Montclair YMCA Dolphins make waves at State Championships

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MONTCLAIR – Twenty-one Montclair YMCA Dolphins ages 12 and under competed against swimmers from 25 other YMCA teams in the NJ YMCA State Championships, February 25-26, at the Ocean County YMCA in Toms River.   Top-16 finishers earned points.

With about 65 swimmers competing in each event, 10 of the young Dolphins earned points for the team: Aly Breikaa, age 10; Justin Cueva, 10; and Ryan LoCicero of Bloomfield; Connor Townson, 12; of Glen Ridge, Natalie Dripchak, 11; Carly Frank,  10; Ella Habjan, 12; and Leo Powers, 12; of Montclair and Kazuri Lateef, 10; and Howard Zhuang, 10; of West Orange.

Zhuang is the 2017 State Champion in the 10-and-under 100 breast.

Both Townson, who swam in 7 individual events, and Frank, who competed in six, earned points in every one of their individual events. Both swimmers earned three top-5 finishes.

Head Age-Group Coach Matt Garifo said, “What an amazing season these young swimmers have had! They worked really hard all year and I couldn’t be prouder!”

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 Madeira at or 973-744-3400.