USA Swimming has announced the results of their Club Excellence Program, and of the more than 10,000 swim clubs in the United States, the Wilton Y Wahoos are ranked 12th, which places the team among the elite, top-20 programs earning Gold Medal status.
The Club Excellence Program identifies and recognizes USA Swimming clubs nationwide for their commitment to performance excellence, and strives to promote the development of strong, well-rounded senior swimming at the junior national level. Through this recognition program, USA Swimming provides resources to motivate and assist member clubs to strive for the highest ideals of swimmer-athlete performance.
The Wilton Y Wahoos have won numerous YMCA national and Connecticut age-group and senior state championships in its 31 year history but have never broken through the Silver Medal Club standard.
Head coach Randy Erlenbach, a Connecticut native, explained the significance: “Becoming a Gold Medal Club was a goal of the coaching staff because we knew we had the resources to accomplish this. Through a lot of hard work and dedication from our student-athletes, coaches, parents, and YMCA staff, we are proud to have accomplished this high accolade as recognized by USA Swimming. But most of all, this comes as a result of the high performance level shown by our swimmers.”
Coach Erlenbach added, “Becoming a Gold Medal club not only requires scoring a lot of points through long course junior national time standards, but there has to be substantial depth to the team and at least one swimmer who is ranked in the top 100 in the world.”
Three Wahoo swimmers achieved the top 100 ranking in a total of four individual events: Eric Ronda, a Harvard University freshman, in the 200 breaststroke; Ian Rainey, who will be a Michigan Wolverine next year, in the 800 freestyle and 400 individual medley; and team captain Max Dolan, future Wisconsin Badger, in the 400 individual medley.
Long course junior national qualifiers contributed significantly to the point totals: Verity Abel (Duke University), Sam DeLise (Georgetown), Max Dolan, Sean Higgins (William & Mary), Stephen Holmquist, Tommy Kealy (William & Mary), Matt Moen (Ohio State), Ky-Lee Perry, Eric Ronda, Maddy Smart (UVA) and team captain Alyssa Storino (Notre Dame) together accomplished more than 30 junior national time standards.
Wilton Family YMCA executive director Bob McDowell, said “The Wilton Y Wahoo Swim Team is well known throughout the country not only for developing high quality swimmers but also for nurturing the individual athlete as a whole. The Wahoo program truly exemplifies the Y core values of Honesty, Caring, Respect, and Responsibility and is a genuine reflection of our YMCA’s mission as a charitable organization dedicated to maximizing the personal potential of all individuals in our community.”
For more information on the Wilton Y Wahoo Swim Team program, contact Assistant senior coach Matt Hall at 203.762.8384, ext. 290 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Full details on the Wahoo team can be found at www.wywahoos.org.
Photo Caption: Wahoo Head Coach Randy Erlenbach is shown preparing his team for a recent competition.