The Bonackers swam hard, and fast, but in the end East Hampton’s 200-yard freestyle relay came two seconds short of a Suffolk County title on Saturday, November 9 at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood.
“The dedication and hard work that the girls put in throughout the season shined through in their efforts in the competition,” head coach Craig Brierley said. “Throughout the meet, the Bonac girls, again, posted either season-best or lifetime-best times — a very impressive task given the fact that most of them posted best times just a week prior.”
Senior Sophia Swanson swam a personal best 24.40 seconds as the anchor of the relay. She also finished third in the 200 freestyle in 1:58.31, and third in the 100 freestyle in 53.78, which was also a state-qualifying time.
“Sophia has earned her successes in the pool,” Brierley said of Swanson, who was chosen by her teammates as the swimmer of the meet. “She’s always a tough competitor and a consistent hard worker in practice.”
Swanson also swam a lifetime best in her leg of the 400 freestyle relay that touched the wall fifth in 3:45.92. That quartet, which includes Catalina Badilla, Julia Brierley, and Jane Brierley, was tasked with attempting to drop over 17 seconds in order to qualify that relay in the state meet.
“Of course, these girls were up for the challenge, and came close,” Brierley said. The girls dropped almost 15 seconds between them and finished in fifth place.
In the end, East Hampton finished sixth out of 26 schools.
East Hampton senior Julia Brierley took more than two seconds off her season best and .4 off of her personal best time to finish seventh in the 50 freestyle, touching the wall in 25.96; and Pierson junior Kiara Bailey-Williams dropped over two seconds from her season-best time (2:23.06) for a 14th-place finish.
Freshman Jane Brierley dropped 1.8 seconds with a fifth-place finish in the 200 individual medley, and 1.4 seconds off her 100 freestyle (57.14) for 15th place.
East Hampton senior Darcy McFarland went a personal best in the 100 butterfly (1:06.46) for 23rd place. East Hampton sophomore Emily Dyner erased 1.6 seconds off her lifetime best (1:04.15) with an 18th place finish in the 100 backstroke, and Bailey-Williams bettered her career best by 2.3 seconds to finish in 21st place (1:04.65).
Dyner, Bailey-Williams, McFarland, and Caroline Brown went best times and finished 11th in the 200 medley relay.
Both Brierleys, Bailey-Williams, McFarland, and Swanson will represent East Hampton in the state championships at Ithaca College November 22 and 23. Swanson will compete in the 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle. Jane Brierley will swim in the 100 breaststroke, and she, Swanson, the other Brierley, and McFarland will race in the 200 medley relay. Bailey-Williams is the team’s alternate.