Western Wahoos

Back Row (left to right): Justin Byrd, Kyle Skelly, Aaron Stevens, Tyler Suchyj, Josh Juhasz, Tommy Janton, Matthew Spruance, Liam Simmons, Alex Karahalis, Zach Redding, Noah Reice, Alek Elder. Front Row (left to right): Alyssa Napier, Maddie Testa, Georgia Colborn, Natalie Johnson, Katelyn Fitzgerald

A swim team from the Western Family YMCA near Newark won three titles at a national competition earlier this summer.

The Western Wahoos placed sixth overall combined, third for men and 14th for women. It was the team’s best performance in 50 years, according to spokeswoman Linda Risk.

Held in North Carolina, the YMCA National Long Course Swimming Festival included more than 500 participants from 42 YMCAs around the country.

The Western Wahoos had 22 national swimmers who competed. Overall, the team swam 76 events which resulted in 64 personal bests, 26 team records and 38 final qualifying swims.

“I am extremely proud and impressed with our team’s positive attitudes and energy throughout this grueling week of competition,” coach Ryan Schultz said. “Our swimmers, coaches and families have faced many challenges this year due to the pandemic, and it shows remarkable fortitude that they were able to finish the season with these impressive results.”

Tommy Janton became the Wahoos’ first-ever national champion when he won the 100 Backstroke. Tommy Janton, Alek Elder, Alex Karahalis, and Liam Simmons earned two more national titles in the Men’s 200 and 400 Medley Relays.

Swimmers who qualified for finals in individuals or relay events included Georgia Colborn, Alek Elder, Katelyn Fitzgerald, Tommy Janton, Josh Juhasz, Alex Karahalis, Alyssa Napier, Noah Reice, Liam Simmons, Aaron Stevens, Tyler Suchyj and Maddie Testa.

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