These Bonackers make it look easy.
While completing East Hampton’s first undefeated League II season in school history last year seemed an incredible feat, doing it twice in a row was no daunting task to Aidan Forst. With a 97-68 home win over Sayville/Bayport January 23, the team, also made up of students from Pierson and Bridgehampton, did it again. The senior co-captain said what is most sweet about the unblemished record is proving a former teammate wrong.
“Ethan McCormac wasn’t full sure that we would be able to go undefeated, but we did,” he said. “We have kids who can swim every event, so we know we can swim fast in whatever event we’re put into. We have a really solid team.”
Only one meet was close for the Bonackers (7-0, 7-1-1) this league season — a 55-46 victory against West Islip. Other close contests came in the form of an 82-75 win over League I’s Northport, and an 85-all tie with Connetquot/East Islip. East Hampton’s only defeat was at the hands of Half Hollow Hills back on December 3. The Bonackers lost that first meet of the season 106-69.
“The swimmers continue to display the physical and mental skills they are developing during their daily training,” head coach Craig Brierley said.
To Forst, Brierley’s race pace training has set up the team for success. He and his fellow Bonackers practice swimming the times they would during a meet, making the race day that much easier.
“The expectations continue to prepare the boys for their competitions both physically and mentally,” Brierley said. “They are being challenged each practice, each repetition, to focus and improve on their racing skills. Based upon the recent meets, they are responding very well.”
At the senior night meet Thursday, Forst hit the qualifying time to compete in the 200-yard freestyle in the Suffolk County championships.
In the opening event, the 200 medley relay, he, Curran O’Donnell, Fernando Menjura, and Conor Flanagan finished third, while teammates Joey Badilla, Jack Duryea, Colin Harrison, and Owen McCormac, Ethan’s younger brother, placed first for a 10-4 lead over the Golden Flashes. In the 200 freestyle, Forst, clocking in at 1 minute, 57.95 seconds touched the wall first, Nicky Badilla second, and Daniel Piver third to put the Bonackers out front 23-7. From there the boys dominated the meet, and went on to outscore Sayville in all but one event, the 500 freestyle, which ended in an 8-8 tie for points.
“There was a wonderful energy at the pool due to the senior recognitions,” Brierley said. “We were prepared for a competitive meet and the boys were prepared to bring their best in order to defeat a talented Sayville team. Our first swimmers did their jobs up front and the second and third swimmers were following through with their expectations, so together, that was way too much for Sayville to respond to.”
Harrison, an East Hampton junior, was named the swimmer of the meet by his captains. He swam best times in all three of his events, helping two relay teams to first-place finishes and taking first place in the 100 butterfly.
“We aren’t done yet,” Forst said. “We still have league championship meet to win.”
The Bonackers will compete in the League II championships at Hauppauge High School January 30 beginning at 4:15 PM.