Somerset Valley YMCA Swimmers Win Big at Nationals


BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Members of the Somerset Valley YMCA swim team captured two national titles at long course YMCA Nationals in Indianapolis, including several residents of Somerset County.

The team overall placed sixth out of 54 teams.

The relay team earned a victory in the 200-meter freestyle relay. On the team were Alex Gebel, of Bridgewater; Holly Christensen, of Readington; and Megan Bull, of Hillsborough.

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Joe Del Buono, of Hillsborough, won the 50-meter butterfly.

In addition, according to a release, Del Buono finished third in the 200-medly relay race with Christopher Ruhnke, of Bridgewater, and Brad Zdroik and Sam Hendrix, both of Hillsborough.

“This was a true team performance in and out of the pool,” Dan Roth, Somerset Valley YMCA head coach and director of aquatics, said in the release. “Our energy was extremely high all week long. We have a number of graduating seniors who were determined to end their Y swim team careers on a high note, and it was great to see them pass the torch to our younger athletes at the same time.”

Also winning big was Ryan Waters, of Basking Ridge, who finished fifth in the 1500-meter freestyle and eighth in the 800 freestyle. His times qualified him for USA Swimming’s Speedo Winter Junior National Championships, where he will join teammate Megan Bull, of Hillsborough. Bull, the release said, finished fifth in the 200-meter breaststroke and eighth in the 400-meter freestyle.

“Our distance team has really evolved over the past couple of years,” Roth said in the release. “Our goal is to build as complete a swim program as possible across all four strokes and distances, so to have athletes placing top 8 in the distance events is a big milestone for our program.”

The Somerset Valley YMCA Swim Team is a seven-time state champion and is ranked 42nd overall nationally in USA Swimming’s virtual club ranking.

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