Championship Season in Full Swing for Montclair YMCA Dolphins

Amy Chen qualified for the NJ YMCA Silver Championships in the 200 back.

For the past several weekends, the Montclair YMCA Dolphins have been competing in championship meets that provide swimmers with additional opportunities to qualify for the 2017 NJ YMCA State Championships.

The NJ YMCA Bronze Championships took place at the Raritan Bay YMCA in Perth Amboy on February 11-12. At the Bronze meet, 87 Dolphins competed to achieve qualifying times for the NJ YMCA Silver Championships. Fifteen of the swimmers made one or more Silver cuts. Five of those swimmers qualified for the Y Silvers for the first time this season: Fifi Amanuel (12) of West Orange, Amy Chen (16) of Montclair, Santiago Galvan (12) of Clifton, Zubin Kremer-Guha (14) of South Orange and Gabriel Remache (13) of Nutley. Tina Pavlidis (13) of West Orange qualified for the Silver championships in an impressive four additional events at the Bronze meet: the 100 free, 100 & 200 breast and the 200 IM.

Diego Pla-Silsby qualified for three additional 2017 NJ Y State Championship events.

At the Silver Championships, over 1,200 swimmers from 30 New Jersey YMCA teams competed at GCIT in Sewell, NJ on February 18-19 for the top spots at the silver level and a chance to go to the Y State Championships. Of the 66 Dolphins competing at Silvers, 15 qualified to compete at States in 27 events, bringing the Montclair Y’s 2017 NJ YMCA State Championship Team to 35 swimmers. Four of those swimmers qualified for the State Championships for the first time this season: Tyna Davis (10) of Bloomfield, who finished 1st in the 50 back and 3rd in the 100 back, Christian Gilio-Malabre (14) of West Orange, who finished 1st in the 100 breast and Blake Velardi (10) and Enzo Wood (13), who finished 3rd in the 200 back, both of Glen Ridge. Additional top 3 finishers include Gaea Caro (12) of Montclair who captured 1st place in the 100 breast, Elizabeth Habjian (12) of Montclair who finished 2nd in the 50 free and qualified for four State Championships events and Nathan Espiritu (14) of Bloomfield, who finished 3rd in the 200 free. Espiritu, Christina Gilio-Malabre (14) of West Orange and Diego Pla-Silsby (11) of Montclair each qualified in three additional events. The Montclair Y placed 8th over all.

Zubin Kremer-Guha qualified to swim in two events at the Y Silver Championships.

Head Coach Paulo Madeira said “We are excited about the great results that many of our swimmers had in the Silver Championships. Qualifying for the State Championship meet is a great accomplishment and I look forward to seeing some more great swimming at States.”

The YMCA of Montclair Dolphins swim team offers a year-round opportunity for competitive swimming in both YMCA and USA Swimming competitions as well as seasonal instructional clinics for aspiring competitive athletes. The team is comprised of girls and boys from age 6 through high school. More than 200 athletes train with the team each year. They compete at all levels, based on their skill set.

Elizabeth Habjian qualified to swim in four additional events at the 2017 NJ Y State Championships.

For more information about the Montclair YMCA Dolphins swim team, contact head coach Madeira at or 973-744-3400.

Photos: Jess Michaud

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