, adding that “he also swam the leadoff 50 leg on the 200 free relay B team, which turned in a season-best 1:52.40, and, subbing for a teammate who became ill during the meet, finished a close second in the 100 fly, just missing a county meet qualifying time.”

East Hampton as of Monday had qualified competitors for the county meet in the 200 individual medley (Ethan McCormac), the 50 freestyle (Brierley and Ethan McCormac), the 100 butterfly (Ethan McCormac), the 100 freestyle (Brierley and Ethan McCormac), the 500 freestyle (Aidan Forst), the 100 backstroke (Brierley), the 100 breaststroke (Ryan Duryea), as well as in the 200 medley, 200 freestyle, and 400 freestyle relays.

The team was to have swum at 0-2 West Islip yesterday, and is to be home to 2-1 Hauppauge on Tuesday, at 5 p.m.

Jason Lezak and Amanda Beard gave clinics to young East Hampton swimmers at the Y last weekend.