The Melrose YMCA Sharks swim team swam a dual meet against the Marblehead branch of the Y of the North Shore Sharks swim team on November 17th. While there have been invitational meets and a scrimmage this season, this was the first dual meet for the team. For some of the swimmers, it was their first meet of the season—and for some, it was their first meet ever.
The youngest (eight years and under) swimmers did a great job. Christina Autilio won the 25 yard freestyle and took 3rd in the 25 yard butterfly. Teammates Milania Saggese (1st in 50 free and 3rd in the 25 backstroke), Natalia Kay (2nd 50 free), Eleanor Ferris (2nd 25 backstroke) and Catherine Curry (2nd 25 breaststroke) also finished in the top three in their races, and the free relay of Saggese, Kay, Autilio and Curry took first place. Ian Gauch of the boys won both the 25 freestyle and the 25 breaststroke in best times, and Jonathan Wright won the 50 free and took 2nd in the 25 free; Mason Pecci did a great job representing the team in the 25 butterfly.
Among the 9-10’s and 11-12’s, Lily Wright, Ellie Walsh, Malika Benarieb, Lauren Connors, Todd Tringale, Rowan Emerson and Sean Kay all had first place finishes in their races, with Calvin Yee, Aidan Kay, Keira McGrath (who qualified for the New England USA championships in the 50 breaststroke), Grace Donohue, Sabrina Botthof, Chris Terranova, Sarah Sweeney, Lauren Giordano, Mark Bacon, Emily Boutchia, Thomas Steinberg, Cesar Conlan, Connor McDaid and Jim Frederick joining them with top three finishes. Natasha Brown swam a best time in the 50 breast, as did Emma Wright. The team did very well in the relays, with Connors, Emma Wright, Walsh and McGrath taking first in the 9-10 girls medley relay, McDaid, Emerson, Tringale and Steinberg winning the 11-12 boys medley relay, and Isabelle Achab, Sweeney, Bridget Kelley and Lily Wright winning the 11-12 girls free relay.
Among the older swimmers, Anna Steele, 16, had a great day, winning the 50 free and 100 fly and taking second in the 200 free. Kyle Vanderhorst, 16, also had two first place finishes, and Hudson Rubbins (who had some remarkable best times), Jack Steinberg, Ben Fiesel, Preston Yee, Olivia Lloyd, Kevin Luu, Courtney Ingersoll, Cleverina Cong, Bestine Cong, Anna Arkins and Brian Nelson all had top-three finishes. Cleverina Cong, 13, broke 30 seconds in the 50 free with her second place finish time of 29.19 seconds. Alva Ronn swam the grueling 500 yard freestyle at the end, finishing with a time of 6:16.54.
“There were so many great swims,” said head coach Laura McCormack. “I was really proud of all the swimmers who turned in best times—and all the ones who tried out new events. I think this is going to be a great season for our team.”
The Sharks are a team of 105 swimmers ages 5-18 from Melrose and surrounding communities who train at the Melrose YMCA and compete in both YMCA and USA Swimming competitions.