Rounding into peak form, members of the YMCA of Montclair Dolphins swim team recorded outstanding performances in two championship meets in the last two weeks.
At the YMCA Bronze Championships, held at the Raritan Bay YMCA on Feb. 10-11, 2018, 31 swimmers racked up 51 top 10 finishes, with many achieving personal bests or qualifying for additional championship meets. Overall, the boys finished 4th out of 16 teams, and the girls 6th out of 17 teams.
Four Dolphins won events: Christian Gilio-Malabre (15) of West Orange in the 100 boys backstroke, Jordan Caro (17) of Montclair in the 200 girls IM, Brendan Goldman (13) of Montclair in the 200 butterfly, and Daniel Seow (9) of Bloomfield in the 100 breaststroke. Gilio-Malabre, Caro, and Seow also logged top 5 finishes in other events.
But they were hardly the only standouts. Among those who finished in the top 5 were Lauren Espiritu (10) of Bloomfield; Asad Holmes (15) of Montclair; Bryana Luna (13) of Newark; John McGovern (16) of Roseland; Mina Meyer-Najmi (12) of Montclair; Caroline Pokorny (10) of Glen Ridge; John Sagui (9) of Clifton; Katie Song (11) of Glen Ridge; Caitlyn Tagliareni (12) of Bloomfield; Clayton Thomas (9) of West Orange; and Natalie Torres (13) of Bloomfield.
At the YMCA Silver Championships, held at Gloucester Institute of Technology on Feb. 16-18, 18 Dolphins recorded 34 top 10 times, with some qualifying for the upcoming state championships. The boys and girls combined to finish 11th out of 26 teams.
Three Dolphins, all from Montclair, won events. Leo Powers (13), led the way with 4 victories in the 200 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 200 freestyle, and 100 breaststroke, plus a 2nd place finish in the 200 breaststroke. He broke four meet records with his 1st place finishes. Lucas Foung (10) won the 100 IM, and came in 3rd in the 100 freestyle. Olivia Beck (12) won the 200 butterfly.
Others who claimed top 5 finishes in one or more events were Tyna Davis (9) of Bloomfield; Justin Ellis (16) of Montclair; Lily Foung (13) of Montclair; Meyer-Najmi; Bailey Morganlander (16) of Montclair; Noemi Morrison (12) of Montclair; David-William Park (14) of Rutherford; Kailan Sobier (12) of Montclair; and Millie Steffe (15) of Montclair.
Next up on the calendar for the Dolphins is the YMCA 12 and under state championships, to be held on Feb. 23-25. The YMCA state championships for older swimmers will be held on March 8-11, at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.
“We are excited about the great results that many of our swimmers had in the Bronze and Silver Championships,” said Head Coach Paulo Madeira. “I look forward to seeing some more great swimming at States.”
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. More than 200 athletes train with the team each year. They compete at all levels, based on their skill set.
For more information about the Montclair YMCA Dolphins swim team, contact head coach Madeira at pmadeira @montclairymca.org or 973-744-3400.