This past weekend was a chance for the youngest members of the YMCA of Montclair Dolphins swim team to shine, as they turned in fantastic performances at the state championships.


At the YMCA championships for swimmers ages 8 and under on Feb. 4 at Raritan Valley Community College, 13 Dolphins competed in events ranging from the 25 freestyle to the 100 intermediate medley. They were joined by more than 250 other swimmers from 14 teams in what was the biggest meet most had ever attended.


When the final results were tabulated, seven Dolphins had earned 15 top-20 finishes. One  standout performer was Riley Felber (7) of Montclair, who placed 4th in the 25 free and 6th in the 25 butterfly. Svea Knagge (7) of Montclair, meanwhile, recorded two top-10 finishes, placing 9th in the 25 free and 25 backstroke. And Caitlin Hood (8) of Glen Ridge sliced an impressive 9 seconds off her time in the 100 IM and finished 6th.

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Many other athletes also achieved personal bests in multiple events. Among those who dropped a significant amount of time were Madison Honegan (8) of Bloomfield (12 seconds in the 25 breast); Brenna Laracy (7) of Montclair (6 seconds in the 50 free); and Lola Somerstein (8) of Montclair (4 seconds in the 25 fly.)


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.


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