Phoenixville YMCA Girls Impress at YMCA Swimming Nationals in Greensboro, NC!

Posted on: 04.09.2014

Phoenixville YMCA coaches Ryan Kennedy, Tracy Arnold-Merke and Dana Glodek took six girls and five boys to compete at the YMCA Short Course National Swimming Championships in Greensboro, NC, April 1st – 4th.  Boys team included:  Kyle Hoops, Andy Kull, Zach Maher, Colin McNamara, all of Phoenixville, and Matt Lanetti of Malvern.  Girls team was made up of:  Maddie Cooke, Olivia Giampietro, Shawna Moore of Phoenixville, Morgan Hansen of Spring City, Erin Merke of West Norriton, and Emma Seiberlich of Audubon.

Overall in the combined competition, Phoenixville placed 24th out of 203 teams and the 11 swimmers competed among 1,473 registered swimmers.  This finish ranked them 4th among Pennsylvania teams, behind York Y (4th overall), Upper Main Line Y (10th) and Boyertown Y (20th).  The real punch came in the girls’ division, with the Phoenixville girls finishing 14th.  This ranked them third among Pennsylvania YMCA teams behind York Y (2nd) and Upper Main Line Y (10th).  Overall team leader was Middle Tyger of South Carolina.  Pennsylvania fielded the most teams in the meet with 35.

Point-scoring swims included Phoenixville’s 200 Medley relay team of all-15 year olds, Emma Seiberlich (back), Maddie Cooke (breast), Morgan Hansen (fly) and Olivia Giampietro (free), placing 8th with a time of 1:45.10.  The same group raced in the 400 Medley relay to earn 11th place in a time of 3:47.92.   Later, the 200 Free relay of Seiberlich, Erin Merke (12 years old), Giampietro and Cooke finished 14th.  Merke competed in her first nationals at the earliest eligible age.  All these relay swims resulted in new Phoenixville YMCA team records.

Reaching finals in individual events were the two high school freshmen, Cooke and Seiberlich, who were born on the same day in 1998.  Cooke finished 8th in the 100 breast (1:04.00), 16th in the 50 Free (23.74) and 24th in the 200 Breast (2:22.79) finals.  Prelim session times included personal bests and team records of 1:03.29 in the 100 Breast, and 2:20.73 in the 200 Breast.

Seiberlich, who made finals in 2013 in the 100 and 200 backstroke events, swam to 4th in the 200 back (1:57.11), 12th in the 100 back (55.21), and 17th in the 100 fly (54.98), adding butterfly to her repertoire, with all personal best times and Phoenixville team records.

YMCA Nationals offers swimmers the opportunity to swim two time trials selected from the national events menu.  During these swims, numerous personal bests were posted by Phoenixville swimmers, with additional national qualifying times achieved.  Erin Merke added the 100 free (53.47) to her 50 free meet cut.  Morgan Hansen dropped 4.84 seconds in the 200 fly (2:08.15) to easily add the 2014 cut to her 100 fly qualifying time.  Olivia Giampietro swam .5 seconds faster in the 100 fly (58.74), adding to her 50 and 100 freestyle cuts.  Whether all these swims will requalify the swimmers for 2015 Short Course Championships will not be known until mid-late summer when the 2015 standards are posted.  The location for 2015 Championships will be announced in early to mid-June.

For full meet results and more, use this link to the YMCA Swimming & Diving website:

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