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Final Day and Full Highlights From YMCA Nationals!

*For those of you reading this for the first time, it has been updated nightly and is going in opposite order of the swim meet itself.  If you would like to read in order, scroll down until you see Day 1 and work your way up.  Enjoy!

YOTA Finishes 11th Overall at YMCA Nationals, With Boys Cracking Into Top 10!
When you consider just how many YMCA swimming programs there are in the country, you begin to realize just how tough it is to be a program that brings 28 swimmers to a national meet.  Then, when you take into even further consideration that out of the countless YMCA’s in America, of which a little over 300 of have swimmers qualified for the national championships, finishing 11th among the entire country is something pretty darn special!  And although YOTA has had the upstanding pleasure of winning a handful of national team titles in the last decade, it does not take away from just how important and impressive it is for us to finish yet again among one of the top teams in the country.

When the dust finally settled (even though the chlorine certainly remained………in our skin, clothes and lungs............in particular the lungs of the acute bronchitis filled writer), YOTA finished 11th place overall with 234 points, only 17 behind a very impressive Schroeder team with whom we had befriended just last evening in a moment of hilarious team bonding during and after dinner.  Our young men moved up in the rankings on the final day to finish in 9th overall, while our ladies held strong in 17th

But in the end, as always, we are reminded that the greatest part of our focus is the journey and not the destination.  And although this is the final meet of the short course season, it is only the beginning for so many of our swimmers and coaches, and we have created some unforgettable memories, shared some hilarious moments, and forged some positive relationships that will last a lifetime.  Long live YOTA STRONG and here’s to an impressive and memorable short course season.

Please enjoy reading about our Day 5 Finals, Prelims and Time Trials Highlights!

Sprint Life Soleo, Queen of YOTA Distance, Scores Again in 1650 Free!
For those of you who do not know, Lauren Soleo is the single greatest female distance swimmer to circle the black line day in and day out for YOTA.  And when she swims…….everybody, I mean everybody (teammates, coaches and parents) watches in amazement.  Although tonight’s swim in the 1650 freestyle ranked as her 3rd best “mile” swim of her career, it was still one that each and every one of us watched with pride knowing full well that we cannot do the things she is capable of.  And guess what?  She still finished 11th in the entire meet!  We are so proud of you and cannot wait to see the great things you accomplish this upcoming season.

Reaching New Heights, Atalay Onol Earns 6th Place Finish in 100 Free!
Yes…….that was a play on words.  If you’ve been reading all week, you know I love a good play on words.  For those of you at home who didn’t get it………Atalay Onol is 6 foot 8………so it takes a lot for him to reach new “heights”.  Finishing 6th overall in his first ever Championship final is a great way to do so.  Racing in the only way he knows, all out from the start, the Turkish Terror moved up yet another spot in finals to grab some invaluable points and a super high individual finish in the 100 free.  Well done sir and we are thrilled for your near best time tonight!

A Henry Of All Trades Finishes 11th in the 200 IM at Finals!
That title would have been so much cooler if his name was actually Jack, but nonetheless, Henry Hollinshead is a man of many talents indeed.  All week you’ve heard me talk about his backstrokes team records, his freestyle relays swims, his impressive individual and relay butterfly swims, and now, surprise surprise, he’s dominating in an event that requires skill in each stroke, the 200 IM.  His lifetime best swim tonight of 1:52.67 earned him an 11th place in the event, and secured him as one of the all-time YOTA greats, even though his warm and genuine personality already grabbed him that spot a long time ago.

Two Exceptional 400 Free Relays Put Exclamation Points on the End of YMCA Nationals!
First up were the girls who snuck into the championship finals this morning with an 8th place finish.  Based on the fact that YOTA swimmers give SUPERHUMAN EFFORTS on relays, we knew these girls were moving up in finals, and that’s exactly what they did.  The team of Sam Medlin (51.8), Jordan Kohut (52.0), Misha Neal (52.3) and Jenny Nusbaum (51.2) put up an even better time than prelims to go a 3:27.38 and moving from 8th to 7th overall in finals.  It was exciting and exhilarating all at the same time and we thank you for the moment of unbridled energy!

As the boys approached, the electricity among the YOTA swimmers let all of us know ahead of time that something big was about to happen.  Feeding off of the excitement from the girls’ race, our foursome of Brandon Dyck (46.9),Atalay Onol (44.9), Henry Hollinshead (47.4) and Brandon Medins (46.6) put up an incredibly impressive 3:06.00 in their 400 free relay to move all the way from 8th to 4th in the championship event, dropping over 2.5 seconds from their preliminary race.  For a meet that had its ups and downs, it was completely appropriate to end on such a fantastic up because, well…………that’s what we do here at YOTA! 

When you put the team first, amazing things happen.   All day long our YOTA swimmers fed off of the enthusiasm of their teammates and drew from that energy source to fuel their own races.  It was our best day, our most exciting day, and it was one for the books.  I hope you enjoy reading about the last bit of adventures from Short Course YMCA Nationals 2016 just as much as I have enjoyed sharing them with you.  So sit back………..grab that last cup of coffee and enjoy.

Amazing 10 Second Drop from Senior Misha Neal Highlights Girls 200 Fly!
With zero YOTA ladies participating in the 200 Butterfly this morning at prelims, “Money” Misha Neal more than made up for it by stepping up majorly in her time trial race with a ridiculous 10 second drop to go 2:13!!  Not only was that a huge best time for the super senior, it was also the first swim of the afternoon that ignited a firestorm of best times all throughout the time trials session.  Well done Misha!!

  • Misha Neal (2:13.68) Time Trial (Dropped 9.95 sec)

Kohut and Neal Team Up For First Time 52 Freestyle Swims!
When you swim for a storied program such a YOTA full of a strong sprint tradition, it’s no surprise that we continue to have fast sprint ladies in our program.  Both Jordan Kohut and Misha Neal added to this constantly growing list of star 100 freestylers by dropping under the 53 mark for the first time ever in the 100 free.  Congrats to all of our awesome 100 freestylers today!

  • Sam Medlin (51.99) 30th
  • Jenny Nusbaum (52.19) 34th
  • Jordan Kohut (52.78) 54th (Dropped 0.52 sec)
  • Misha Neal (52.80) 55th (Dropped 0.31 sec)
  • Abby Toburen (53.34) 71st

Hamrick Represents YOTA Well As Lone 200 IM’er!
This wasn’t the first time senior, Melissa Hamrick, represented YOTA as the sole IMer, as she was the single 400 IM swimmers earlier in the meet.  And while the 2:12 today was not her best swim of the season, she has made tremendous progress in the event this season with massive time drops that put her under the 2:10 barrier already, making this season a huge success regardless.  Well done Hammer!

  • Melissa Hamrick (2:12.73) 88th

Hollinshead Posts a Fantastic 200 Fly In Prelims To Lead a Strong Contingent of Best Times!
While the YOTA ladies did not have any swimmers in prelims of the 200 fly, we more than made up for it with the gentleman!  Four different young men dropped to the next second range in each of their swims, led by senior Henry Hollinshead who put up a smoking fast 1:52 to earn a 17th place, only one spot out of a scoring position.

  • Henry Hollinshead (1:52.84) 17th (Dropped 0.33 sec)
  • Brian Legarth (1:54.35) 33rd (Dropped 1.25 sec)
  • Peter Compton (1:55.41) 38th (Dropped 0.61 sec)
  • Corbin Gillespie (1:57.86) 75th (Dropped 0.63 sec)
  • Nick Lawton (2:00.83) 98th
  • Chase Binion (2:02.81) 103rd

Great Scott Drops Even More Time in 100 Free Prelims Along with Big Shane Time Trial!
If you got the Star Trek reference……..you’re welcome.  If not, then that makes me sad, haha.  Seriously though, young Ben Scott has quietly been making a name for himself all season long.  When you look at him it’s easy to forget that he’s still only 15 years old and is putting times that most seniors would love to go!  He dropped even more time in the 100 free today with a 48.01 and is ready to explode this summer during the long course season!!  Soon thereafter, Shane Humphrey prepared for his 100 free time trial secretly wishing he had signed up for the 200 IM, which would have undoubtedly been a great race for him.  However, after he blasted a 48.5 and earning a near full second time drop, it’s safe to say he was pretty pleased with his decision to race the sprint event after all, haha!

  • Atalay Onol (45.63) 6th CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS!
  • Ben Scott (48.01) 80th (Dropped 0.11 sec)
  • Shane Humphrey (48.51) Time Trial (Dropped 0.89 sec)
  • Leo Tuenker (48.94) Time Trial
  • Nick Lawton (49.35) Time Trial (Dropped 0.29 sec)
  • Thomas Wright (50.18) Time Trial (Dropped 0.29 sec)

Explosion of Best Times in the Boys’ 200 IM Creates a Buzz Among YOTA Swimmers!
Are you ready for this??  Our YOTA boys had an amazing 8 lifetime best times in the 200 IM between prelims and finals!  Sophomore, Richard McIntyre, had one of the more impressive time drops of the weekend by breaking the 2 minute barrier in dramatic fashion.  During his time trials race, he absolutely blasted the heat from start to finish, winning by about 6 or 7 yards and dropping the mic on the way out as he posted an astonishing 1:55.9!!  He must have been inspired by Brian Legarth’s huge time drop earlier in the morning when he went from a 1:57.9 to a 1:55.1 to finish as second alternate for finals!  And any good barrier breaker is worth a mention too…….shout out to freshman, Zach Speerschneider, for breaking 2 minutes for the first time ever with a fantastic 1:59.8!

  • Henry Hollinshead (1:52.67) 11th (Dropped 0.31 sec)
  • Brian Legarth (1:55.19) 26th (Dropped 2.75 sec)
  • Brandon Medins (1:55.91) 31st (Dropped 0.46 sec)
  • Brandon Dyck (1:56.35) 38th (Dropped 0.99 sec)
  • Chase Binion (2:01.99) 99th
  • Richard McIntyre (1:55.93) Time Trial (Dropped 4.07 sec and YMCA NATIONAL CUT!)
  • Zach Speerschneider (1:59.82) Time Trial (Dropped 1.21 sec)
  • Peter Compton (2:00.78) Time Trial (Dropped 0.06 sec)
  • Corbin Gillespie (2:02.36) Time Trial
  • Anthony Maxwell (2:05.91) Time Trial (Dropped 2.44 sec)

Two Tough Boys Tackle Swimming’s Longest Event On Day 5!
Trying to master the 1650 Freestyle is no easy task.  When you work to develop speed for shorter races while also preparing for the longest event in swimming, it gets even tougher.  When you try to prepare for that race on the 5th day of competition, well then life gets down right rough.  Our two young milers, Hunter Wright and Cole Ammerman, were not fortunate enough to put up their lifetime best 1650 freestyle races today.  However, they never lacked in a great effort, and both of them are coming off of the greatest seasons they had ever had and we have had a blast being a part of that over the previous 7 months! 

  • Hunter Wright (16:33.88) 26th
  • Cole Ammerman (16:56.68) Time Trial

Okay Ladies and Gentleman………it has been a pleasure writing for you this week.  I sincerely hope the 2,000 words a night has been enjoyable for you because I feel our young YOTA athletes deserve that special recognition for their continuous hard work, months and even years of dedication, and flat out positive determination.  If you read this far, then thank you for your time and thank you for your support of YOTA swimming.  :)  YOTA STRONG!

Strong Performance From Tough YOTA Ladies in 800 Free Relay Leads to Top 8 Finish On Day 4!
Did you know that YOTA is really great at relays??  If you’ve been following along all week, you probably have a pretty good idea of that by now.  There is just something about having those four powerful white letters on a purple cap on your head that gives you the strength to rise up and do something special.  Each of our girls posted very fast splits in their 800 free relay to earn a very exciting 7th place overall in the nation of all YMCA programs.  Congrats to Jenny Nusbaum (1:50.09), Sam Medlin (1:51.03), Misha Neal (1:53.87) and Lauren Soleo (1:52.36) for continuing the great relay tradition tonight in exciting fashion by putting up a super fast 7:27.35!

Soleo Uses Strong Last 50 to Post a Great 19th Place Finish in the 500 Free!
When Lauren “Sprint Life” Soleo swims her first 3 x 50s of a middle distance or distance race with a great tempo and smooth stroke, we always know she’s in for a good swim.  Tonight she did just that and went to another gear for the final two lengths of the race to close on the field and clinch a 19th place overall spot with her 2nd fastest 500 ever in 4:56.56.  Did I mention that she’s still only a sophomore??  You bet there are amazing things to come from this young lady who represents the purple people with so much grace!

Great Morning Swim Earns Wright First Ever Individual Finals Performance at YMCA Nationals!
Hunter “He’s got the Wright Stuff” has spent a few years watching his teammates at finals all while knowing he would be there one day.  Much like many of our young athletes reading this, he too knew his time in the spotlight would come, and tonight was that night!  Not only did he swim a lifetime best this today with a 4:37.27 in the 500 Free while also finishing 21st overall in finals, he also got back up again later in the evening to push ahead with a tremendous effort while anchoring the boy’s 800 free relay.  It was a big night for the Senior who will be heading to Towson to swim in the fall, and we couldn’t be prouder of him.

Surprising Even Himself, Onol Sneaks Into 100 Breast Finals and Moves Up 3 Spots at Night!
The sprint and middle distance freestyle star, Atalay Onol, had to chuckle when he realized his first individual final of the meet came in a breaststroke event nonetheless.  However, you do not go 58.8 accidentally and Atalay made the most of his opportunity in finals.  While his time was a tiny bit slower at night, the effort was strong and ended up being good enough for a 21st place finish overall.  He too had to step up later in the evening for the 800 free relay and is really making a name for himself here at Nationals.

Kohut Blows Away the Competition, Then Blows Out Her Birthday Candles!
Last night, on the eve of her 17th birthday, we thought it was pretty neat that she would finish 17th in her individual event.  Fast forward to today as Jordan Kohut used a nice 50 free swim in the morning to grab the 24th and final spot in finals.  So naturally, our hope was that she would repeat that performance and get a 17th place finish (the best you can get in the “C” final), with another exciting win.  Well, our wishes came true as Jordan used “outside smoke” from lane 8 to dominate the race from start to finish, earning the admiration of coaches from other teams nearby.  Jordan, since we got our wishes, here’s to you soon receiving your own birthday wishes.  Well done!

All Senior Relay Closes Out The Night For YOTA Boys And Finish 10th In Nation!
We have been used to hearing about Henry Hollinshead in backstroke events, but did you know he’s a great freestyler too?  He led us off tonight with a lifetime best in the 200 free (1:42.10) to start the 800 free relay.  Jumping in after him was fellow senior, Brian Legarth, who took full advantage of his first ever YMCA Nationals relay opportunity by putting up a best relay split ever (1:42.86).  Immediately after him came Atalay Onol, still tired from his 100 breast, but not letting that slow him down as he shot out like a rocket catching anyone and everyone ahead of him in striking distance to go a 1:41.43.  Then, to finish us off came Hunter Wright with a time just barely off his best (1:43.17), but full of strong grit and determination to perform for his team!  Congrats boys on earning another top 10 relay finish with a 6:49.56!

If you enjoyed our finals swims as much as we did, we hope you sit back for another fun-filled day of racing from YMCA Nationals.  Please continue reading to learn more about our great performances from prelims and time trials on Day 4 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center!

5 Girls Post Strong 500 Free Swims Today!
The 500 free is a challenging event that requires the perfect blend of aggressiveness and patience; speed and endurance.  Mastering the event is no easy task, but our fantastic slew of YOTA ladies are daring enough to try and are also nothing short of awesome each and every day.  And while the swims this morning were all near best time rather than lifetime bests, we are still thrilled with the positive attitude and great efforts from each and every one of our tough young ladies!

  • Lauren Soleo (4:56.56) 19th
  • Jenny Nusbaum (5:00.09) 26th
  • Sam Medlin (5:04.88) 43rd
  • Hannah Kota (5:10.83) Time Trial
  • Misha Neal (5:13.14) Time Trial

Two Talented Breaststrokers Lead the Way in 100 Breast!
Both Sydney Parsons and Melissa Hamrick are ready for some huge breaststroke swims this Saturday in the long course meet, there’s no doubt about that.  Both girls have posted best times in the 100 breast this season, but fell just a little bit short this morning in the event.  If only there was a 400 breaststroke!  Haha!  We are super proud of each of you and can’t wait to see how awesome those 200 IM’ers are going to be tomorrow.

  • Sydney Parsons (1:08.60) 126th
  • Melissa Hamrick (1:08.68) 128th

YOTA Speed Was On Display Today in the 50 Free!
In an event that requires absolute perfection in order to drop even as much as a tenth of a second, it’s easy for times to fluctuate quickly in the wrong direction.  After watching our ladies dart up and down the pool in just 20 something seconds, we were all thrilled with how well many of them did, even if they were only a tiny bit off their best here and there.  With the strength of our 200’s and the speed that many of our young ladies have, the 100 freestyles should be fantastic tomorrow and we can’t wait!

  • Jordan Kohut (23.53) 17th
  • Misha Neal (24.44) 73rd
  • Abby Toburen (24.56) 93rd
  • Jenny Nusbaum (24.61) 98th
  • Kaitlin Ramsden (25.59) Time Trial

Mr. Ironman himself, Brian Legarth, Uses Massive Time Drop To Earn First 500 Free YMCA Nat Cut!
Does he really deserve another headline?  Yes………of course he does, because he works his tail off each and every day, is a fantastic leader and motivator for his teammates, and is swimming very fast as a result.  Today’s huge time drop was over 6 seconds in a difficult race even after not getting a great night of sleep.  Awesome job Brian, Washington and Lee is going to be soooo lucky to have you in the fall!

  • Hunter Wright (4:37.37 prelims) 20th at finals (Dropped -0.56 sec)
  • Brandon Medins (4:44.35) 62nd
  • Cole Ammerman (4:50.21) 82nd
  • Brian Legarth (4:42.30) Time Trial (Dropped 6.34 sec and earns YMCA National Cut)
  • Peter Compton (4:59.19) Time Trial

McIntyre Officially Joins the “Sub Club” in 100 Breast, Breaking Minute Barrier!
It’s a special feeling in a boy’s career when they finally break 1:00 in a 100 breast.  It’s no easy feat, and Richard McIntyre can officially say he’s reached that level.  After breaking 2:10 in his 200 breast earlier this week, Richard is proving that barriers aren’t living up to their name these days.  I guess that’s what hard work and positive self-belief does to you!  Congrats to all of our boys on fast breaststrokes today, especially our amazing 6 swimmers that went lifetime bests.

  • Atalay Onol (58.80 in prelims) 21st (Dropped 1.28)
  • Chase Binion (58.89) 27th
  • Richard McIntyre (59.51) 44th (Dropped 0.59 sec)
  • Shane Humphrey (1:00.42) 74th (Dropped 0.37 sec)
  • Anthony Maxwell (1:02.84) 109th
  • Brandon Dyck (59.62) Time Trial (Dropped 0.05 sec)
  • Zach Speerschneider (1:01.46) Time Trial
  • Corbin Gillespie (1:02.00) Time Trial (Dropped 0.63 sec)

Ginourmous Time Drop in 50 Free From The One and Only Brandon Dyck!
Who drops a full half second in a 50 at such an elite level??  The Canadian Sensation, Brandon Dyck does, that’s who!  It’s not often that you see such a massive time drop in such a short race, but the YOTA Junior said “Why not?”.  Not to be outdone though, Mr. “T-Bone” Thomas Wright put his speed on display as well by breaking the 23 second mark for the first time ever with a 22.97.  Well done to all of our fast YOTA sprinters!

  • Atalay Onol (21.32) 28th
  • Brandon Dyck (21.53) 41st (Dropped 0.53 sec)
  • Ben Scott (22.06) Time Trial, 110th in prelims
  • Brandon Medins (22.09) Time Trial (Tied best time)
  • Leo Tuenker (22.57) Time Trial
  • Thomas Wright (22.97) Time Trial (Dropped 0.24 sec)

If you have made it this far in reading the article, then congrats again to you.  I’m glad we haven’t run you off just yet, haha!  Stay tuned tomorrow for more highlights from the Day 5 of YMCA Nationals, and please feel free to pass along the news to anyone you feel would be interested in hearing about our hard working young men and women!  YOTA STRONG!

Boys 200 Medley Relay Excites and Delights on Day 3 of YMCA Nationals!!
One of the greatest benefits of building a perennial culture of positive self-belief is that when it comes time to represent YOTA as a relay, four become one as superhuman efforts take over.  Tonight we were reminded once again that YOTA is one of the dominant programs in the country when a relay is at stake, as the team of Brandon Dyck, Chase Binion, Shane Humphrey and Atalay Onol came together to jump from 8th to 3rd from the outside lane in the 200 medley relay with an astonishing time of 1:33.05!

While that may have been the exclamation at the end of the night, the excitement and energy began much earlier in the evening.  After a strong morning swim that was a little short of her best, Jordan Kohut decided it was time that everyone in the YMCA Nation was reminded what an speedster she truly is as she CRUSHED the field with a lifetime best 54.42 in the 100 back, earning a 17th place (one day before her 17th birthday).  With a year and a half left in her YOTA days, it’s safe to say that she will be gunning for the team record in that race very soon as she flirted with it already this evening.

Immediately following Jordan’s inspiring and dominating show, Brandon Dyck and Henry Hollinshead put up yet another two lifetime best times in their 100 backstrokes.  First up was Brandon with a 19th place finish overall and a crazy fast 50.39, getting him that much closer to the “Sub Club” and putting him dangerously close to the all-time YOTA team record.  That title, however, belongs to the man in the heat right after him as Henry “Hen Dog” Hollinshead’s race came down to the wire as he swam a blistering 49.60, bettering his own YOTA record to finish 10th place in the nation. 

Think we are done yet??  Of course not!  Sam Medlin and Jenny Nusbaum are stars that shine too bright to ever be forgotten.  Just in case the energy even thought about waning during our down time at finals, these girls made sure that never happened.  In her race, Sam fought tooth and nail with a fast heat to go ever so close to her lifetime best in the 200 free, grabbing her a 1:50.10 and a 19th place finish in the event.  Pumped up by the swim only a minute before, Jenny Nusbaum decided that she had been over 1:50 enough times and it she was ready to join her own “Sub Club” by destroying her previous best time with a 1:49.76 and matching Henry for the top individual place of the day with the 10th overall position.

Needless to say, it was a remarkable evening that was set up by many inspiring swims in prelims and time trials.  So fill up your coffee mug one more time and let’s celebrate the rest of the accomplishments from Day 3 at YMCA Nationals!

Toburen Blows Away Another Back Swim in the 100 Distance!
Nope, she’s not just a freestyler anymore ladies and gentleman.  Abby Toburen can officially call herself a backstroker as she moves down into the 58 territory, joining the likes of other elite YOTA girls.

  • Jordan Kohut (54.42) 17th (Dropped 0.29 sec)
  • Kaitlin Ramsden (58.35) 65th
  • Abby Toburen (58.52) 72nd (Dropped 0.56 sec)
  • Hannah Kota (1:00.39) 134th
  • Misha Neal (1:00.83) Time Trial

A Near Lifetime Best Swim for Hamrick in 400 IM!
Living proof that the 400 IM is an awesome but challenging race is the fact that only 2 YOTA ladies swam the event this week.  However, they are remarkable young ladies in so many ways and they represented us well.  Melissa Hamrick’s performance may not have been her best time ever, but it was just a shade off her fastest time in the “Ironman” event.

  • Melissa Hamrick (4:38.03) 68th
  • Sydney Parsons (4:53.65) Time Trial

Kota Earns Y-Nat Cut and Toburen Drops Big Again in 200 Free!
There is a reason Hannah Kota did not swim the 200 free in the preliminaries at this meet, and that’s because she did not have the cut………….that is until today!  Her time trial swim of 1:55.17 ensures that she will be competing against the best of the best next year at Y Nats.  And one of those best of the best will also be her teammate, Abby Toburen, who swam a huge back to back race with a great drop in her 200.

  • Jenny Nusbaum (1:49.76) 10th (Dropped 1.28 sec)
  • Sam Medlin (1:50.10) 19th
  • Lauren Soleo (1:54.46) 54th
  • Abby Toburen (1:54.92) 62nd (Dropped 0.87 sec)
  • Misha Neal (1:55.85) 82nd
  • Hannah Kota (1:55.17) Time Trial (Dropped 1.36 and got YMCA NATIONAL CUT!)
  • Kaitlin Ramsden (2:00.00) Time Trial

YOTA Ladies Post Fast Morning Swim in 200 Medley Relay!
With the standards from year to year being so high when it comes to YOTA relays, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking that any relay not making finals is not a great finish for the purple people.  However, the truth is that our ladies put together a very commendable 22nd place finish in a meet that has over 300 of the best teams from around the nation.  It may not have been what our girls were hoping for, but most teams would kill for that kind of finish and we are proud of the great effort across the board!

  • Girls 200 Medley Relay (1:46.98) 22nd

Lawton Earns First Backstroke Y Nat Cut In Time Trial Race!
Who would have thought it?  Nick Lawton, Mr Butterfly himself, is now a fantastic backstroker too as he overcame a severly late reaction to the start to get his Y Nat cut in time trials by the slimmest of margins; 0.01 seconds!  It just goes to show how putting your heart and soul into self-improvement can go a long long way.  And less we forget the fantastic swim by Leo “The Tank” Tuenker who put up a very impressive 52.6 in his 100 back today!  Congrats boys!

  • Henry Hollinshead (49.60) 10th (Dropped 0.21 sec and YOTA TEAM RECORD!)
  • Brandon Dyck (50.39) 19th (Dropped 0.21 sec)
  • Leo Tuenker (52.61) 55th (Dropped 0.51 sec)
  • Thomas Wright (54.01) 104th
  • Nick Lawton (54.28) Time Trial (Dropped 0.30 and YMCA NATIONAL CUT!)
  • Shane Humphrey (54.95) Time Trial

Legarth Makes Serious Threat to Becoming Most Well-Rounded YOTA Swimmer in 400 IM!
The greatest event in swimming, according to this biased author, is the 400 IM.  It’s the purest form the sport can take and it requires a tremendous amount of work, guts and craziness to make yourself exceptional in all strokes.  Brian Legarth is making a run for that title as he put up yet another ginormous drop in the race to break the 4:10 barrier by a lot!  And also, a special shout out to sophomore, Richard McIntyre, who dropped a crazy large amount of time (over 10 sec!) to get his first ever non-breastrstroke YMCA National cut!

  • Brian Legarth (4:08.18) 34th (Dropped 5.43 sec)
  • Hunter Wright (4:07.60) Time Trial
  • Richard McIntyre (4:12.61) Time Trial (Dropped 10.20…yes 10.20 sec!  And YMCA National Cut!)
  • Corbin Gillespie (4:15.60) Time Trial (Dropped 1.89 sec)
  • Anthony Maxwell (4:29.54) Time Trial (Dropped 11.97, yes 11.97 sec!!)

Loads of Exciting Best Times Dominate the Boys 200 Free Event!
When 7 different boys drop lifetime best times in a single event in one day, you simply walk away with a smile on your face and sit back and relax because you must be doing something right!  Leading the way with the biggest drop was YOTA freshman, Zach Speerscheider, as he cut nearly 3 full seconds off his previous best!

  • Atalay Onol (1:42.52) 36th
  • Brian Legarth (1:42.64) 39th (Dropped 0.50 sec)
  • Hunter Wright (1:42.88) 44th (Dropped 0.22 sec)
  • Brandon Medins (1:44.24)
  • Cole Ammerman (1:45.20) 89th (Dropped 0.11 sec)
  • Ben Scott (1:56.28) Time Trial (Dropped 1.82 sec)
  • Zach Speerschneider (1:46.85) Time Trial (Dropped 2.90 sec)
  • Leo Tuenker (1:47.62) Time Trial (Dropped 0.79 sec)
  • Peter Compton (1:47.83) Time Trial

Boys 200 Medley Relay……..3rd in the Nation and Worth Another Paragraph!
Brandon Dyck may still have another year and a half of YOTA left, but he’s already posting the fastest backstroke relay split in the entire Championship final race with a crazy fast 23.5!!  Senior superstar and relay stud, Chase Binion, followed up that lead with a wicked fast 26.1 breast split.  A fired up senior sprint flyer, Shane Humphrey, made sure to shine bright in his moment with the spotlight as he crushed a 22.8 split.  And then……….the Turkish Terror, Atalay Onol, dropped the hammer on the heat with a bruising 20.5 free split to secure the 3rd place spot in the country among YMCA Teams!  It was fun, it was exciting, and it’s got us fired up for another 3 days of fast racing. 

Well done YOTA!  To those who made it this far in reading, congrats to you too, haha!  smiley  YOTA STRONG!

Fast Relays and a Big a Hollinshead Swim Highlight Day 2 for YOTA at Nationals!
Move up and improve…..that’s been the theme for our awesome YOTA National swimmers this week so far.  And with the number of overall best times and improved positions, it’s easy to see that the purple people are here to stand strong together!  With three relay swims scoring points today and our future Georgetown Hoya, Henry Hollinshead, stepping up with a big 200 back championship finals swim, YOTA is setting up nicely for a great rest of the week.  Here are some of the extended highlights from Day Two!  Enjoy!

Huge Drops from Kohut and Toburen in 200 Back!
Both Jordan Kohut and Abby Toburen showed off their backstroke skills today by nearly dropping 4 seconds each!  Each girl went out strong with powerful underwaters and held on for the big best times, with Kohut moving up 58 spots from 90th to 32nd!

  • Jordan Kohut (2:03.51) 32nd (dropped 3.80 sec)
  • Hannah Kota (2:06.52) 73rd
  • Kaitlin Ramsden (2:07.32) 84th
  • Abby Toburen (2:11.02) Time Trial (Dropped 3.91 sec)

Tuenker Adds Big Drop to Hollinshead’s Impressive 200 Back!
Leading the meet off to set the tone for the day was something Leo “The Tank” Tuenker did not take lightly.  Right from the start he went out fast and with confidence to earn a huge best time!  In addition, Henry Hollinshead showed why he’s the greatest YOTA male backstroker of all-time as he finished just tenths away from his team record set back in December.

  • Henry Hollinshead (1:47.53) 6th CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS!
  • Brandon Dyck (1:52.17) 30th
  • Leo Tuenker (1:53.93) 49th (Dropped 2.92 sec)
  • Thomas Wright (1:58.06) 86th

Medlin and Nusbaum Lead the Way With Smoking Fast 100 Fly Swims!
The girls 100 fly contingent this year consists of a lot of girls who are really coming into their own with the stroke, even though it’s not their top one to begin with.  With Sam Medlin dropping a 56 for the first time, and soon to be Kansas Jayhawk, Jenny Nusbaum, missing such a mark by only 0.03, it’s great to see such success in what had not been generally considered their best events.

  • Sam Medlin (56.85) 28th (Dropped 0.34 sec)
  • Misha Neal (59.03) 102nd
  • Jenny Nusbaum (57.02) Time Trial (Dropped 1.22 sec)
  • Lauren Soleo (1:00.42) Time Trial (Dropped 0.27 sec)
  • Melissa Hamrick (1:00.79) Time Trial
  • Hannah Kota (1:01.53) Time Trial (Dropped 1.26 sec)

5 Best Times for Boys 100 Fly Today, Led By Shane Humphrey Top Time!
Of the six YOTA male swimmers in the event today, 5 of them came away with a best time.  That’s not too shabby, especially considering the one without a best time dropped an amazing amount of overall time this season.  Congrats to all of our boys and their success, especially Shane for his first ever 51, and Richard McIntyre for the largest drop in the group proving that yes, he is great at much more than just breaststroke now!

  • Shane Humphrey (51.93) 60th (Dropped 0.73 sec)
  • Peter Compton (52.28) 69th (Dropped 0.34 sec)
  • Corbin Gillespie (52.68) 90th (Dropped 0.66 sec)
  • Nick Lawton (53.07) 110th (Dropped 0.36 sec)
  • Ben Scott (53.64) 133rd
  • Richard McIntyre (53.47) Time Trial (Dropped 2.29 sec)

It’s Hammertime for the Girls 200 Breaststroke Today!
While we only had two girls compete in the event this morning, they were two awesome swimmers!  Melissa “Hammertime” Hamrick went a little unconventional for her race today and went out fast…….like very fast!  For a girl that likes to sit back and chase people down on the 2nd 100, she was crushing it early.  And it paid off too, because she dropped over 3 seconds off her best time!  Joining her was Sydney Parsons who doubled up the event to post two of her better lifetime swims.

  • Melissa Hamrick (2:24.82) 59th (Dropped 3.02 sec)
  • Sydney Parsons (2:25.65) Time Trial, finished 84th in individual event with 2:26.85

Amazingly, 4 YOTA Boys Break 2:10 in the 200 Breaststroke!
With YOTA’s Winter Junior National breaststroker, Chase Binion, leading the sub 2:10 charge today, 3 first timers to the club decided it was time they joined him.  Congrats to Richard McIntyre, Brian Legarth and Zach Speerschneider for joining the sub club and posting some fantastic time drops!

  • Chase Binion (2:08.13) 27th
  • Richard McIntyre (2:09.10) 34th (Dropped 3.90 sec)
  • Zach Speerschneider (2:09.78) 42nd (Dropped 2.49 sec)
  • Brandon Medins (2:11.67) 59th
  • Brian Legarth (2:09.76) Time Trial (Dropped 3.47 sec)
  • Hunter Wright (2:11.23) Time Trial (Dropped 3.44 sec)
  • Shane Humphrey (2:12.94) Time Trial (Dropped 0.93 sec)
  • Anthony Maxwell (2:16.79) Time Trial

Cole Ammerman Pushes Self To Nice 1000 Free Time Drop!
It’s not easy doing a 1000 free on your own!  No, Cole wasn’t entirely on his own during the last heat of time trials, but if you watched the race, he might as well have been.  But he persevered and pushed himself to a lifetime best in a challenging event!

  • Cole Ammerman (9:52.74) Time Trial (-3.10 sec)

Boys’s 400 Medley Relay and Girls 200 Free Relay Post Impressive Top 8 Swims!
“Superhuman efforts”…………..that’s what we preach when it comes to YOTA relays.  Finishing top 8 overall at YMCA National Championships; a meet that continues to get faster and faster, is never an easy thing.  Our young ladies and men showed that they were up to the task with the girls earning a 8th place spot overall and the men stepping up to an incredible 5th place finish!  Seeing all 4 girls split a 23 at some point between prelims and finals was particularly exciting.  Then, not to be outdone, the boys stepped up with very impressive Medley Relay splits with Brandon Dyck leading off with a lifetime best 50.4 back, Binion 58.2 breast, Henry 49.4 fly and Atalay 45.4 free.  Well done to all the swimmers from both prelims and finals that earned such great team rankings.

  • Girls 200 Free Relay (1:34.64*prelims) 8th (Jordan Kohut, Sam Medlin, Misha Neal, Jenny Nusbaum) CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS!
  • Boys 200 Free Relay (1:24.77*prelims) 15th (Brandon Dyck, Atalay Onol, Ben Scott, Hunter Wright, plus Henry Hollinshead & Brandon Medins in prelims)
  • Girls 400 Medley Relay (3:50.44) 17th (Jordan Kohut, Melissa Hamrick, Sam Medlin, Jenny Nusbaum)
  • Boys 400 Medley Relay (3:23.57) 5th (Brandon Dyck, Chase Binion, Henry Hollinshead, Atalay Onol) CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS!

Stay tuned for tomorrow as we bring you even more exciting stories and news to share!  Until then, stay YOTA STRONG!

Soleo Leads YOTA On Day 1 By Putting Points On The Board!
On paper, having 4 swims on the first day would seem like the quiet before the storm.  However, your YOTA swimmers stood up and made sure we started off with a BANG right out of the gate!  Leading the way was a 13th place finish and 7 second improvement by sophomore distance queen, Lauren Soleo, as she finished the 1000 Free with a smoking fast 10:11.25!  In addition, our YOTA ladies dropped well over a second off of their seed time in prelims of the 200 free relay that will be concluded tomorrow evening.  Jordan Kohut (23.7), Misha Neal (24.0), Sam Medlin (23.4) and Jenny Nusbaum (23.3) combined to go a 1:34.64, earning them an 8th place finish heading into the championship finals.

On the boys' side, Hunter Wright finished in 37th place overall, just a bit off of his best time, and setting him up for a lot of great races to come!  And speaking of great races, our team of Atalay Onol (21.0), Henry Hollinshead (21.1), Brandon Dyck (20.9) and Brandon Medins (21.6) put together a time drop of their own of 1.4 seconds to earn them an 11th place spot in tomorrow's finals.  Well done to all of our YOTA swimmers tonight!

Now that we have bellies full thanks to the amazing work our wonderful chaperones did to help secure us a delicious meal tonight, it's off to bed to get ready for an lightning fast day tomorrow.  Stay tuned because there will be more great news coming soon!! YOTA STRONG!