Purcell Excels at Nationals

“Everybody posted best times in their individual events or time trials. It was our most successful Y nationals to date.”
Four of the seven athletes Tom Cohill, above, took to the Y national meet in Greensboro, N.C., were Jane Brierley, Maggie Purcell, Sophia Swanson, and Caroline Oakland, who comprised East Hampton’s 200 medley relay team. Donald Brierley

Maggie Purcell, a Southamptoner who swims for the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter’s Hurricanes, capped her Hurricane career in the short course Y nationals in Greensboro, N.C., this past week, placing ninth and 16th in the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke events. 

Purcell, who is to swim at the University of Richmond, thus tallied 10 points, the first points ever won by the Hurricanes at the national meet, Tom Cohill, the coach, said.

In an email sent before vacationing in Colorado, Cohill said, “We had seven athletes — Ethan McCormac in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyle races, Jane Brierley in the 100 breast, Julia Brierley in the 100 breast, Maggie Purcell in the 50 free, the 100 free, the 100 breast, and the 200 breast, Caroline Oakland in the 200 free, Sophia Swanson in the 200 free, and Oona Foulser in the 200 free and 200 medley relays.”

“Everybody posted best times in their individual events or time trials. It was our most successful Y nationals to date.”

Purcell swam the 100 breaststroke in 1 minute and 3.18 seconds. Her time in the 200 breast was 2:18.90. 

“That’s the highest anyone’s ever placed for us,” Cohill said of Purcell’s ninth-place showing in the 100 breast. “Ninth in the country, that’s pretty amazing.”

Moreover, Cohill said that Jane Brierley’s 1:07.06 in the 100 breast, and McCormac’s freestyle times (21.93 in the 50, 48.62 in the 100, and 1:44.62 in the 200) qualified them to compete in next year’s national meet.

“Maggie finished her career here with a bang, making two all-American cuts in the 100 and 200 breast,” her mother, Julieanne, said in an email.