Local Swimmers on the Road to Junior Olympics

It’s not quite Beijing, but Lancaster, PA, will welcome 23 members of the Pocono YMCA Swim Team to the Mid-Atlantic 2008 Junior Olympic Swim Championships at the Golden Meadows Swim Center, July 24-27, 2008.
Nine of the swimmers have met time standards for individual events by competing in meets sanctioned by USA Swimming, the National Governing Board for the sport of swimming. The remaining 14 will be joining their teammates on one or more of three relays.

In the 15-19 Girls Division, Liz Jordan (15) qualified to swim the 50 Meter Freestyle, 100 Meter Freestyle and 100 Meter Breaststroke events. Lena Yang (14), competing in her 2nd JOs, will swim the 50 Free, 100 Free, 100 Breast and 200 Meter Individual Medley (IM) in the 13/14 Girls Division.

For the 11/12 Boys, Benjamin Gendelman (12) will compete in the 50 Meter Butterfly, 100 Meter Butterfly, 50 Free and 100 Free individual events. He will be joined by Karl Wint (12), Colin Orlowski (11), and Sam Velez (11) for the 200 Meter Medley Relay and 200 Meter Free Relay.

Two swimmers qualified in the 11/12 Girls Division: Alex Burns (12) will swim the 50 Fly, 100 Fly, 200 Fly and 50 Free, and Maggie Palaski (11), also making her 2nd trip, will compete in the 50 Fly and 50 Breast. Joining Burns and Palaski for the 200 Medley Relay and 200 Free Relay are Alana Slater (12) and Kimmie Konz (11). Burns, Slater and Konz will also swim the 400 Meter Free Relay with Meghan Dwyer (11). Konz swam last year as part of the 9/10 Relay.

In the 10 & Under Boys Division, Zack Wolbert (8) qualified to swim the 50 Fly, 100 Fly, 50 Free, 100 Free, 50 Breast and 100 Breast. Zack is the youngest male swimmer at the meet, the only boy under 9 to qualify in any event. He will also swim the 200 Medley Relay with Lascelles Dunn (10), Colin Naturale (9) and Liam Naturale (8).

Three Piranhas met the time standards in the 10 & Under Girls Division. Emily Cabral (10) qualified in the 50 Back and 50 Free, while Irene Gendelman (9) will swim the 50 Fly and 50 Free. Emily Wolbert (10) is making her 3rd JO appearance, having qualified for nine different individual events: 50 Free, 100 Free, 200 Free, 400 Free, 100 Breast, 200 IM, 50 Fly, 100 Fly, and 100 Backstroke. Emily has also already qualified for the Eastern Zone Championships in all those events except the 100 Back. Wolbert, Cabral and Gendelman will be joined by Monica Hagn (9) for the 200 Medley Relay, 200 Free Relay and 400 Free Relay. In addition, the Pocono Piranhas will send a second relay team in this division: Mary Cerbone (10), Araceli Dunn (9), Nadine Parrish (9) and Olivia Wint (8) will swim the 200 Medley and 200 Free Relays.

These dedicated swimmers, members of the Pocono Piranha Summer Swim Team, have traveled the area to compete in USA sanctioned meets, where the shortest distance swum is 50 meters, more than twice the 25 yards common to summer meets. The Mid-Atlantic organization is made up of teams from Delaware, southern New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, and is part of the Eastern Zone Division of USA Swimming. All competitors will have a chance at Lancaster to meet the tougher qualifying times for the Eastern Zone Championships, which will take place in Rockville, Maryland, two weeks later.