The 8 and under NJ YMCA State Championships was held at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg on Saturday, February 8, 2014. There were 13 competing boys and girls YMCA swim teams which led to a crowded but enthusiastic atmosphere.
The morning got off to a great start with the FSPY 7 & under girls dominating the 100 Yard medley relay. The team of Meghan Lai, Catherine Martin, Billie Sherratt and Caitlyn Falkowski took 1st with a time of 1:21.05, more than 11 seconds ahead of the second place team. In the freestyle events Laura Kim came in 2nd for the 6 & unders, Sherratt and Keira Kaminskas finished 1st and 5th respectively in the girls 7& under 25 yard race.
Sherratt also won her age group 50-yard free event. The 7& under girls dominated the 25 yard breaststroke event by taking 1st (Martin), 4th (Paulina Nowak) and 5th place (Kaminskas). In the 25 yard backstroke, Kim came in 2nd and Martin came in 1st for their respective age groups. Sherratt won the 25 yard butterfly event for 7& unders and Kim came in 2nd for the 6& unders. For the 8 year-old girls, Jessica Markwant placed 13th in the 50 free and 16th in the 25 free with two personal best times, while Naomi Maurer took 5th in the 25 back and 10th in the 50 free.
Also achieving personal best times were Ellie Moose, Sofiya Piede and Haley Warren (breaststroke); Hannah Alber, Meghan Lai, Alex Moore, Sarah Phillips, Isabella Rovito, Bridget Davis (freestyle); Lily Gaulin (backstroke) and Helena Chan (fly). Closing out the morning, the FSPY girls freestyle relays finished in strong form, as the 7 year-olds took 1st again (Martin, Kaminskas, Falkowski, Sherratt) and 3rd (Lai, Kim, Rovito, Livi Reeves) in a field of 12, while the 8 year-old relay of Moose, Markwant, Chan and Maurer placed 6th out of 21.
The FSPY boys team got off to a similar start with the 7 & under medley relay team of Mac Priesing, Jack Hickey, Dawson Milligan and Ryan Jawor finishing in 2nd place overall, while the team of 8 year-olds Will Dietrich, Sohem Rai, Cameron Linenberg and Bradley Frank touched 7th. In the 6 & under age group, Priesing had an impressive day, finishing 1st in both 25 yard free and 25 backstroke, and 2nd in the 25 yard butterfly. For the 7 year-olds, Milligan came in 2nd and 4th in the 25 and 50 yard freestyle events, and placed 3rd in the 25 yard butterfly.
Tyler McGeehan placed 7th in both the 25 free and 25 breast, while Jawor and Kyle Karyczak took 13th and 15th, respectively, in the 25 free, each with personal best times. Evan Weber and Mikey Kobori posted personal bests in the backstroke. For the 8 year-olds, Linenberg placed 9th in 25 fly with a best time, while FSPY backstrokers Dietrich (10th) Rai, Jack Perreault, Frank and Aidan Route all posted personal bests.
Again, the FSPY freestyle relay finished strong as the team of Priesing, Jawor, McGeehan and Milligan took 2nd. Coach Gillian Hauptman was extremely pleased with the performance of the FSPY 8-and-unders, and praised their hard work this season that lead to so many great, best time performances. She is looking forward to their continuing contributions to the team over the years to come.