Members of the YMCA of Montclair Dolphins swim team turned in outstanding performances at the 2019 Jeffrey S. Mace Memorial Summer Sizzle hosted by Eastern Express on Friday-Sunday June 28-30 at the Werblin Recreation Center, Rutgers University.
Thirty-seven of the team’s fastest swimmers qualified for a meet that has traditionally been one of the most anticipated all year. More than 1,500 swimmers from nearly 50 teams from the Tri-State area participated this year.
For the Dolphins, there are 6 national qualifiers – Lily Foung, Connor Townson, Liam Hood, Natalie Dripchak, Ela Habjan, and Thatcher Smith.
A new team record was set in the 13/14 age group in the 200 Medley Relay by Ela Habjan, Natalie Dripchak, Carly Frank, and Natalie Shaw. New national cuts included Natalie Dripchak for the 200 Breaststroke; Ela Habjan for the 50 Free, 100 Free, 200 Back; Connor Townson for the 100 Breast, 200 IM; and Liam Hood for the 100 Back. Lily Foung is our newest national qualifier for the 200 Breaststroke (2:48.07).
For the first time in quite a while for the Dolphins, a boys relay has qualified for Nationals in the 400 Medley Relay swam by Liam Hood, Connor Townson, Mizell McEachin and Thatcher Smith. The swimmers missed the team record in the event by less than one second.
Natalie Dripchak came in 1st in the 200 Breast in the 13/14 age group. Despite swimming in the open events, Ela Habjan (age 14) was 7th in the 50 Free, and 6th in the 100 Back. Mizell McEachin was 1st in the 50 Fly. Leo Powers was 4th in the 13/14 Boys 400 IM event. Girls relays in the 13/14 age group did extremely well – 200 Medley Relay placed 2nd (Ela Habjan, Natalie Dripchak, Carly Frank, Natalie Shaw), and 3rd in the 200 Free Relay (Natalie Shaw, Salma Benchekroun, Tyna Davis, Ela Habjan). The Boys 400 Medley that qualified for Nationals took 3rd in the event.
“Our swimmers have been training hard and we are so proud to see them achieve such great results,” said Paulo Madeira, the team’s head coach. “I am excited to see the swimmers develop further as we head into the championship season.”