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Boreal Community Media

Many firsts for YMCA Northerns swim team

Jan 13, 2020 02:30PM ● By Editor
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Media Release from the Cook County YMCA - January 13, 2020


On January 4, 2020, 22 youth swimmers from Cook County attended a swim meet hosted at the YMCA. Also attending were swimmers from Superior and Duluth. The Superior swimmers
especially challenged our local team and there were many close events.

“There were many firsts at the swim meet (and I’m not just talking about 1 st places, although we had a few of those too!” says Executive Director Emily Marshall.

The team, which has almost 40 swimmers now, is fairly young with the 8 and under category
being the largest. For many of them, it was their first meet experience.

“Even some of the older kids had nerves about being in their first competition. However, everyone gave it their all. Each swimmer participated in about 5 events. After the first event, the butterflies seemed to fly away and were replaced by excitement," continued Marhsall.  "I think some of the swimmers really impressed themselves, their parents, and even the coaches. Since they had no official times yet from a previous meet, we didn’t quite know how they would do against the competition. We make it a point to focus on their own time and personal bests at this age and not worry so much about what the kid in the lane next to them is doing. As they get a little older we start to develop goals about placing or dropping time. We were surprised that some of our 8 and unders almost made regional qualifying times in some of their events. As a coach, I’m really excited to see the program grow and get more competitive. There are always going to be some kids that swim for fun, exercise, comradery, or a way to improve swimming in general which is also encouraged. At least half of the team was at the meet and it left
them hungry for more competition! Several have been asking about the meet in Superior coming up on January 18 th and are planning to attend.”

Swimmers must participate in three meets during the regular season to qualify for the YMCA Sectional meet (which includes Brainerd, Grand Rapids, Duluth, and Superior), State (which hosts 25 teams from MN), Regionals (which is made up of teams from 11 midwest states), or National meets at the end of the season.

Three of the Cook County swimmers have qualified for Sections and are likely to advance on to the State meet this year. Those swimmers are Jack Dragswiek, Mary June DeArruda-Wharton, and Raymond Young.

The team is already preparing for next season (October-February) and planning to host three local meets so swimmers get a chance to qualify for Sections right in their home pool.

About the Y
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth
development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million
men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential
of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to
give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the
long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting
personal and social change. ymca.net
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