There are more than 7,000 swimmers across the entire State of New York, according to East Hampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton girls swimming head coach Craig Brierley, and just a small fraction of that number qualify for the New York State Championships. That’s why Brierley and his coaching staff were proud that five of their swimmers were able to make it to Ithaca College for the meet that was competed on Friday and Saturday.
East Hampton’s Jane and Julia Brierley, Darcy McFarland and Sophia Swanson, along with Pierson’s Kiara Bailey-Williams as an alternate, all reached the highest level of their respective sport this past weekend.
“Their season of hard work, commitment and dedication to the team was evident as they competed along with the best in New York State,” Coach Brierley said. “And a special thank-you to Pierson junior, Kiara Bailey-Williams, who traveled with the team as an alternate for the relays. Kiara earned this spot because of her ability to swim all four strokes and could fill any spot on a relay if needed. Even though Kiara did not get the opportunity to compete, she proved to be a valuable asset as she supported her teammates in all of their events.”
The Brierley sisters, McFarland and Swanson competed in both the 200-yard medley and freestyle relays. The squad placed 27th in the state in the medley relay in 1:51.77 and 38th overall in the state in the freestyle relay in 1:42.16.
Individually, Swanson competed in the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard freestyle. She placed 41st in the state in the 100 fly in 59.31 seconds, and on short rest, went ahead and placed 45th in the state in the 100 free in 54.47 seconds. Jane Brierley competed in the 100-yard breaststroke, where she finished 34th in the state in 1:08.85.
All swimmers finished with personal bests in what were their final races of the season.
“A true testament to their hard work and belief in themselves,” Coach Brierley said.
On his final thoughts of this season, Coach Brierley said, “It was so inspiring to watch this year’s group of student-athletes compete with heart and give all they had in every race throughout the season. Our girls represented their schools with respect and dignity with so many wonderful accomplishments and personal growth, both in and out of the pool.
“As goals were set and reached for, whether a best time was achieved or not, it is the hope that each individual ends the season a better person than they were at the beginning,” he added. “Our alumni will be happy to know that the 2019 Bonac girls left the team in a better place than when they got here.”