The Flushing YMCA Flyers swim team captured its 17th consecutive YMCA state championship during the event held March 14 through March 17 in Cortland, N.Y. Points were awarded in five age groups, both male and female, from first place through 12th place. <
The Flyers won the B and under girls and boys, 9-10 girls, 11-12 girls and boys, 13-14 girls and boys and the 15-18 boys age groups. The 9-10 boys finished second, and the 15-18 girls finished third. This is the first time in 17 years that all 10 age groups finished among the top three.
Leading the way for the Flyers was 12-year-old Timothy Nam, who won five gold medals. Nam broke two state records, the 200 individual medley, 2:11.41, and 50 breaststroke, 30.48. The breaststroke record had been held since 1979 by Michael Balducci, also from Flushing. Nam added a first-place finish in the 50 butterfly, 27.38. He was on two first-place relays, 200 medley (2:01.34), along with Hember Salcedo, Kenny Kim and One June Chang, and 200 free (1:46.72), with Kim, Chang and Justin Mg.
Other individual state champions for the boys included Lucas Knight (age 10), 100 IM, 1:10.41, and 50 butterfly, 31.51; Greg Pfeifer (14), 200 IN, 2:08.32, and 100 butterfly, 57.37; Paul Payabyab (14), 100 free, 50.78; Kevin Kim (14), 200 free, 1:53.98; Michael Park, 100 back, 58.36; and Shunpei Okochi, 100 breaststroke, 1:01.98.
Relay champions included the 9-10 boys 200 medley, 2:18.08, Knight, Stefan Garcia, Billy Hendershot and Cody Pickel; the 13-14 boys 200 medley, 1:46.74 and 200 free, 1:33.30 of Pfeifer, Payabyab, Park and Kim (who were both times among the fastest in the country this year); and the 15-18 200 medley, 1:43.17, Okochi, Tony Zhang, Charles Kim and Michael Brana.
Starring for the girls were four-time gold medal winners 13-year-old April Lu and 12-year-old Daniella Hill. Lu captured individual gold in the 200 Individual Medley, 2:20.39, and 100 butterfly, 1:03.34, and was a member of the victorious 200 medley relay (2:00.87) with Maureen McCluskey, Gabi Guelly and Lillian Fosteris. She also was a member of the 200 freestyle relay (1:46.62) with McCluskey, Guelly and Bridget Travers.
Hill swam away from the competition in the 100 free, 58.96, and 200 freestyle, 2:07.14, teamed with Andrea Yoo, Bianca Martinez and Kirsten Guelly, to win the 200 medley relay (2:01.86). She teamed with Yoo, Martinez and Marta Kristic to win the 200 freestyle relay (1:48.28).
Also winning individual events for the girls were Travers (14), 200 free, 2:03.99, and 500 free 5:28.69; Martinez (12), 50 breaststroke, 32.62; McCluskey (13), 100 back, 1:04.71; Pagecarol Clark (17), 50 free, 24.57, and 100 free, 54.10; Agata Michalak (9), 50 butterfly, 33.03; and Elizabeth Chang (8), 100 IM, 1:27.89.
Other relay champions for the girls included the 8 and under 100 medley, 1:13.86, Chang, Erika Winkler, Adrianna Martinez and Vladislava Kagen; 9-10 200 medley, 2:19.03, Michalak, Linda Chang, Cynthia Chen and Aileen Pablo; and the 9-10 200 free, 2:02.54, Chang, Michalak, Pablo and Jocelyne Brillson.
There were 1,138 swimmers representing 37 teams competed in the meet. Next year’s meet will be in Rochester, N.Y. Next for Flushing will be the YMCA National Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., from April 11 to April 18.
The Flyers will be represented by Pagecarol Clark, Maria Dellagiovanna, Katarina Kristic, Dorota Sawicz, Bridget Meyers, Michelle Varga, Michael Brana, Kevin Kim, Shunpei Okochi, Paul Payabyab, Greg Pfeifer and Tony Zhang.
The Flushing YMCA swim team is comprised of girls and boys ages 6 to 18. The Flyers are coached by Richard Finkelstein, Charles Lanpasso, Len Galluzzi, Nancy Lampasso, Mary Ashton and Ben Jellagiovanna. Tryouts for the summer program will be May 4 at 8 a.m. and May 5 and May 6 at 5 p.m. The YMCA is at 138-46 Northern Blvd. in Flushing, and the phone number is 718-961-6880, Ext.140.