Members of the YMCA of Montclair Dolphins swim team turned in outstanding performances in two major meets that were held just before the Christmas break.
At the Eastern Express Holiday Classic XXXI, held at Rutgers University on Dec. 16-18, 2017, 32 of the team’s fastest swimmers qualified for a meet that has traditionally been one of the most anticipated all year. More than 1,700 swimmers from 40 teams from the Tri-State area participated this year.
For the Dolphins, Howard Zhuang (11) of West Orange recorded top 8 finishes in 50, 100 and 200 breaststroke. Natalie Dripchak (12) of Montclair finished 3rd in the 100 breaststroke and 10th in the 200 backstroke. Mizell McEachin (14) of Montclair finished 5th in the 50 freestyle. Melanie Dripchak (9) of Montclair finished 10th in the 100 backstroke. And Ed Madrigal (17) of Belleville became the first Dolphin to qualify for the YMCA National Championships in 2 years by shaving more than 4 seconds off his personal best in the 200 butterfly.
At the Winter Classic, held at the Ocean County YMCA on Dec. 8-10, 2017, 68 Dolphin swimmers contributed to a strong performance that included 62 top 10 finishes. Among the highlights was a 1-2-3 finish by Dolphin boys in the 100 free, and a 1-5-7 finish by Dolphin girls in the 200 breaststroke.
Three Dolphin swimmers won races: Kyle Dripchak (9) of Montclair in the 100 and 200 freestyles, and 100 backstroke; Christina Gilio-Malabre (15) of West Orange in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes; and Aurora Auld (10) of Montclair in the 100 butterfly.
Top five finishes in one or more events were recorded by Mia Padberg (15), Melanie Dripchak (9), Lucas Foung (10), and Olivia Beck (12), of Montclair; Femi Oshodi (10) and Kazuri Lateef (11) of West Orange; Cristian Remache (13) and Nead Kojic (12) of Nutley; Natalie Shaw (12) of Glen Ridge; and Ryan LoCicero (11) of Bloomfield.
“Our swimmers have been training hard all through the fall 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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-744-3400.