- It's been a season of firsts for the East Hampton boys swimming team - its first varsity season, its first road meet, its first victory, and on Tuesday night at the YMCA, its first home meet in history. Against Harborfields, the Bonackers had hoped to treat the home crowd to a win, but even though they came up on the short end of an 89-81 outcome, they felt right at home for the first time ever.
"They swam inspired," head coach
Jeff Thompson said. "None of the guys backed off. They spit nuts and bolts the whole time, and that's all you can ask."
Competitors in the 100-yard breaststroke hit the pool in East Hampton.
East Hampton's independent boys swim team had always recruited limited numbers to the pool until last year when 13 swimmers came out. That number rose to 17 and the school filed for varsity status. Bonac's first victory came Monday at Brentwood, and fell just short of earning number one at home against the Tornadoes, who have been competing for nearly a decade.
"It feels good to be able to compete with a team like that," said co-captain Alec Gonzalez-Gagliotti.
The senior had a huge night in the home debut, winning the 200 freestyle (2:05.10) and taking second in the 500 free (5:51.10). He also swam a leg for the first-place 200 free relay team, joining Yves Bourel, Adrian Krasniqi and Matt Kalbacher. The quartet of Garner Minetree, Tim Gualtieri, Brock Lownes and Chico Koch came in second (1:48.63) to score 12 big points in the event.
The other jackpot was hit in the 50-yard freestyle when East Hampton went 1-2-3. Koch set the place by swimming two lengths in 25.28 seconds. He hit the wall just ahead of Krasniqi (25.58) and Kalbacher (26.12).
"A lot of them are lifeguards, so they're very good short distance sprinters," Thompson said. "The 50 is a more familiar race to them than the 100."
East Hampton hosts its next four meets, greeting Connetquot Thursday, Central Islip on January 20, Huntington on January 22 and finally Lindenhurst on January 26.
The 2009-10 East Hampton varsity boys swimming team hosts four consecutive home meets, including Thursday against first-place Connetquot.