Phoenixville YMCA coaches Ryan Kennedy, Tracy Arnold-Merke and Dana Glodek took six girls and five boys to compete at the YMCA Short Course National Swimming Championships in Greensboro, N.C., from April 1-4.
The boys team included Kyle Hoops, Andy Kull, Zach Maher, Colin McNamara, all of Phoenixville; and Matt Lanetti of Malvern. The girls team consisted of Maddie Cooke, Olivia Giampietro, Shawna Moore of Phoenixville; Morgan Hansen of Spring City, Erin Merke of West Norriston and Emma Seiberlich of Audubon.
Overall, in the combined competition, Phoenixville placed 24th out of 203 teams, and the 11 swimmers competed among 1,473 registered swimmers. This finish ranked them fourth among Pennsylvania teams, behind York Y (fourth overall), Upper Main Line Y (10th)a nd Boyertown Y (20th). The real punch came in the girls’ division, with the Phoenixville girls finishing 14th. This ranked the girls third among Pennsylvania YMCA teams bhind York Y (second) and Upper Main Line Y (10th). The overall team leader was Middie Tyger of South Carolina. Pennsylvania fielded the most teams in the meet with 35.
Point-scoring swims included Phoenixville’s 200 medley relay team of all 15-year-olds: Emma Seiberlich (back), Maddie Cooke (breast), Morgan Hansen (fly) and Olivia Giampietro (free), placing eighth with a time of 1:45.10. The same group raced in the 400 medley relay to earn 11th place in a time of 3:47.92. Later, the 200 free relay of Seiberlich, Erin Merke (12 years old), Giampietro and Cooke finished 14th. Merke competed in her first nationals at the earliest eligible age. All these relay swims resulted in new Phoenixville YMCA team records.
Reaching finals in individual events were the two high school freshmen, Cooke and Seiberlich, who were born on the same day back in 1998. Cooke finished eighth in the 100 breast (1:04.00), 16th in the 50 free (23.74) and 24th in the 200 breast (2:22.79) finals. Prelim session times included personal bests and team records of 1:03.29 in the 100 breast and 2:20.73 in the 200 breast.
Seiberlich, who made the finals in 2013 in the 100 and 200 backstroke events, swam to fourth in the 200 back (1:57.11), 12th in the 100 back (55.21) and 17th in the 100 fly (54.98), adding butterfly to her repertoire, with all persoanl best times and Phoenixville team records.
YMCA Nationals offers swimmers the opportunity to swim two time trials selected from the national eents menu. During these swims, numerous personal bests were posted by Phoenxiville swimmers, with additional national-qualifying times achieved. Erin Merke added ther 100 free (53.47) to her 50 free meet cut. Morgan Hansen dropped 4.84 seconds in the 200 fly (2:08.15) to easily add the 2014 cut to her 100 fly qualifying time. Olivia Giampietro swam 0.5 second faster in the 100 fly (58.74), adding to her 50 and 100 freestyle cuts. Whether all these swims will requalify the swimmers for the 2015 Short Course Championshps will not be known until mid-to-late summer when the 2015 standards are posted. The location for the 2015 Championships will be announced in early to mid-June.
For full meet resultsa nd more, use the following link to the YMCA Swimming & Diving website: http://www.ymcaswimmering anddiving.org/displaypage.asp?Cat=2014SC.