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Piranhas in the News

Pocono Piranha Swim Teams Win ‘09/’10 Season
Girls/Boys Team Victorious at Championship Meet

The Pocono Family YMCA Swim Team had another great season, as both the Boys & Girls teams won all five of their meets in the B North Division. The Boys were undefeated in the 9/10, 11/12 and 15-19 age groups, while the Girls were undefeated in the 11/12, 13/14 and 15-19 groups. Both teams then went on to
win the overall B Championships at their respective meets.

The Girls team competed on Saturday, January 30, 2010, in the B Championship Meet, which included the five South Division teams, as well as the seven North Division teams. Thanks to the strong showing in the 11/12, 13/14 and 15-19 groups, the Piranha Girls won the entire meet by nearly 700 points. The Boys
team battled down to the final event to win the Boys B Division Championship on Sunday, February 14th, in Exton, PA.

The accomplishments of the team are due to the depth of talent available to Coach Mike Wolbert, and the dedication of the swimmers. The 2009/10 season began officially on November 21st, but many Piranhas swim year-round. They compete at Invitational and USA meets around the state, sometimes as often as 3-4
times a month. As a result of this hard work, numerous team records have been set during the season, 32 swimmers have times among the top 16 fastest in the PennDel League, and 44 individual swimmers have already qualified for the Eastern District Championships at LaSalle in March. And with three more meets on the schedule, the Piranhas are on track to surpass last season's record of 45 District competitors.

There were many strong performers at the Girls Championships in Wilkes-Barre, as the 11/12, 13/14 & 15-19 girls place first or second in 22 of 28 events, including winning 5 of the 6 relays. Alex Burns (13) won all three of her individual events, as did Emily Wolbert (12). Lauren Mezzanotte & Lena Yang (both 15) each had one 1st and two 2nd place individual wins. Baileigh Vanderhoof (13) 'swam for the cycle,' finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each of her individual races. Other individual winners include Alex Dunigan (16) and Madeline Neville (9),  The 11/12 200-yard medley relay team of Emily Cabral, Janel Llewellyn, Margaux Palaski, and Emily Wolbert set a meet record of 2:00.79, nearly 3 seconds faster than the previous record. That performance was a team record for the age group, and Emily Wolbert set a team record in the 200 IM and 200 Free. Many swimmers had personal best times at the meet, and all contributed to the best Championship showing ever for the Girls Team.

The Boys Team was swimming at a disadvantage, not having enough athletes in the 13/14 age group to field a relay team in either the 200-Yard Medley or Free events. However, 9/10 boys won the Medley Relay, the 11/12 boys took 1st and 3rd in the Medley and 1st and 4th in the Free Relays, while the 15-19 boys were 1st, 2nd and 6th in the Medley and 1st, 3rd and 7th in the Free Relays. Strong performances by individual swimmers also kept the smaller Boys Team in contention throughout the meet: Ivan Puskovitch (8) and Zack Wolbert (10) won all three of their individual events, with Wolbert setting a meet record in the 50-yard freestyle and the 50 butterfly. Sam Velez (12) also won all his events, and his relay teammate Colin Orlowski took 1st in the 200 Freestyle, 2nd in his two other individual events. Ben Gendelman (13) won the 100-yard Butterfly, took 3rd in the 100 Backstroke, and helped make up the third relay team in the 15-19 age group. The oldest group was definitely the deepest, and included many outstanding high school swimmers. Ben Dutka (17) had a 1st and a 2nd place finish, and anchored both winning relays. Kamahl Bron (18) won his signature event, the 100 Butterfly, and also swam on the winning relays. Chris Pickarski (17) had a 2nd and 3rd to go with his relay golds, and Colin Cruz (15) had individual 2nd and 3rd place finishes along with his 1st and 2nd relay medals. Other top three finishers included Brandon Swingle (11), Sean Clarke (17), and Michael Inglesby (16). Full results for both the Boys and Girls Championships can be found at the PFY website,

Four of the ladies at the Girls Championshps had an additional reason to celebrate: Alex Burns (13) and Lena Yang (15) each dropped 4/100 second off their 50-yard free times, which means that they, along with Lauren Mezzanotte (15) and Avanti Banks (16), have now qualified the PFY 200 Yard Free Relay team
for the YMCA Short Course Nationals in Ft. Lauderdale next April. Alex, Lena and Avanti qualified for the same event last year, along with Liz Jordan (PMW '09).

Coach Wolbert hopes their success will help to motivate the other Piranhas who are also close to qualifying for Nationals.

News Flash: Lauren Mezzanotte swam 25.10 in the 50-yard Freestyle at Prep School Eastern Districts on Friday, February 26, 2010, which makes her the first individual National Qualifier this year!

Congratulations to Lauren Mezzanotte who qualified for Nationals in the 50 FREE with a time of 25.10 swam earlier today at Prep School Easterns for her high school.  Lauren is our 1st female individual qualifier this year! Lauren previously qualified in the 200 Free Relay. We hope this is the first of many more National Qualifier for PFY. SWIM FAST PFY!



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