In its final non-league meet of the season and first action in the East Hampton YMCA RECenter pool this season, the East Hampton girls swim team took on one of the top programs in the county, Northport, which also features the top swimmer in the state in Chloe Stepanak. Against tough competition, the Lady Bonackers proved their worth, falling just short of a win in an 88-82 match. East Hampton moved to 0-2 in non-league matches, while Northport improved to 3-0.
Stepanak was dominant, anchoring two winning relay teams for her squad and also winning two individual events — the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke — by sizable margins. But several Lady Bonac swimmers also performed well. Junior Caroline Brown was second in both the 200 free (2:13.50) and the 500 free (6:00.20), while senior Sophia Swanson won both her individual events, taking first in the 200 individual medley in 2:21.47 and the 100 free in 57.40 seconds. Pierson junior Catalina Badilla was second in the 100 free to teammate Swanson by just eight-hundreths of a second, and she was third in the 200 IM by just 0.4 seconds.
Despite Northport’s talent, East Hampton still had a chance to win going into the final event. They needed to take either first and second or first and third in the 400-yard relay, but fell short, with their top team taking second. The teams were neck and neck going into the anchor leg, which is when Stepanak put it away for her team.
The tough competition led to some great results for the Lady Bonackers, as 11 swimmers achieved personal-best times in one or more events, including Nicole Guitierrez, Julia Caldwell, Jane Brierley, Corrina Castillo, Caroline Brown, Lisbeth Leon, Maddie Elflein, Melissa Villa, Larissa Marin, Tiana Treadwell and Reghan Anderson.
Pierson eighth-grader Isabelle Caplin was named Swimmer of the Meet by her teammates for volunteering to compete in the 200-yard individual medley when a spot opened up. Head coach Craig Brierley said the team appreciated her willingness to swim in one of the most difficult events in the meet.
East Hampton was scheduled to open the League III season at home against West Islip on September 27 at 5 p.m. and will be home for a meet with West Babylon on October 3 at 5 p.m.