Day 1 of YMCA Nationals Brings Fast Swims from a Fast Pool

by Kelsey Zimcosky 8

July 29th, 2013 News, YMCA Nationals

Each year, YMCA swimmers ages 12-18 from throughout the USA get the chance to shine at the YMCA National Championship meet. This summer’s long course championship, held July 29-August 2, are hosted at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, GA. This very facility once hosted the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. As one walks in to the pool area, you first notice a giant record board, with big names like Janet Evans, Jessica Hardy, Ryan Lochte, and Michael Phelps (simply to name a few). With such big names and from such fast swimmers, one would expect the pool to be…, right?

Tonight, not only did the pool itself prove this theory to be correct, but the swimmers did as well.

Day 1 of the competition is reserved for the 1500m freestyles, and opened with the championship heat of women.

Upcoming high school senior Caitlynn Moon from Kishwaukee, Il. took the lead from the get-go, maintaining at LEAST a body length between herself and the other swimmers throughout the entire race. Though Meriza Werenski of Gr Holyoke, Ma. made some ground, Moon pushed ahead and touched in first with a time of 17:06.46. Moon dropped about 10-seconds from her seed time, while Werenski took second place with a 16-second drop (17:09.62). Sabrina Mortell secured the bronze medal with a time of 17:29.29, almost a 30-second drop from her seed time.

The fast swimming didn’t stop there, though. If anything, it just continued to escalate.

The championship heat of the men’s 1500m freestyle was a little bit closer (at the beginning) than the women’s heat, with Wilton YMCA (Connecticut) teammates Ian Rainey and Stephen Holmquist, and Countryside YMCA’s (Ohio) Kevin George staying close for the first few laps. As the race progressed, though, Rainey pulled ahead, staying 5-seconds under the national record time.  In the end, the Wilton Wahoos teammates Rainey and Holmquist took 1-2, respectively. Rainey took gold at 15:59.78 (roughly an 8-second drop, a little over a second away from the national record), while Holmquist secured silver at 16:07.02 (a 21-second drop). George will be taking home the bronze with a time of 16:08.86 (-15.79).


You can find full, live results, as well as the heat sheets for each day of competition here, on the official website. From there, you will also have access to the live video streaming of the sessions.

The meet will also continue to be covered via @kelcyum on Twitter, as well as on SwimSwam’s official Instagram: SwimSwamNews. Stay tuned!


(Above: the championship heat of the women’s 1500m freestyle behind the blocks)


(Above: Ian Rainey after he touches first in the men‘s 1500m freestyle championship heat)



(Above: Swimmer’s from Middle Tyger YMCA, South Carolina, bring a…friend…to cheer on the meet.)


(Above: The calm after the storm. An on-deck view of the 1996 Olympic pool.)

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago

unrelated comment…

I’ved noticed this a lot…many times when I click on the “News” tab…on my laptop…it leads me to the “mobile” news site…which I wouldn’t mind…if it were the right date. Really want to read all the articles regarding world champs…not the news from July 4 and the Nathan Adrian photo vault etc (despite how adorable he is 😉 )

When I go to the bottom to view “full site” it brings me to the home page…I really just want to get to the News section…because many of the articles are on the second and third pages …which aren’t accessible from the home page.

Please fix this?? Thanks!!

Reply to  anonymous
8 years ago

If refreshing doesn’t fix it, add ?dts_device=screen after the end of the URL. Free tech help to all swim fans 🙂

bobo gigi
8 years ago

I wouldn’t say 17.06 and 15.59 are fast swims but everyone has its opinion.
Can anyone on earth explain to me what does YMCA mean?

Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

Young Men’s Christian Association.

Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

The YMCA owns a network of gyms and pools across the USA. They host local and national championships for teenagers every year, sort of in parallel to USA Swimming, but usually with weaker competition.

I agree the times aren’t too impressive for a national championship, but also remember that while worlds are going on, the US is hosting:
YMCA Nationals
USA Swimming’s US Open (most of the fastest non-worlds team swimmers)
USA Swimming’s Junior Nationals
NCSA Junior Nationals (another USA Swimming rival organization, also with generally lighter competition)

A lot of talent spread thin across those meets.

Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

Also, many YMCA teams are also USA swimming members as well. It varies state to state here in the U.S. In my state (MN), most of the YMCA teams are not part of USA swimming, and are very weak, but in other states, such as Wisconsin, many of the strongest swim teams are YMCA teams.

Reply to  Jack
7 years ago

Jack you would be incorrect on your assumption that the strongest teams in WI are YMCA teams. There are but a handful of YMCA teams here and over the past year at least two of them have left the Y to form independent USA-S teams. The competition in WI is in USA Swimming and not in YMCA.

Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

YMCA Nationals in long course has typically been a less competitive meet than the short course counterpart in April. The qualifying times for the meet (both long and short course) are such that lots of teams can bring lots of swimmers, making the Y Nats meets the most fun meets in the US, with a competitive and team-focused atmosphere that many people have compared to the NCAA championships. (Lots of great US swimmers came up through Y programs – Peter Vanderkaay (and his siblings), Jeremy Linn, Janel Jorgensen, Margo Geer, Stephanie Williams, to name a few.)

Typically it takes an Olympic Trial qualifying time to make the A-final, and a Junior National cut to make the B- and C-finals.… Read more »

About Kelsey Zimcosky

"Once a swimmer, always a swimmer" is the motto that Kelsey Zimcosky lives by.  Though she could not compete after 10 years in the sport due to a shoulder injury, she has been unable to stay away from the water. While it is strange watching the sport from the deck, …

Read More »