Four Storm Swimmers Compete in Y Nationals

2020 has been a great year for our Storm Swim Team.

In photo (left to right) Coach Dave Bott, Gabriella Rizzuto, Ella Cunanan, Dylan Jewett, Cambria Jewett (front blonde), Josey Stevens (glasses and bun in hair behind), Teagen Jeffers, Coach Erin Jeffers. The swimmers who were part of the YMCA National relay are Ella Cunanan (backstroke), Gabriella Rizzuto (breaststroke), Cambria Jewett (butterfly), and Teagen Jeffers (freestyle). They not only qualified for Y National competition in the 200 medley relay, but they were ranked nationally in the Top 16 among YMCA programs for their age group (age 13-14) in all of their relays.

FOUR STORM SWIMMERS COMPETE IN Y NATIONALS

This year has been a great year for our Storm Swim Team. Yes, even during the pandemic, the swimmers and coaches have been practicing, and even competing! Storm Swim Team boasts a roster of 110 swimmers, from 7-18 years of age, and is proud to be affiliated with both USA and YMCA Swimming on a local and national level. Our team operated as a year-round competitive team strives to provide a program that instills belief and inspires excellence both in the water and out. It is our belief at STORM that the values learned through striving for excellence in the water build values such as integrity, discipline, teamwork and sportsmanship that can and should last a lifetime.

This year our team placed first overall out of 5 teams in the 2020 Milford Rotary Club Swim Meet, its 55th annual meet. Additionally, late August our swimmers competed on Lake Naticook (home of YMCA Camp Sargent) for their first open water meet.

We are especially proud of four of our Storm swimmers that qualified for Y National competition, to be held in the Spring of 2021 in Greensboro, NC (pending COVID-19 updates).

“What makes their accomplishment more special is knowing the work and preparation that these girls put in to make this possible and knowing how far they have progressed in the time that I have had the pleasure of being able to work with them. Coach Erin Jeffers has done a phenomenal job in mentoring these girls and helping them overcome the physical and mental challenges that go along with our sport to prepare them to succeed at the national level,” Head Coach Dave Bott shared.  “Y Nats is the peak of the mountain in terms of YMCA Swimming competitions. It is a fantastic meet that not only features the fastest Y swimmers in the country; but also puts the Y’s core values front and center and on full display.”

“Storm is more than a team. We are a FAMILY. Our commitment to each other extends past our time in the pool and that’s what truly makes our family special,” he added.

Learn more about the swimmer experience from four of our swimmers, who qualified for Y Nationals:

Joining a swim team is one of the best decisions I have made. Storm feels like a second family to me. Everyone is so kind, and we are all such great friends! I love having something to look forward to every evening. Especially after a long day at school. This winter season, I was lucky enough to be the freestyler for our 13-14 girls New England age group relays! Our 200 Medley relay even qualified for YMCA Nationals! Each one of the members, Ella, Cambria, Gabby, and I put so much effort into that race, we could not have done it without each other! We had no idea at the time, but that was the last meet (sadly) of the season. I am so proud of everyone on the relay team! They had amazing swims! Special shout out to Cambria and Gabby who got individual Y National cuts! I am so happy that I am able to be a part of such an amazing team! I would not trade this experience for anything! Thank you!

~Teagen Jeffers

 

I’ve been part of the Storm swim team for a little over a year now, and I can’t believe how much I have improved in my swimming and how many friends I’ve made. When a teammate asked me recently if I thought it took a long time to get “accepted” into the Storm team, I realized that in the short amount of time I had been part of the team. I had made so many new friends and had learned so much. It’s nice to be part of a team that focuses on working hard as well as team building and doing things outside of swim to bring us closer together. Along with that, I also got to be a part of an awesome 13-14 girls relay with Ella Cunanan, Cambria Jewett, and Teagen Jeffers. Nationally we got 16th in the 200 free relay, 12th in the 200 medley relay, and 8th in the 400 medley relay. It was the best and most exciting relay team I have ever been a part of. It has been so much fun getting back into the pool and seeing all of my teammates again, and I am super excited to get back to racing.

~ Gabriella Rizzuto

 

I’ve been swimming with Storm for about 6 years now and truly love this team. Even on hard days this team has always been fun to be around. Storm became a big part of my life after my mom died, unknowingly each and every one of my teammates has changed my life. Evidently one of my most influential meets was Age Groups 2020, more specifically our IM relays. All that was going through my head was trying to make my teammates, and my mom proud. I could tell just from the moments before the race started we were going to do some amazing things. The energy we all had was unmatchable, with Coach Dave and Coach Erin screaming at the end of our lane, we were ready to race. We went from a fairly low placed seed to 2nd place in both our relays. Not only did we place 2nd, we also qualified for the national meet as a top 10 seed. We were all on cloud 9, feeling prouder than ever that all our hard work had paid off.

– Ella Cunanan

 

In March of this year, I was given the opportunity to swim a relay with my closest friends; Teagen, who never neglected to put a smile on my face, Gabby, whose deafening cheerfulness I could never quite match, and Ella, whose witty sarcasm always made me laugh. Whilst swimming our relay, we all radiated positivity and energy that was not matched by any other team. I truly think I hit the jackpot when it came to sports teams, as there is no one I’d rather spend my mornings and afternoons with. As Teagen came speeding into the wall to secure our second place finish out of the fastest teams in New England, I felt so eternally grateful for these girls, whose patience and dedication had just won me a medal. We all beat our personal best times in the relay and even managed to qualify for YMCA Nationals, a very prestigious meet for the top YMCA teams in the nation. I want to thank everyone who helped me be a part of such an amazing accomplishment, such as my coaches, teammates, and especially my parents.

~ Cambria Jewett

 

For more information on our YMCA Storm Swim Team, contact Dave Bott at dbott@nmymca.org. You can also check out our Facebook page: YMCAStormNH.

 

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