WESTPORT, Conn. -- The Westport Weston Family Y's Water Rat swimmers finished in 11th place at the 2014 YMCA Short Course National Championship.
The competition took place from April 1 to 4 at the Greensboro Aquatics Center in Greensboro, N.C. The 11 swimmers from the Westport Weston Family Y Water Rat Swim Team finished in 11th place out of 75 teams, with the Men's Team placing 6th, according to a press release.
"That's a significant improvement over last year's results, when the men finished in 34th place. It was the greatest year-over-year improvement for any team swimming at the meet this year," a press release said.
“We had a tremendous meet in Greensboro,” says Ellen Johnston, Head Coach of the 200-member Water Rat Swim Team. “When the teams you are competing against have two to three times the number of swimmers on their squads, our results are extremely impressive.”
Johnston and Assistant Coach Frisk Driscoll joined the swimmers on the six-day trip to the competition.
“The team has been focused on this meet since 2013, and everything throughout the year helped prepare us to step and be a strong force,” said Johnston. “Our team was comprised of 10 young men and one woman, Sarah Grinalds, who, at 13, also happened to be one of the youngest swimmers in the meet. Sarah held her own and stepped up swimming more like a seasoned veteran than a rookie, almost making the finals in the 100 Freestyle with another personal best. The support each swimmer gave to their teammates was impressive and is also an important aspect of our success.”
The following are the individual swimmers scoring points for the Water Rats at Y Nationals:
- Jonathan Blansfield placed second in the 500 Freestyle, second in the 1,000 Freestyle, and ninth in the 1,650 Freestyle.
- Bryce Keblish placed third in the 100 Butterfly, seventh in the 200 Freestyle, 10th in the 200 Individual Medley, and 12th in the 100 Breaststroke.
- Tommy Gannon placed 13th in the 200 Breaststroke.
- Daniel Williams placed 14th in the 1,650 Freestyle and 16th in the 1,000 Freestyle.
The team of Keblish, Gannon, Jake Hoin and Justin Summers placed sixth in the 200 Freestyle Relay, while the team of John Whiteside, Gannon, Keblish and Summers finished sixth in the 200 Yard Medley Relay after having to "swim off" against a team from South Carolina who they were tied with after the preliminary heats to qualify for the championship final, according to the release.