MONTCLAIR, NJ – The YMCA of Montclair Dolphins have reached the half-way mark for the season with a clean sweep in girls and boys dual meets, outstanding results in invitational events and with dozens of younger swimmers getting their first taste of competition.
The Dolphins have raced and won four dual meets so far this season. The girls team took on the West Essex YMCA team and the boys raced against Greater Morristown- and the boys and girls competed with Wayne Blue Streaks. The boys and girls have one more dual meet each this season. The girls will face off against Sussex County Y and the boys against West Morris Y, with both meets at home on Jan. 6.
The whole squad has had a busy competitive swim schedule, with many swimmers racing at six invitational meets since the short-course season kicked off in October, including three meets in December.
“We’ve had some tremendous results and growth on the team,” said Director of Competitive Aquatics Kyle Laracy.
“What I’m most proud of is the large number of swimmers that have participated across all of our age groups, and every swimmer’s individual improvement so far. We had nearly 75 swimmers under the age of 10 at the recent GMY Blizzard Invitational meet at the Greater Morristown Y, for example. I’m very excited about the future of our program!”
Kyle, who has been coaching with the Dolphins for four years and is leading the team through his first full short-course season, is aiming to improve on the number of swimmers that compete in the short-course championships this year from last year. The championships mark the climax of the season in February and March, and are divided into YMCA Bronze/Silver/State meets. The swimmers aim to make qualifying cuts to enter those meets at competitions throughout the season.
So far, 7 swimmers have made state YMCA championship times, 15 have made YMCA silver times and 75 swimmers have made first YMCA bronze times.
Maeve D’Amico (Cedar Grove), Marcel and Toby Arbelaez (Montclair) have made YMCA 12/under states for the 9-10-year-old age group, Kelly Labonne (Verona), Gabriel Espiritu (Bloomfield) and Joshua Stokes (Glen Ridge) for the 11-12 group. Magnolia Shimizu-Tragni (Montclair) made YMCA 13/over states in the 13-14-year-old age group.
The team also has 26 swimmers who have already made qualifying times for Sunkissed Invitational Junior/Senior Championships in North Carolina in March. That is up from the squad of 20 that competed last year, and more swimmers will likely make the mark as they compete in the remaining events for the seasons.
Congratulations to all the swimmers that have made YMCA Bronze/Silver/States and Sunkissed times!
ABOUT THE YMCA OF MONTCLAIR DOLPHINS
The YMCA of Montclair Dolphins swim team offers a year-round opportunity for competitive swimming in both YMCA and USA Swimming competitions as well as seasonal instructional clinics for aspiring competitive athletes. The team is comprised of girls and boys from age 6 through high school. Around 190 athletes are on the squad this year. They compete at all levels, based on their skill set. Learn more at https://www.montclairymca.org/aquatics/dolphins-swim-team/.