Recently, 10 members of the Crescenta-Cañada Family YMCA National Swim Team headed to North Carolina for the YMCA Nationals meet. There were nearly 200 teams represented by 1,500 swimmers from around the country competing at the highest level of competition for those under the age of 18. The local Y team finished 47th out of 122 Y teams nationally.
The CCY swimmers who attended this meet were Justin Chiu, 17, Samuel Jo, 14, Josh Lo, 16, Douglas Nogueira, 15, Kyle Otazu, 17, Emily Balog, 17, Yvette Kim, 13, Eliza Koh, 15, Summer Otazu, 14, and Tiffany Wong, 17. Harrison Thai and Iva Icheva qualified for the meet but did not attend.
Representing CCY, Chiu made it to the A finals in the 100 breast (56.44) finishing in eighth place and in the 200 breast (2:03.02) finishing in seventh place. Chiu also finished in 25th place in the 200 IM (1:55.50) as the first alternate.
Jo made the C final by dropping one second in the 200 back (1:52.53) and Otazu made the B final in the 200 fly with a time of 1:52.66, dropping two seconds from his best time. Otazu finished in 16th place.
Kim, the youngest member of the team at only 13, qualified and swam in three preliminary events at this meet: the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 fly – an impressive showing.
Nogueira dropped time in four time trial events that included: one second in the 100 breast (1:00.50), one second in the 100 fly (55.01), two seconds in the 100 back (54.36), ending with five seconds in the 200 IM (2:00.80).
Lo had a good swim in the 200 breast prelim (2:08.38) and a drop in the 100 fly time trial. Otazu dropped three seconds in her 50 free prelim (25.20) then had a drop in her 200 free time trial as well as a three second drop in the 200 IM time trial (2:17.88).
Koh had an impressive four-second drop in the 200 free time trial (1:58.79). Balog dropped one second in her 200 breast prelim (2:24.60) and two seconds in the 200 IM time trial (2:10.52).
The finals finishers also had drops in other events: Jo dropped in the 100 fly time trial. Otazu had a drop in the 100 fly prelim (52.04) and had a three second drop in the 200 IM prelim (1:55.77). Chiu dropped one second in the100 fly prelim (51.39).
The swimming is fast, but what made the week memorable was the camaraderie and spirit of the meet. The opening night saw all the swimmers parading around the pool in their retro super hero costumes led by the color guard chosen from CCY: Balog, Otazu, Wong and Nogueira.