Swimmers Knock Off Defending League Champion

Pierson's Kiara Bailey-Williams competes in the 500-yard freestyle against Sayville earlier this year. Michael Heller photos

The growth of the girls swimming program at East Hampton High School has been well documented, but the team has been limited from breaking through the top tier of competition in Suffolk County. The team made a huge stride in reversing that trend on Thursday, September 27, with a 91-77 win over Sayville, last year’s League III champion and the fourth best program in the county.

“Based upon our meets over the past few years, we were expecting, and ready for the challenge,” head coach Craig Brierley said later. “Prior to the start of the meet, the girls were made aware of what their job was and what was to be expected of them in each event. We knew going in that every event will be a very close contest, and that is what makes a meet like this one so much fun. The girls are asked to control what happens in their lane and to do their absolute best.”

Kiara Bailey-Williams waits to start the 500 freestyle.

The team, which improved to 2-0 in League III and 2-2 overall, set the tone early with first- and third-place finishes in the 200-yard medley relay, which includes some of the team’s best swimmers in Caroline Brown, Julia Brierley, Sophia Swanson and Oona Foulser. Swanson, who is only a junior, was also on the winning 200 freestyle relay team, and won the 200 IM while also finishing third in the 100 butterfly even after her goggles came off in the middle of the race. She was named the team’s “swimmer of the meet” for her latest outstanding performance.

“Sophia works very hard in her training and is very determined to continue to improve,” Brierley said. “The captains wanted to reward Sophia for that dedication and commitment, and for her invaluable contributions to the team.”

Pierson sophomore Kiara Bailey-Williams has also had a standout season for the Lady Bonackers, and placed third in her signature event, the 500 freestyle, against Sayville and was fourth in the 200 IM with a personal-best time of 2:29.11, earning points in both events.

Next up for East Hampton is a meet at West Babylon on Thursday, October 4, at 5 p.m. followed by a trip to The Stony Brook School on October 9 for a meet at 5 p.m. The team will swim its last home meet on October 18 against Harborfields, which is currently tied with East Hampton for first place in the league.