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Local YMCA Swimmer competes at Highest Level Ever for the County

December 19, 2017

Local YMCA Swimmer competes at Highest Level Ever for the County

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.

Wolbert Siblings reach finals in same event at Y swim nationals

From Pocono

By Wayne Witkowski

EP-160419741Emily and Zack Wolbert of the Pocono Family YMCA came away with medals in the 200-yard butterfly in team record times at the Y National Short Course Swim Championships held April 4 to 6 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“We have something happen that I have never seen in YMCA Nationals in my 25 years of attending. Both made the finals in the same event,” said Pocono Y coach Mike Wolbert, father of both swimmers.

Zack Wolbert placed fifth in the boys 200 butterfly 1:50.22, and older sister Emily was 16th in the girls 200 butterfly in 2:03.87.
He also placed 19th in the 100 butterfly in a team record :50.18. Young Wolbert, a student at East Stroudsburg High School South, also set a team record in the 100 backstroke in :51.70 and swam a fine 1:32.30 in the 200 breaststroke in the nationals.

Emily Wolbert, a senior at East Stroudsburg High School South heading to LaSalle University this fall, also swam on the Pocono Family YMCA record setting times in the 200-yard and 400-yard medley relays, with Mary Cerbone, Kelsey Eastman and Lauren Fenn. She also swam to strong times in nationals in the 100 butterfly (57.36), 400 individual medley (4:31.15), 100 breaststroke (1:08.29) and in time trial freestyle events in the 50-yard freestyle (:24.80) and the 100 backstroke (:59.40).

AR-160419741Ten team records were set by the seven Pocono Family YMCA Piranhas who qualified for nationals.

“It’s the best our team has done (at Y National Short Course Swim Championships). We were 32nd out of almost 200 teams with only seven swimmers (qualifying),” said Mike Wolbert. “It is the first time we had both a boy and a girl who made the top 24, which is the finals.”
Eastman, a senior at Pleasant Valley High School narrowing her college choices, also recorded a Pocono Family YMCA team record :53.05 time in the 100 freestyle in nationals and the 100 breaststroke (1:06.09) and also competed in the 50 free (:24.38), 100 butterfly (:59.46) and 200 free (1:58.76).

Fenn, a freshman at Pocono Mountain East High School, swam a Pocono Family Y team record 1:00.08 in the 100 backstroke and also competed in the 200 back (2:09.59), 50 free (:26.07) and 100 Free (:57.05).

Cerbone, a Pleasant Valley High School senior headed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, also qualified for nationals in five events, clocking :24.69 in the 50 free, :53.92 in the 100 free, 1:57.35 in the 200 free, 1:08.36 in the 100 breaststroke and 1:01.40 in the 100 butterfly.

On the boys side joining Zack Wolbert, Tyler Dalton, a senior at Pocono Mountain East heading this fall to Manhattan College, swam to a Pocono Y record in the 200 breaststroke in 2:08.36. He also swam in the 100 breaststoke (1:00.69), 400 individual medley (4:11.74) and in time trial events 200 free (1:49.82), 500 free (4:51.46) and 200 IM (1:59.76).

They come off a rousing effort in the Pennsylvania Y championships on March 20 when the Piranhas had its best finish ever as a team in fifth place from among 78 teams competing. Its 42 swimmers who qualified for states was just one shy of the best ever for the team.