YMCA Swim Team Takes Honors at National Meet
The team places in the top 10 in North Carolina.
Propelled by a fifth place finish from the boys, the Somerset Valley YMCA swim team placed in the top 10 at the YMCA National Swim Meet in Greensboro, N.C., April 2 through April 5.
A total of 34 swimmers competed in the meet, bringing a great finish to the swim season. Overall, the team placed 10th in a field of more than 1,000 swimmers from more than 200 YMCAs.
SVY Head Coach Matt Donovan wasn’t sure what to expect for this season, having lost 30 seniors, 21 of whom were Y National Qualifiers and among the best swimmers in the state.
“This group has been chomping at the bit for a very long time with that massive senior group ahead of them, said the coach of 12 years. "It was their time to shine and I am so very proud that they took full advantage of this opportunity."
“With fewer than 10 seniors on the team, and only three that ever scored on the national level [captains Victor Luo and Dana Yu, both of Bridgewater, and Jeff Donovin, of Piscataway], the team hit the pool on the first day with record-breaking swims,” he added.
In the 200-medley relay, the SVY team of Luo and Dylan Sali, of Bridgewater; Brad Zdroik, of Hillsborough; and Donovin took home the silver medal and broke the New Jersey swimming record.
Two young stand-outs were Zdroik and Katrina Kuhn, of Piscataway, both 15, who swam in nearly every relay.
“In many cases, they were the cornerstone to our success,” said SVY Assistant Coach Rob Rynone. “It’s great to know the long-term future of this team is in good hands.”
Other stellar finishes included a second place in the boys 400-medley relay race by swimmers Sali, Luo, Donovin and Zdroik, and a third-place finish and record-setting swim in the 200 free relay by Zdroik; Jesse Novak, of Bridgewater; Andrew Nesbitt, of Somerset; and Doug Chung, of Hillsborough.
The girls 200 free relay team placed sixth, with swimmers, Jacquelynn Parker and Julieyanna Parker, both of Hillsborough, Yu and Kuhn.
“On the whole, the team did really, really well," said Yu, a team captain. "This is the most swimmers who have made it to finals in the four years I’ve been at nationals."
The group headed into the national meet as the three-time state champions, having won the title again in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. in March.
For complete meet results, visit the Y National Swimming and Diving website.
For those who want to join the team, try-outs are April 15 and April 22. The schedule for try-outs can be found at svynj.org.