MONTCLAIR, NJ - Montclair YMCA Dolphins Swim Team turned in outstanding performances at two championship meets, held on Dec. 13-15, 2019.

At the EEX Holiday Classic XXXIII, held at Rutgers University, 16 of the team’s swimmers qualified for a meet that has traditionally been one the most anticipated all year. More than 35 teams from the Tri-State area participated this year. 

Many swimmers turned in individual best performances during this meet:
- Ela Habjan (14) of Montclair, attained a cut for the Speedo Winter Junior Championship and made finals in all her backstroke events, taking 2nd (100 back) and 6th (200 back), as well as qualifying for YMCA Short Course Nationals in the 500 free. 
- Enzo Wood (16) of Glen Ridge made the YMCA Short Course Nationals cut for the first time in the 400IM event. 
- Liam Hood (17) of Glen Ridge placed 14th for the 400 IM qualifying for the YMCA SC Nationals, and 
- Connor Townson of Glen Ridge (15) placed 14th for the 200 breast and qualified for a YMCA SC Nationals in the 100 breast.
Howard Zhuang (14) of West Orange placed 4th and 9th in the 100/200 breaststroke. Lola Somerstein (10) of Montclair placed 4th in the 100 Back, 7th in the 2 Free, and 8th in the 50 Back. Kal Sobier (14) of Montclair finaled in both his best events finishing 13th in the 500 free and 200 free. Lucas Foung (12) of Montclair was 12th in the 100 Back, and 10th in the 200 Back, and Tate Faherty (12) of Bloomfield was 16th in the 200 back. Femi Oshodi (12) placed 6th in the 50 and 200 fly, and 7th in the 100 fly.

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That same weekend 60 Dolphins were competing at Ocean County YMCA in the Winter Classic. There were multiple fantastic performances that included 63 top-8 finishes.

Two Dolphin Swimmers placed first: Aly Breikaa (13) of Bloomfield (100 fly) and Vasilios Salatas (14) of Montclair (200 back). The 13/14 boys 200 Medley relay made out of: Jasper Schnieders-Smith, Need Kojic, Ryan LoCicero & Aly Breikaa also took first place.

We had multiple second places awarded: Dom Ancey (15) of Belleville (100/200 back), Nead Kojic (14) of Montclair (100 breast), Ryan LoCicero (13) of Nutley (100 fly), Mizel McCeachin (16) of MOntclair (100 fly) and Caitlyn Tagliareni (14) of Bloomfield (200 back/200 fly).

Some standout performances by the following swimmers who finished in the top third-fifth places were:  Ali Breikaa (13) of Bloomfield (50/100/200 free), Nathan Espiritu (16) of Bloomfield (200 back),  Lauren Espiritu (12) of Bloomfield (200 breast), Caleb Foung (16) of Montclair (200 breast/200 IM), Kazuri Lateef (13) of West Orange (100 fly), Ryan LoCicero (13) of Nutley (200 fly/100 back), Cristian Remache (15) of Nutley (200 back), Maia Nilsen (10) in the (200 IM), Omer Korkmaz (12) in the (200 back), Ella Parker (17) of Montclair (100/200 fly), Vasilios Salatas (14) of Montclair (100 back/200 IM), Mizel McCeachin (16) of Montclair (100/200 free), Salma Benchekroum (14) of Montclair (200 back), and Nead Kojic (14) of Montclair (200 breast/100 back/200 IM)

Honorable mention to all those who dropped time in every event they swam - Cooper Voss, Caitlyn Tagliareni, Sasha Steele, Vasilis Salatas, David Pedo, Sarah Miller, Oona McNamara, Ella Kirkland, Caitlin Foung, Carly Fazendin, Tyler Davis & Lucas Foung.

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.