Wahoos second at YMCA swim nationals; men defend title

Once again, the Wilton Y Wahoos swim team made its presence known at a prestigious meet.

Led by a first-place finish from their men’s squad, the Wahoos were second overall in the combined standings at the 2015 YMCA Long Course National Championship, which took place Aug. 3-7 in Indianapolis, Ind.

The Wahoos finished with 608.5 points to place second behind fellow national power Middle Tyger (Duncan, S.C.) YMCA, which won the combined title with 739.5 points.

Wilton’s men’s squad racked up 470.5 points to finish first in the division, 67.5 points ahead of the runner-up Cheshire YMCA.

The men’s team provided both of the Wahoos’ event victories. One of those was a meet highlight as Wilton’s Robby Giller won the 800-meter freestyle with a YMCA national-record time of 8:21.91, breaking the previous record of 8:22.11, which was set in 2011.

Also finishing first was the Wahoos’ 800 freestyle relay of Hugo Sykes, Ed Stolarski, Giller and Stephen Holmquist, which triumphed in a time of 7:43.17.

Giller added several more top-three finishes, placing second in the 1500 freestyle (15:54.99), and third in the 400 individual medley (4:29.85) and the 400 freestyle (4:02.18).

Holmquist — who attended the meet after competing at the previous week’s US junior nationals — also excelled. He finished second in the 200 IM (2:07.06), fifth in the 400 freestyle (4:02.46), sixth in the 200 freestyle (1:55.09), and eighth in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.46).

Several other Wahoos qualified for championship heats and contributed top-eight finishes: Oscar Ike was second in the 400 IM (4:27.90) and fifth in the 200 butterfly (2:06.21); Stolarski placed third in the 200 backstroke (2:06.44) and fourth in the 200 IM (2:08.73); Sykes was fifth in both the 50 freestyle (24.16) and the 100 freestyle (52.75) and seventh in the 200 freestyle (1:55.12); Stefan Garbee placed sixth in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.19); Jake Kealy finished sixth in the 200 backstroke (2:08.87); and Lexo Walker was eighth in the 200 freestyle (1:58.77).

In addition to the victory in the 800 freestyle relay, the Wahoo men were fifth in the 400 medley relay, sixth in the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay, and 10th in the 200 freestyle relay.

Adding points with top-24 individual finishes were Luca DiCapua (ninth in the 50 breaststroke, 19th in the 100 breaststroke); Stolarski (ninth in the 100 backstroke, 13th in the 200 freestyle); Walker (ninth in the 200 butterfly, 10th in the 400 freestyle); James Mostofi (10th in the 400 IM, 12th in the 1500 freestyle, 16th in the 800 freestyle); Connor Rainey (10th in the 200 backstroke, 23rd in the 400 IM); Ike (12th in the 200 backstroke, 13th in the 400 freestyle); Kealy (16th in the 100 backstroke); Alex Ignatov (11th in the 800 freestyle, 19th in the 1500 freestyle); Sykes (19th in the 200 backstroke); and Garbee (19th in the 400 IM).

Leading the way for the Wahoo women’s team was Ky-lee Perry, who had a pair of second-place individual finishes. Perry was the runner-up in the 50 freestyle with an Olympic cut time of 25.77, and she also finished second in the 100 freestyle with a time of 56.78 (barely missing the Olympic cut of 56.49).

Emma Holmquist was also a major contributor for Wilton with two top-eight finishes. She placed second in the 200 breaststroke (2:27.72) and was seventh in the 400 IM (5:05.10).

Elizabeth Sargent also advanced to a championship heat, finishing sixth in the 400 IM (5:04.32).

Providing more points were Holmquist in the 200 IM (14th) and the 100 breaststroke (22nd); Sargent in the 200 butterfly (15th); Perry in the 100 backstroke (16th) and the 100 butterfly (18th); Kiersten Daly in the 400 IM (16th) and the 800 freestyle (19th); Emma Kauffeld in the 800 freestyle (16th) and the 400 freestyle (23rd); and Maggie Kauffeld in the 200 butterfly (21st).

The Wahoo women also won the B Final in two relays — using the same four swimmers — to finish ninth overall in both events. Catherine Buroker, Samantha Cheruk, Perry and Holmquist combined to place ninth in the 200 freestyle relay and the 400 freestyle relay.

Wilton was also 12th in the 400 medley relay and 13th in the 800 freestyle relay.

Notes: It was the fourth consecutive division title for the Wahoo men, who edged the Ohio-based Countryside Ralph Stolle YMCA by four points at last year’s nationals.

The Wahoos were third in the combined standings last year with 664 points, two fewer than second-place Triangle Area YMCA of North Carolina. Countryside Ralph Stolle won the overall title with 730.5 points.