For most of this past week Craig Brierley was coaching both female and male swimmers in the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter’s pool, which, he said during a conversation Monday, “was challenging.”
His girls team, which placed second to Sayville-Bayport in the league championship meet and was sixth among 26 teams in the county meet, finished its season this past weekend as four of Brierley’s charges — his daughter Julia, Jane Brierley, Sophia Swanson, and Darcy McFarland — competed in the state meet at Ithaca College.
Swanson, the Old Montauk Athletic Club’s designee as its youth female athlete of the year — she’ll receive a $1,000 grant at the club’s holiday dinner Monday — swam in three events, the 100 freestyle, the 100 butterfly, and, with the above-named, in the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay races.
“Our girls all swam their best times at the states — it was a true testament to their hard work and confidence,” the elder Brierley said on their return.
The medley relay team finished 27th over all in 1 minute and 51.77 seconds; the 200 free relay team finished 38th in 1:42.16; Jane Brierley placed 34th in the 100 breaststroke (arguably swimming’s hardest stroke) in 1:08.85; Swanson placed 41st in the 100 fly in 59.31, and then, on short rest, 45th in the 100 free in 54.47.
Brierley said he was impressed by the fact that this quartet had progressively turned in season-best — and in some cases even lifetime-best — times, dating to the league championship meet three weeks ago. “They had to hold on to those best times while competing at the state’s highest level, and did not disappoint. With over 7,000 female varsity swimmers in the state, our program is extremely proud of our state qualifiers.”
The alternate, Kiara Bailey-Williams, he added, did not compete, though could have filled in anywhere if needed given the fact that she can swim all four strokes well.
“This year’s group,” said Brierley, “was so inspiring to watch — they gave it their all in every race throughout the fall.”
As for his seniors, Julia Brierley plans on swimming at the State University at Geneseo, her father said, adding that Swanson too wants to swim in college.
And now, on to the boys season, whose prospects were, Brierley said in a telephone conversation Monday, very good.
He and Brian Cunningham, his assistant, have 28 on the roster this winter — 20 returnees and eight who are new to the team, namely Sebastian Gomez, a Pierson junior, Alex Hatgistavrou, an East Hampton ninth grader, Gabriel Ramundo, a Pierson senior, P.J. Ramundo, a Pierson 10th grader, Daniel Sarlo, an East Hampton junior, and Luke Tarbet, Colin Tyrrell, and Charlie Weimar, East Hampton ninth graders.
The rest of the roster, in alphabetical order, comprises Joey Badilla, a Pierson junior; Nicholas Badilla, a Pierson sophomore; Ben Berkhofer, an East Hampton junior; Miles Coppola, an East Hampton senior; Jack Duryea, an East Hampton junior.
Kai Esposito, an East Hampton junior; Conor Flanagan, a Pierson senior; Aidan Forst, an East Hampton senior; Christian Gaines, an East Hampton junior; Colin Harrison, an East Hampton junior; Edward Hoff, a Pierson senior.
Aidan McCormac, an East Hampton sophomore; Owen McCormac, an East Hampton junior; Callum Menelaws, an East Hampton senior; Fernando Menjura, an East Hampton junior; Will Midson, an East Hampton senior.
Curran O’Donnell, an East Hampton ninth grader; Daniel Piver, an East Hampton sophomore, and Tenzin Tamang, an East Hampton ninth grader.
“We’ve got a lot of good athletes,” said Brierley. “They’re really excited [about the season to come], and so are we.”
The boys’ first meet, a mandatory nonleaguer, will be Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Half Hollow Hills West High School in Dix Hills. The team’s first meet — also a mandatory nonleaguer — at the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter will be next Thursday, at 5 p.m., with Connetquot-East Islip.