Boys Swim to Second Place at County Meet

“The team’s best finish ever,” Coach Brierley said.
East Hampton’s state qualifiers in the 200-meter freestyle relay, from left, Ethan McCormac, Ryan Duryea, Aidan Forst, and Owen McCormac Elise Duryea

On the heels of its first-ever League II championship, the East Hampton boys swimming team took second place out of 28 schools at the county championship meet at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood on Saturday. 

Craig Brierley, Bonac’s coach, called it “the team’s best finish ever” in the competition, adding that the boys “again posted many best times. A very impressive feat given that there were so many best times two weeks ago at the league championships.”

“In the first event,” Brierley wrote in an account of the meet, “the 200 medley relay, the boys dropped three seconds from their best time to take fourth place, showing that they were ready to compete with the best in the county.”

Among the events that followed, “Ethan McCormac earned county champion in both of his individual events, the 50 and 100 free. Ethan also led off the 200 free relay” — with Owen McCormac, Aidan Forst, and Ryan Duryea — “that went a season-best time, took first place (county champions), and finished under the state qualifying time.”

“At the conclusion of the meet,” the coach continued, “we finished with 205 points to Half Hollow Hills’ 402.5,” that team taking its 13th county title in a row. East Hampton finished 28.5 points ahead of third-place Connetquot, which had 176.5. 

As for the swimmer of the meet, this time it was up to Brierley and his assistant, Brian Cunningham, and the honor went to Ryan Duryea, a senior from Pierson. “Ryan was slated to swim the 50 free three times, first in the medley relay, next in the individual event, and then as the anchor in the 200 free relay,” Brierley said. “All prior to his signature event, the 100 breaststroke. Racing the 50 free once is enough of a physical and mental challenge,” but Duryea clocked “a best time in all three. . . . When it came to his 100 breast event, he really had to dig deep and push himself as he swam to a fourth personal best time in the meet, displaying a fantastic display of mental and physical toughness. All season Ryan has been a huge asset to the team with his leadership and versatility to contribute in any event.” 

Among the other best times from the county meet were Joey Badilla in the 100-meter backstroke, Thor Botero in the 50 freestyle, Colin Harrison in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly, Tenzin Tamang and Nicky Badilla in the 100 butterfly, Owen McCormac and Fernando Menjura in the 100 free, and Aidan Forst in his 50-meter leg in the 200-meter freestyle relay.

And the season isn’t over, as next up is the state championship meet on March 1 and 2 at the Nassau County Aquatics Center in East Meadow, where Ethan McCormac will swim the 100 and 200-meter freestyle events and join Ryan Duryea, Aidan Forst, and Owen McCormac in the 200 freestyle relay.