Known as “America’s Swim Instructor,” more than a million children and teens learn to swim every year at YMCAs across the country. Once they complete swim lessons, many kids enjoy the water recreationally for the rest of their lives. In Wilton, swimmers who want to take their swimming to an even higher level, the Wilton Family YMCA, offers the Wahoos competitive swim team. Now, the Wilton Y has brought on a new head developmental coach, Caitlyn Hracs, to help children transition from new or average swimmers to confident, competitive ones who will always be safe around the water.

Hracs has been a head coach of the Westport Weston Family YMCA for the Elite 8-and-Under swim team and led her squad to victory at the New England Y Championships last winter. She started this month and will put her experience developing and coaching all-star teams to use right away as 2018-2019 Wahoo swim team evaluations begin Tuesday, Aug. 28.

“We are thrilled that Coach Caitlyn is joining the Wahoos. The enjoyment she has working with younger swimmers is very evident. Her squads will be both fun and educational which will make for a very welcoming environment for our newest and youngest Wahoo swimmers,” said Coach Alex Baxter, associate director of competitive aquatics and head age group coach.

“YMCA competitive swimming is the natural progression from our Safety Around Water [program] and Y swim lessons. It provides an ideal environment for cognitive, physical and social-emotional development,” adds Robert McDowell, CEO, Riverbrook Regional YMCA. “By strengthening our leadership staff with people like Caitlyn we know our swimmers will experience achievement. As a parent of a competitive swimmer, I can tell you first hand, your child will know they have a place to belong to and feel proud of, all while building relationships that last a lifetime.”

Competitive swim programs at the Wilton Family YMCA are year-round for swimmers ages 6-18 with USA Swimming and YMCA Swimming short course (25 yds.) and long course (50 m) competitions. Each year, the swimming program culminates in national events, including the YMCA Short Course National Championship, and the YMCA Long Course National Championship.

To get involved in competitive swimming at the Wilton Y, email Alex Baxter, associate director of competitive aquatics or visit the Wilton Y Wahoos website.