December 19, 2017
With 5250 days of practice over the last 15 years, Zack Wolbert, from the Pocono Family YMCA Piranhas Swim Team competes at the highest level for any local swimmer. USA Swimming Winter Junior Nationals is along the journey to the Olympics and is the highest level of competition for young swimmers in the United States. This year, it was held at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN in early December.
Wolbert, an East Stroudsburg resident, started swimming at the age of three with the Pocono Family YMCA and has been with the Pocono Piranhas his entire swimming career. He has been joined by his father the coach of the Pocono Piranhas, Mike Wolbert, his sisters Emily, 20 and Sydney, 9 who are avid swimmers as well. Zack, 18 says, ”my older sister Emily taught me how to be a good swimmer and work hard” and says if it wasn’t for her example he doesn’t know that he would have the success he has had to date.
The Wolbert’s are best known for competing in the 200 fly. Two years ago at YMCA Nationals both Zack and Emily finaled in the 200 fly. Of course, Junior Nationals would be no different, where he finished in 10th place overall and swam a 1:47.69 producing a new county and team record and a personal best time by over one second – anyone who knows swimming knows that seconds count. This time ranks him #2 in the county for this event in YMCA swimming.
Zack qualified for a total of four events at Junior Nationals. In addition to the 200 fly, he swam the 200 Individual Medley with a 1:50.68, 100 fly 49.90 and 100 back 50.66 all county and team records.
The season is far from over. Zack will compete at the PITT Christmas meet later in December with his teammates and will compete at his last YMCA States, Districts and Nationals in March and April of 2018. In the meantime, he is deciding where he will continue his swimming career in college where he plans to compete at a D1 school.