Clarion County YMCA Swimmers Find Success in Pre-Season (12/07/15)
(By Maureen Lavan)
The Clarion County YMCA Swim Team has kicked off a new season of competitive swimming. Sixty-nine swimmers have been hard at work preparing for the season. Many swimmers have participated in pre-season meets with great success.
The Clarion County YMCA Riversharks had three swimmers that participated at the DuBois Pentathlon on November 7th. A unique and challenging meet, pentathlon swimmers compete in all four strokes plus an Individual Medley (IM). Winners are determined by adding times from each event. The age group determines the distance required for the individual strokes and the Individual Medley.
Patrick Young (10) earned 1st place in the Boys 10 and under group with a time of 3:53:05. Patrick beat the event time standards by impressive margins, qualifying him to compete in the 2016 YMCA Pennsylvania Districts in the 50 yard Backstroke, 50 yard Breaststroke, 50 Butterfly and 100 yard Individual Medley. Kevin Young (6) placed 2nd in the Boys 8 and under group with a time of 4:38.95. Parker Boyden (12) took 5th in the Girls 12 & Under with a time of 5:35.86.
Fifteen Riversharks took a bite out of the competition at the Clearfield Shark Tank Invitational on November 14th, bringing home 37 medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishes. Medal winners included Mason Burns, Kylan Clark, Natali Kahle, Nathaniel Lerch, Alayna Murray, Brayden Murray, William Murray, Victor Troese, Maya Wilshire, Jonas Wilshire, Patrick Young and Kevin Young. Patrick Young demolished the District marks to qualify in both the 100 and 200 yard Freestyle. Brayden Murray swam a personal best and qualified for Districts in the 50 yard Breaststroke.
On November 28, the Clarion County YMCA Swim Team competed at the Oil City Thanksgiving Invitational. Newcomers Gabe Anderson and Gabbie Texter competed in their first ever swim meet by turning in solid performances and earning ribbons. For the girls, medal winners included Alayna Murray, Callie Snodgrass and Maggie Snodgrass. Brayden Murray, Beau Verdill, Kevin Young, Patrick Young turned in medal winning times for the boys. Most other swimmers were in the top 12 of their events, dropping time from their seed times.
The trifecta of Patrick Young, Brayden Murray and Bailee Verdill qualified for Districts in the 50 yard Freestyle. Brayden Murray also qualified for the 2016 District Meet in the 100 yard Individual Medley and the 50 yard Backstroke. Bailee Verdill earned a spot at Districts in the 100 yard Freestyle. The newly formed relay team of Brayden Murray, Bailee Verdill, Patrick Young and Jake Nowaczyk will be hiking up their jammers in the hunt for a district time in the 200 Medley Relay, just missing the cut time by 1/100th of a second at Oil City.
“I am pleased with the team’s performance so far, the veterans are doing a great job and the new swimmers look very promising,” said first year Riversharks Coach, Derek Nelson. “I am excited to see what the team can do. We are already seeing times dropping and some personal-bests by our swimmers as we head into the team’s regular season.”
The top swimmers have returned this year, along with 26 new swimmers. The Clarion County YMCA swimmers kicked off the regular season on December 5th at Brookville.
The Clarion County YMCA Riversharks are a community-based swim team that emphasizes individual growth as part of a team. Boys and girls ages 5 through 18 are eligible to join. Team members come from throughout Clarion County. For more information contact the Clarion County YMCA at 814-764-3400, find the Riversharks on the web at http://www.clarioncountyymca.org/river-sharks-home or on Facebook: Facebook.com/ClarionRiversharks.
(Thanks to Maureen Lavan and the Riversharks for this article and photos. Here’s to a great season, Riversharks!!!!)