Standout Performances for Montclair YMCA Dolphins Swim Team at Midseason Meets

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Montclair YMCA Dolphins Swim Team turned in outstanding performances at two separate championship meets, closing out the first half of the short course season. On December 14th, 20 of their swimmers earned an opportunity to compete in one of New Jersey’s fastest invitational meets, The EEX Holiday Classic XXXII, at Rutgers University. Finishing 12th out of 41 teams, Head Coach Paulo Madeira noted that it was “one of the best team performances he’s seen since taking the reins of the team.”

Ela Habjan (14) of Montclair (red cap).

Many swimmers turned in individual best performances during this meet, including Ela Habjan of Montclair, who qualified for the National YMCA Short Course Championships in 50 Free, 100 Back, 200 Back). Additionally, three team records were broken at the meet: Howard Zhuang (50, 100 Breast) and Connor Townson 200 Breast.

Swimmers who finished top eight in individual events were: Kyle Dripchak of Montclair (100, 200, 500 Free, 100 Back, 200 IM); Melanie Dripchak of Montclair (500 Free, 50, 100 Back, 200 IM); Natalie Dripchak of Montclair (200 Breast); Carly Frank of Montclair (50 Back); Ela Habjan of Montclair (50, 100, 500 Free, 100, 200 Back); Connor Townson of Glen Ridge (100, 200 Breast, 200 IM); and Howard Zhuang of Livingston (200 Back, 50 Breast, 100 Breast, 200 Breast, 100, 200, 400 IM).

That same weekend, 73 Dolphins were competing at Ocean County YMCA in the Winter Clas-sic, where 9 teams were hosted in a regional meet. There were multiple fantastic performances and best times turned in.

Some standout performances by the following swimmers who finished in the top three were: Olivia Beck of Montclair (100 Fly), Tatum Faherty of Bloomfield (100 Back), Lily Foung of Montclair (100, 200 Breast), Christina Gilio-Malbre of West Orange (100, 200 Breast), Nead Kojic of Nutley (100, 200 Breast), Mizell McEachen of Montclair (100, 200 Fly), Sefina Morrison of Montclair (200 Free, 100 Breast, 200 IM), Ella Parker of Montclair (50 Free), Natalie Shaw of Glen Ridge (200 IM), Katie Song of Glen Ridge (50, 100, 200 Back), and Enzo Wood of Glen Ridge (500 Free).

Age Group Head Coach Matt Garifo commented, “Our team took a big step forward. The hard work at practice is paying off, and I think the kids can sense that. They earned every bit of suc-cess that came their way.”

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 clin-ics 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.

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

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