Written by Simon Webb
MONTCLAIR, NJ — Four swimmers from the Montclair Dolphins girls’ team smashed their personal best times at the three-day Great Turkey meet in Tom’s River earlier this month to qualify for a top regional competition in North Carolina in March.
Some 74 Dolphins swimmers traveled to the meet hosted by the Tiger Sharks team at the Ocean County YMCA over the first weekend of November, competing in 316 events. It was the first major meet of the winter season for the Dolphins under new head coach Roman Sloudnov.
Dolphin Charlotte Roeland (Verona) had a standout meet, winning the 50-yard fly and the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events for 11-12 year-old girls.
Charlotte notched up a qualifying time for the Sunkissed National Championship event to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, in March for the 100-yard fly, beating her previous best by a huge 23.66 seconds to finish in second place with a time of 1 minute 7.53 seconds. She also swam her first Sunkissed times for the 100-yard and 200-yard individual medleys, finishing second in both events.
Qualifying for Sunkissed meet during the winter season is the ambition of many competitive swimmers from more than a dozen East Coast and Midwest states that attend.
Dolphin Magnolia Shimizu-Tragni (Montclair) also swam Sunkissed times in the 100-yard fly and the 200-yard individual medley for 11-12 year-olds.
Edith Wong (Verona) took nearly nine seconds off her best in the 100-yard breaststroke to swim her first Sunkissed time in that event for girls aged 11-12 years.
Vivian McCormick (Montclair) chopped a massive 26.35 seconds off her best in the 200-yard breaststroke for girls 13 years and older, finishing in 2 minutes 56:92 seconds.
The squad had a strong meet, collectively notching up 149 new bests over the weekend.
“We have had a successful meet. I am equally happy for those who made time cuts for championship meets and those who did their first flip-turn at this invitational. It was a great opportunity for our coaches to watch their athletes in action. The number of personal best times tells me that we are moving in the right direction,” said Sloudnov, who was named head coach in July. Sloudnov is a former world-record holder and a four-time Olympian who won a bronze medal for the 100m breaststroke at the Sydney games in 2000.
Congratulations to the swimmers diving into their maiden invitational meet for the Dolphins. They included Eliana Anderson (Montclair), Ella Anderson (Glen Ridge), Claire Anderson-Howard (Montclair), Paloma Gregory-Menez (Verona), Morgan McCartney (Verona), Sofia Porawski (Glen Ridge), Ryan Reis (Caldwell), Jack Wilson (Montclair), Jacob Miller (Montclair), and Jake Lo (Bloomfield).
The Dolphins were back in the pool for a busy day on November 12, when they hosted their first home event of the season, a dual meet against Hunterdon County YMCA. The team also traveled to Ridgewood YMCA for another dual meet there.
Next up is a home meet against Ridgewood and another invitational in Morristown in the first weekend of December.
Pictured Left to Right in Photo: Victoria Sluk and Charlotte Roeland. Photo credit Jacky Roeland
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 ages 6 through high school. Around 200 athletes train with the team each year. They compete at all levels based on their skill set.
ABOUT THE YMCA OF MONTCLAIR
Established in 1891, the YMCA of Montclair welcomes all. We are a nonprofit that strengthens individuals, families, and community by developing spirit, mind, and body. We focus on healthy living, social responsibility, and youth development. Serving Bloomfield, Bloomingdale, Clifton, Cedar Grove, Glen Ridge, Haskell, Montclair, Verona, and West Milford. For more information, please visit montclairymca.org.