Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA Swim Team Breaks Records

The local team finished third among New Jersey teams at the YMCA national long course championship meet.

The following is a press release from the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA:

Competing against 116 teams from 19 states, the Fanwood Scotch Plains YMCA (“FSPY”) Swim Team finished eighth overall and third among the 19 New Jersey teams, at the YMCA national long course championship meet. This meet was held from July 24-28, 2012 at the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center, site of the 1996 Summer Olympics.

The women’s 200 meter medley relay of Sarah Cronin, Jodie Thompson, Molly Gaynor, and Sarah Davis (1:59.65) set a New Jersey record for both the YMCA and USA swimming. This relay finished third in the nation, a mere two tenths of a second off the existing YMCA national record.  The men’s 200 meter freestyle relay of Joe Baron, Anthony Gurreri, Greg Baliko, and Joe Dunn finished fifth, breaking the FSPY team record. Overall, team records (“TR”) were set in 13 individual events and 6 relay events.

Among the women, team points (top 20) were earned in individual events by  Thompson in the 50 breaststroke (2nd; TR) and 100 breaststroke (7th; TR), Gaynor in the 50 fly (6th; TR) and the 100 fly (19th;TR), Cronin in the 100 free (12th ; TR) and the 50 free (14th), and fourteen year old Sarah Davis in the 50 free (15th). Davis set age group (13-14) records in both the 50 free and the 100 free. Cronin also set a TR in the 100 backstroke, leading off the 400 medley relay. The foursome of Thompson, Gaynor, Davis and Cronin formed four scoring relays – 200 medley (3rd; TR), 400 medley (4th; TR), 200 free (tied 5th; TR), and 400 free (10th).

Seniors Greg Baliko and Joe Dunn led the FSPY men’s team by scoring in several individual events and in each of the five scoring relays. These relays were the 200 free (5th; TR), 400 medley (9th; TR), 800 free (10th), 200 medley (12th; TR), and 400 free (13th).  Relay members consisted of Baliko (5 relays), Dunn (5), Ryan Gajdzisz (2), Dan Pesin (2), Tyler Lessner (2), Joe Baron (1), Dan Drozdzewicz (1), Anthony Gurreri  (1), and Alex Scoog (1).  In individual events, Baliko scored in the 200 individual medley (7th), 100 fly (12th;TR), 200 breast (15th), and the 50 fly (18th). Dunn scored in the 50 fly (9th), 50 free (13th; TR) and 100 fly (19th).  Distance freestyler Ryan Gajdzisz scored and set team records in the 200 (10th), 400 (13th) and 800 (12th) meter events. Senior backstroker Dan Pesin ended his FSPY career on a high note, leading off the two scoring medley relays and finishing seventeenth in the 100 backstroke.

In addition to these 8 individual top 20 scorers, two FSPY swimmers touched in top 30 during the morning preliminary heats and qualified for the evening championship finals.  Earning the coveted FSPY black cap, which is worn only in national championship finals, were Savannah Llewellyn (100 fly) and Harry Cewell (200 back).

Reflecting upon his team’s remarkable eighth place finish and upon the contributions of the graduating seniors, FSPY head coach, Chris Karelus stated that he was proud of all the hard work that contributed to these achievements. He looks forward to the continued success of the team and wishes the departing seniors luck in their new endeavors.

For more information on Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA’s swim team programs, please call (908) 889-8880 or email Chris Karelus, Y Head Swim Coach at ckarelus@fanwoodscotchplainsymca.org

The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. For information on membership or programs, or to request a schedule of classes, please call the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA at (908) 889-8880 or visit the Y’s website at www.fanwoodscotchplainsymca.org. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.


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