Wilton Wahoos Send Team to YMCA National Swim Festival in NC for First Travel Competition Since COVID

Wednesday morning, July 23 at dawn, 15 members of the Wilton Y Wahoos Swim Team boarded a bus that would take them to an airplane flight down to Raleigh, NC, to participate in the Long Course National Swim Festival in Cary, NC. The event, hosted by the YMCA of the Triangle Area, will be the athletes’ first travel meet since the world shut down due to Covid-19.

Due to the pandemic, both the 2020 and the 2021 short course and long course Y national meets were canceled — the first time these meets weren’t held since 1947. The YMCA organization began hosting national championship meets in 1923.

The Wilton Wahoos who are attending and competing, accompanied by coaches Todd Stevens and Joe Bonk are:

Michael Adams
Nicholas Besgen
Ava Fasano
Emily Fox
Abbey Gardner
Virginia Hastings
Bridget Kelly
Caroline Kelly
Aanya Kongettira
James LaBant
Veronica Lester
Sydney Lillis
Alex McDonnell
Austin Walt
Andrew Zhou

When “Y nats” was canceled, several YMCA’s from around the country came together to host the 2021 National YMCA festival. The 2021 Long Course National Swim Festival is a meet for YMCA swimmers who have achieved Long Course YMCA national championship time standards.

The team departed on Wednesday morning and arrived in time to hit the pool for training and the opening ceremonies later in the day. The swimmers will return home on Monday, July 26.

Each athlete can swim a total of four individual events. In addition, the swimmers will also be participating in team relay events.

Individual Events:

Michael Adams: 800m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 1500m freestyle

Nicholas Besgen: 50m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 100m freestyle

Ava Fasano: 100m backstroke, 50m freestyle, 200m backstroke, 100 m freestyle

Emily Fox: 50m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 100 m butterfly, 100 m freestyle

Abbey Gardner: 400m medley, 400m freestyle, 200m backstroke, 200m butterfly

Virginia Hastings: 200m medley, 200m freestyle, 400m medley, 400m freestyle

Bridget Kelly: 50m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 100m freestyle

Caroline Kelly: 800m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 1500m freestyle

Aanya Kongettira: 100m backstroke, 50m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 100m freestyle

James LaBant: 800m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 1500m freestyle

Veronica Lester: 200m medley, 400m medley, 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly

Sydney Lillis: 200m medley, 400m medley, 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly

Alex McDonnell: 50m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 100m freestyle

Austin Walt: 100m backstroke, 100m butterfly, 200m backstroke, 200m butterfly

Andrew Zhou: 200m medley, 100m breaststroke, 400m medley, 200m breaststroke

The competition will be live-streamed.