The Wheeling YMCA swim team began in 1954 in the YMCA building
on 20thStreet in Wheeling, WV. The team has
progressed and grown in the 58 years it has been in existence. It
will later affiliate with the AAU and US Swimming.
There were several coaches during the YMCA’ first 18
years. One was Bill McEldowney, who later became the
Executive Director of the Wheeling YMCA.
In 1972, Paul Blair, the
swim coach at Linsly came on board. The team practiced
and swam meets at the J. B. Chambers Branch YMCA. It
was called the Ohio Valley Y Swim Team
In 1979, John Lyons came on board as the head coach. Also the
coach at Linsly the team was under John’s direction for one
For the 1980 season the team which had dropped in size was coached
by two of the parents.
Bill Brubaker became the coach in May of 1981, and coached to the
summer of 2013. During this time the team will under go a
couple of name changes. In order to keep in line with US
Swimming rules, the name changed to the Wheeling YMCA Swim Team/J.
B. Chambers Branch.
Several years later in an effort to work with Wheeling Jesuit
University (head coach Rick West), the program became
Cardinal Aquatics/J. B. Chambers YMCA.
In 2013 the program had several major changes.
First to correspond with the new name of the Wheeling YMCA
(formerly J. B. Chambers Branch), the team changed their name to
Wheeling YMCA - Cardinal Aquatics Swim team (WHY). Second,
the team announced a new head coach in long time assistant Rick
- The team has been a
growing and developing program throughout the years.
- The team has had two YMCA
1977 – Alex Welker – Spring Nationals
– 200 yd Freestyle Champion
1995 – Jennifer Loew – Spring
Nationals – One Meter Diving Champion
The team has had swimmers place at Y Spring and Summer Nationals.
It has also had several Great Lakes Zone Champions. It
continues to be successful in the SEOWV Swimming
Swimmers from the program have competed at all levels of NCAA
Ohio State, Penn State,
West Virginia, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Bucknell, Southern
Illinois, Toledo, Ohio Northern, Ashland, Davis & Elkins, and
Wheeling Jesuit to list a few.
Former swimmers and coaches have done well in the coaching ranks
with coaches involved at The Berkeley School, The Bolles School,
Ohio State, Pitt, Rice, and Wheeling Jesuit and many area high
The program currently rosters approximately 130 swimmers and uses
three facilities, the Chambers Y, The Linsly School and Wheeling