Throughout the weekend of March 8-10, 11 athletes training at Valley Shore YMCA (VSYMCA) in Westbrook competed at Connecticut Swimming’s Age Group Championships. This event is the state championship for age group swimming.
In the 10 and under age group, four girls (Kaeleigh O’Donnell of Essex, Kayla Mendonca, Anna Lang and Maddy Henderson- all from Madison) competed in individual events as well as teaming up for the medley relay where they finished fifth. Kayla Mendonca of Madison set two team records in distance freestyle events; the 200 yard freestyle and the 500 yard freestyle. Kayla also reset her own team record in the 100 butterfly.
In the highest finish of the meet, Kayla finished 3rd in the 500 freestyle, qualifying her to continue on to represent her state in Eastern Zone competition. In her first year on the swim team, Anna Lang was proud to qualify for this prestigious event and swam the 50 free. Kaeleigh O’Donnell swam the 100 yard breast stroke finishing 30th. Maddy Henderson qualified in two backstroke events (50 yard and 100 yard) finishing 11th and 23rd. Maddy also swam the 50 butterfly finishing 23rd.
The 10 and under girls were joined by two 10 and under boys, Daniel Chen of Madison and Kyle Wisialowski of Old Saybrook. Dan, not having chosen his favorite stroke yet, competed in every stroke excluding freestyle, and also both the 100 and 200 medley. Dan’s 7th place finish in the 50 backstroke was among the best finishes on the team. This was Kyle’s first appearance at Age Group Championships (in the 50 yard butterfly) after a winning performance at Regional Championships.
In the 12 and under age group, Liam Leavy (Ivoryton) was the only VSYMCA swimmer, but proud to boast his first age group qualification in the 50 backstroke.
The under 14 age group category boasted Mike Healey (Madison). Mike swam the signature sprint event in swimming; the 50 freestyle as well as the 50 backstroke. Mike also excels at the individual medley and swam both the 200 medley, and the 400 medley, widely thought to be swimming’s most grueling event.
In the 15 and up age group, the team fielded three senior members; freestylers Nick Husted (Westbrook) and Jessica Lee, as well as breaststroker Peter Fuchs both of Old Lyme. Jessica had a top finish in the 50 freestyle, finishing in fifth place. Jessica also made the evening final in the 100 yard freestyle, finishing in 15th place. This bodes well for Jessica’s next competition at the Y National Championships on April 3 in Greensboro, N.C. Peter Fuchs set the team record in the 200 yard breaststroke.
Those interested in joining the swim team are encouraged to obtain more information about the Long Course season by visiting www.vsymarlins.org or calling the Valley Shore YMCA at 860 399-9622. Tryouts will be held in mid-April for the season which runs through to Long Course Age Group Championships in late July.