Water Rats Swim Fast This Summer; Tryouts for New Swimmers August 24 & 25

The Westport Weston Family YMCA’s Water Rat Swim Team is wrapping up a highly successful 2016 Long Course season, with some fast swimming at elite meets at the state, regional and national level.

The season began with Annam Olasewere breaking her own 8/under team records in the 50-yard freestyle and 25 yard butterfly.

Later in June, Matthew Torres attended the Paralympic Games in Charlotte, NC, getting a silver medal in the 400M Free in the Multiclass S9. Because of his performance at the Paralympic Trials, Matthew was given the opportunity to train with Paralympic and Olympic Squad in Colorado Springs for a week and also qualified for the Emerging Team.

Also in June, Byrce Keblish, a Water Rat Alum and University of Virginia Cavalier swimmer, swam at the USA Swimming Olympic Trials in Omaha Nebraska in the 100M Fly, representing both the Water Rats and Cavaliers at the meet. Bryce posted a best time of 54.64 in the 100M Fly and placed 54th in a field of 133 swimmers.

At the recent CT Senior Long Course Championships at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, the Water Rat’s Women’s Team placed 3rd overall and as did the Combined Men’s and Women’s Team, with several top three finishes in both individual and relay events. Sarah Grinalds placed 1st in the 200M Free breaking the team record in a time of 2:04.85, 2nd in the 50M Free, and 3rd in the 100M Free and 400M Free and, as a result, was the Women’s 2nd place individual high point scorer. John Whiteside placed 1st in the 100 M Free and 2nd in the 50M Free. Bryce Keblish placed 2nd in the 1500M Free and was the Men’s 2nd highest distance high point scorer. Other notable performances in individual events at Senior’s included Jack Gray’s 2nd place finish in the 200M Free and Dashiell Hunter’s team record breaking swims in the 100M Breast and 200M Breast in the times of 1:08.17 and 2:26.92, respectively.

The Men’s and Women’s Relay Teams excelled at LC Seniors as well. The team of Grinalds, Katie Thornton, Willow Woods, and Simona Visinski came in 2nd in the 400M Free Relay. The team of Grinalds, Woods, Kay Begg and Visinski came in 3rd in the 800M Free Relay. On the Men’s side, the team of Gray, Whiteside, Sean Paul Stolarski, and Keblish came in 1st in the 800M Free Relay. The Team of Keblish, Whiteside, Stolarski, and Gray came in 2nd in the 400M Free Relay and the team of Whiteside, Hunter, Keblish, and Gray came in 3rd in the 400M Medley Relay.

This past weekend at the Connecticut Age Group Long Course Championships at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, the Water Rats had 10 age group swimmers compete and five swimmers posted top 16 finishes in a number of individual events. Jude Dequeljoe placed 1st in the 50M Freestyle and broke the team record in a time of 31.43. In addition, he was 2nd in the 100M Freestyle, and 3rd in the 50M Breaststroke and the 4th in the 50M Backstroke and 6th place in both the 100M Backstroke and the 100M Breaststroke in the Boys 10-under Age Group.  Nathan Wang placed 11th in the 100M Breaststroke and Nathan Wang placed 13th in the 200M Individual Medley in the Boys 13-14 Age Group. 
Caroline Begg placed 3rd in the 400M Freestyle, 4th in the 200M Freestyle and 9th in the 100M Freestyle in the Girls 11-12 Age Group. 
In the Girls 10-under Kate Murray placed 7th in the 50M Butterfly and 13th in both the 100M Butterfly and the 200M Freestyle. Annam Olasewere scored placing 16th in the 50M Butterfly.

Jude and Caroline’s performances earned them both spots on the Connecticut Zone Team, which will compete at the Eastern Zone Long Course Swimming Championships on August 3-6, 2016 at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow, New York.

Several Water Rat Swimmers will be representing the team at the 2016 USA Swimming Futures Championships in College Park, Maryland as well. Attending the meet are Jack Gray, Dashiell Hunter, Katie Thornton, Simona Visinski, and Daniel Williams. Futures runs from August 4 through August 7.

And, on August 8, John Whiteside and Sarah Grinalds will be heading to the University of Minnesota to swim at the 2016 USA Swimming Junior National Championships. Junior Nationals runs from August 8 through August 12.

Congratulations to all the Water Rat swimmers for a great Long Course season!

Tryouts for the 2016-2017 Swim Year will take place Wednesday, August 24 for swimmers 8 & under and Thursday, August 25 for 9-10 and 11-12 year olds. Swimmers age 13/over should contact Head Coach Ellen Johnston at ejohnston@westporty.org.

The fee to register is $25 if registration is completed by August 23rd. The registration fee after August 23rd is $40. Preregistration is encouraged.

Water Rat tryouts take place at the Westport Weston Family YMCA Bedford Family Center at 14 Allen Raymond Lane in Westport.

The Family YMCA’s Water Rat Swim Team is a year–round, nationally recognized competitive swim program. The Water Rats compete in both YMCA and USA Swimming competitions that are held locally, regionally, and nationally. Additionally Water Rats have excelled and had champions at the Zone meets, Sectional Championships, YMCA Nationals, USA Swimming Junior Nationals, USA Swimming Nationals, and US Open and USA Olympic Trial Qualifiers.

Further details about the team are available on the Water Rat Swim team website, www.wrat.org, or by contacting Ellen Johnston, Director of Competitive Swimming at 203-226-8981, ext. 110 or ejohnston@westporty.org or Scott VanKuilenburg, Associate Director of Competitive Swimming, at 203-226-8981, ext. 120 or svankuilenburg@westporty.org.