Ethan McCormac told his teammates prior to the state swim meet that he was going to “crush these kids,” and he blew many of them out of the water.
The senior on the East Hampton swim team finished third in the 100-yard freestyle in a personal record-breaking 46.23 second and fifth in the 200 in 1:42.35 at the state championships at Nassau County Aquatic Center March 2.
“He was very energetic, ready to swim, and it was great watching him do so well,” said teammate Aidan Forst.
McCormac also led off with the best 50 split (21.33) of the 200 freestyle relay, the team’s first quartet to qualify for states, that finished 18th with a time of 1:28.93, just .4 seconds off the personal best set at the Suffolk County championships. The Bonackers wrapped up the meet at 23rd in the standings and fifth among Section XI teams.
“There was a lot of energy and a lot of excitement,” said Forst, a junior who also swam in the relay. “It was really fun. We did our best.”
McCormac’s brother Owen (22.50), a sophomore, dropped his time to follow his brother, and Ryan Duryea (21.55) closed out his senior season by anchoring the relay with his own personal best split.
“It was great to be able to compete with the best kids in the state,” Duryea said. “To put everything we trained for all season together and to see it all work out really nicely for us, it was a great way to end my varsity career; it was special. This put the cherry on top.”
His Bonackers finished the regular season undefeated, were named League II champions, and finished second in the county. The relay team placed first in the county, and Ethan McCormac swept both his freestyle events at that meet.
“This has been a really great experience, and Ethan and I both cherished those last moments,” Duryea said. “Knowing swimming in that relay was our last high school swim was sad — knowing it’s the end of our journey here — but the future is bright. There’s some really strong kids coming back.”
The swimmer said getting to the apex of the sport, the highest level of competition was his goal, and his teammates are hungry to make it happen again next year, even after losing two of their top competitors.
“Ethan and Ryan, they’re both outstanding swimmers. We’re going to have to find a way to replace them, but I think we’re going to have a strong, well-rounded team. There won’t be one exceptionally good kid on our team like Ethan, but we’re going to be balanced, on the same level at the top of the league,” Forst said. “Even in the beginning we knew we were going to have a really, really strong season, and looking to next year we see the same. I don’t want to sound cocky, but we just know we’re good.”