When asked to fill a spot in the 200-yard freestyle relay, Pierson sophomore Jack Duryea seemed ready to commit, but quickly changed his mind.
“Yes, I think,” he said, before remembering he’d already be competing in three events. “No, I better not. I feel sick. I can’t.”
That uncertainty changed to positivity when the East Hampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson boys swimmer approached head coach Craig Brierley moments before the start of the race and said, “I’m OK. I’ve got this.”
Duryea did what was asked of him and then some, taking points in four events to help the Bonackers to an 89-79 win in a battle of undefeated teams against visiting Hauppauge January 10. He started by helping secure a third-place finish in the 200-medley relay with a 28.50 second split as part of a 1:48.21 time, and third in 53.87 in the 100 freestyle before helping the freestyle relay to second place.
“Jack ‘stole’ points,” Brierley said. “He was asked to try to earn fourth place in the 100 freestyle, and he ended up third by a mere .6 seconds. He was totally gassed, but had some time to recover until his final event, or so he thought. Each swimmer puts his maximum effort into each of the events, but combine that with the daily training being at its most intense and the result is complete exhaustion. Some of the boys could not recover fast enough for their events and the team needed a fill-in for the 200-freestyle relay.”
Both teams understood the importance of the meet as the Bonackers looked to upset the reigning League II champions, and for Duryea it was no different. Testing himself against his opponents, he completed his lap of the 200 freestyle in 24.17. The relay finished the race in 1:40.72.
“There were many wonderful things that happened at this meet, and Jack’s willingness to step up for his team was the one the captains called out by choosing him as swimmer of the meet,” Brierley said. “A few minutes later, Jack went on to swim a very tired breaststroke, but again, did what was asked of him by finishing third.”
The sophomore touched the wall in the 100 breast stroke in 1:09.32.
The win was the Bonackers’ seventh in a row. The team is 5-0 in League II after also topping Northport/Commack 88-77 just two days earlier. East Hampton junior Aidan Forst, who was named the swimmer of that meet. Falling slightly behind on the final 50 yards of the 500 freestyle, he refused to be defeated, and attacked the final turn to break out even with a Northport swimmer and touch the wall .3 seconds ahead. His time of 5:14.59 was a personal best by over nine seconds.
“We have a very strong balance on all fronts and have yet to face a team that can match that,” Brierley said. “The swimmers continue to impress, as they consistently compete very well and are showing nice improvements in the skills and techniques they have been practicing.”
East Hampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson hosted Sayville/Bayport on senior night January 14, honoring Duryea’s older brother Ryan, Ryan Bahel, Thor Botero, Ramses Jimenez, Ethan McCormac, Kenny Sanchez, Luke Tyrell, and Jordan Uribe. The Bonackers will travel to West Islip on Wednesday, January 16, for the final game of the regular season at 5 PM.