Pine View swimmers on the Sarasota YMCA Sharks team competed in the YMCA Nationals swim meet in Greensboro, North Carolina on April 1 through 4.
These swimmers qualified for this meet by making it through at least two YMCA national cuts in previous meets or by finishing races faster than benchmark times in two or more events.
The meet was comprised of YMCA teams from all around the country. Sarasota’s team held 38 swimmers, nine of which attend Pine View. Notable performances came from Pine View twelfth-graders John Pelton and Grace DiMeo, and eleventh-graders Michelle Dols and Nancy Hu.
In order to prepare for the meet, the team trained nine times a week for eight months straight. Swimmers practiced in both the morning and afternoon.
The YMCA Nationals was the Sharks’ biggest competition of the year. “The Sarasota YMCA Sharks have a history of strong performances at this meet. Previous to this year, we won, in some capacity, nine times in a row,” said Pelton.
Pelton set personal best times in all of his events. He swam the 100-meter, the 200-meter, the 500-meter and the 1000-meter freestyle races, as well as the 200-meter, 400-meter, and 800-meter freestyle relays. Pelton made it to the finals in five of his events, but his best finish was an impressive fourth place in the 800 freestyle relay with a split time of 1:40.60.
“This was my fourth time competing at the Short Course YMCA Nationals meet. I think my experience helped me control my excitement and perform better than I ever have before. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to finish my career as a Sarasota Shark,” said Pelton.
The boys team placed second, the girls placed third and the combined teams placed second overall. According to Pelton, the results reflected the team’s eight months of hard work and dedication over the past eight months.
Story by ELIZABETH LEONE