Thirty-eight members of the Somerset Valley YMCA swim team took on the extremely strenuous U.S. Navy SEAL Fitness Challenge, which mirrors the screening test given to those who want to join the SEALs.
Results of the Fitness Challenge, held at the on May 20, saw two SVY swimmers–Victor Luo and Kyle Surette–placing in the top 50 out of more than 500 swimmers nationwide who competed in the challenge so far this spring.
The challenge requires participants to swim 20 laps, do two minutes each of pushups, curlups and pullups, and then run 1.5 miles.
The combined scores of Luo and Surette, both 18 of Bridgewater, in the five events were impressive. Luo ranked 12th and Surette 35th.
“The kids pushed hard and showed amazing team camaraderie,” said Adele Morgan, one of SVY’s 20 swim team coaches. “They gave it their all.”
The SEAL Fitness Challenge is run jointly by the U.S. Navy SEALs and USA Swimming. It challenges swimmers to combine their swimming talents and their performance in individual tests of strength.
The SVY swim team is one of 17 swim clubs nationwide that have taken on the SEAL Fitness Challenge so far in 2012, said Josh Fowler, with the Colorado-based USA Swimming organization.
“A typical swimmer has a good work ethic. And this gives them a chance to see what they’re capable of,” Fowler said. “And it gives the U.S. Navy SEALs a chance to create awareness of what the SEALs go through.”
The Challenge closely resembles the initial physical screening test given to anyone who desires to become a U.S. Navy SEAL and provides a fun, competitive dryland program for swimmers, according to Fowler. The event is for swimmers ages 13 and up.
“Our athletes train very hard both in and out of the water," said SVY Head Coach Matt Donovan. "They follow a program that includes strength training, boot camp-style workouts, stretching and running. This type of conditioning helps to build overall strength and endurance, which in turn helps them become better swimmers. We are proud at how well they stepped up and met the Navy SEALS Fitness Challenge."