Water Rats Swim Fast This Summer; Tryouts August 23-24, 2017

The Westport Weston Family YMCA’s Water Rat Swim Team is wrapping up a highly successful 2017 Long Course season, with some fast swimming at elite meets at the state, regional, and national level.

The season began with Annam Olasewere breaking Molly Loftus’ thirteen year old record in the 50M Fly in a time of 34.78 at the Greenwich Marlins YMCA Invitational.

Later in June, Sarah Grinalds travelled with Head Coach Ellen Johnston to Indianapolis, Indiana to swim at the 2017 Phillips 66 US National Championships/World Trials. Sarah had a great meet, breaking two of her own team records.  Sarah broke her records in the 200M Free in a time of 2:02.86 and in the 400M Free in a time of 4:19.91.

Sarah’s 200M time is a new CT Resident Record for 15/16-year-old girls.  Sarah’s times in both the 200M and 400M Free also place in her in the top twenty nationally for each event for 15/16 year-old girls.  In the 200M Free she is ranked 15th and in the 400M Free she is ranked 14th.

Bryce Keblish, Water Rat alum who swam at World Trials on behalf of the Water Rats and the University of Virginia Cavaliers, also had a great meet. He placed 13th in the 50M fly in a time of 24.26 and broke the 100M Fly Water Rat Senior Record in a time of 54.23.

At the recent CT Senior Long Course Championships at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, the Water Rat’s Women’s Team placed 4th overall and the Men’s team placed 5th, with several top three finishes in both individual and relay events.  Sarah Grinalds placed 1st in the 1500M Free in a time of 17:11.66 and 1st in the 800M Free in a time of 9:01.66, breaking Aurora Lee’s 13 year old team records in both events, and 1st in the 50M Free, 400M Free, and 100M Free. As a result, Sarah was the Women’s 1st place individual high point scorer and distance high point scorer. Jack Gray placed 2nd in the 200M Free. Other notable performances in individual events at Seniors included Dashiell Hunter’s team record-breaking swim in the 100M Breast in a time of 1:06.75.

The Women’s Relay Teams excelled at LC Seniors as well.  The team of Grinalds, Katie Thornton, Kay Begg, and Simona Visinski came in 1st in the 200M Free Relay and the team of Grinalds, Begg, Michelle Kennedy, and Visinski came in 2nd in the 800M Free Relay.

This past weekend at the Connecticut Age Group Long Course Championships at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, the Water Rats had 21 age group swimmers compete, with the 10/under girls coming in 4th overall and the 11/12 girls coming in 5th.  Several swimmers posted top 3 finishes in a number of individual events.  Caroline Begg kicked off the meet with a blazing swim in the 400M Free in a time of 4:50.26. Caroline broke Karen Chu’s 11-year-old team record for 11/12 Girls with that time. Caroline also broke the team record for 11/12 Girls in the 100M Backstroke in a time of 1:12.88. Shawn Chang, a new member of our time this summer, came in 1st in the 9/10 Boys 100M Breast in a time of 1:29.53, breaking Tommy Gannon’s 10 year old record in the event. Shawn came in 2nd in the 9/10 Boys 50M Fly in a time of 33.14, breaking the team record in this event as well. Shawn’s sister NouNou also broke 11/12 year old Girls team records in the 50M Backstroke in a time of 33.61 and Keenan Koss’ 17 year old team record in the 50M Fly in a time of 30.31. NouNou came in 1st in the 50M Fly when she earned the team record. Rounding out our finishes in the top 3 is Annam Olasewere who came in 3rd in the 9/10 Girls 50M Free in a time of 31.77.

The Girls 10/under relay teams had outstanding swims as well. The team of Ella Gussen, Tatum Murray, Annam Olasewere, and Ayaan Olasewere came in 1st in the 200 Meter Free Relay and 3rd in the 200 Meter Medley Relay.

While our AG swimmers swam at Wesleyan, Matthew Torres attended the U.S Paralympic World Championship Trials at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. The meet ran from July 21-23. Matthew swam seven events and had some great swims. Of note, Matthew came in 1st in his classification in the 100M Backstroke, swimming a best time of 1:15.83.

Because of their performances at AG’s, Shawn, NouNou, and Annam as well as Michael Ivanov have earned spots on the Connecticut Zone Team, which will compete at the Eastern Zone Long Course All Star Meet on August 9-12, 2017 at the Collegiate School Aquatic Center in Richmond Virginia.

Twenty-three Water Rat Senior Swimmers have qualified for the 2017 Eastern Zones Long Course Senior Championships, which runs from August 3-6, 2017 at Erie Community College in Buffalo, NY. They include Scott Adler, Katherine Begg, Mia Fraas, Jack Gray, Mackenzie Healy, Marissa Healy, Dashiell Hunter, Alec Keblish, Michelle Kennedy, Monica Koubeck, John McNab, Richard Nolan, Jake Ritz, Caroline Sargent, Sean Paul Stolarski, Josiah Tarrant, Katie Thornton, Austin Twiss, Simona Visinski, Delaney Walsh, Jacob West, Willow Woods, and Stanislav Yarmoussik.

On August 2, Water Rat alum Bryce Keblish will be going to Long Island to swim in the US Open in the 100 Fly. The US Open is from August 2-6, 2017 at the Nassau Aquatic Center in East Meadow, NY.

And on August 8, Nicolas Ortega and Sarah Grinalds will be heading to the Nassau Aquatic Center in East Meadow, NY to swim at the 2017 Speedo Junior National Championships.  Junior Nationals runs from August 8 through August 12.

Congratulations to all the Water Rat swimmers for a great 2017 Long Course season!

Tryouts for the 2017-2018 Swim Year will take place Wednesday, August 23 for swimmers 8 & under and Thursday, August 24 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 22nd. . The registration fee after August 22rd 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.