Westport Weston Family YMCA Water Rats Excel in Championship Competitions

WESTPORT, CT – April 12, 2024 – The Westport Weston Family YMCA Water Rats Swim Team continues to make waves highlighting their talent, dedication, and success in the competitive short course swimming arena. Throughout the recent championship season, the Water Rats showcased their prowess and exceptional achievements in three significant competitions, the YMCA New England Championships, CT State Championships, and YMCA National Swimming Championships.

YMCA New England Championships (8&Under Swimmers):

The Water Rats’ 8&Under swimmers showcased their skills at the YMCA New England Championships held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA, on March 17, 2024. This prestigious event featured YMCA teams from across the region, bringing together top talent in youth swimming. A total of 15 swimmers from the Westport Weston Family YMCA Water Rats’ 8&Under team qualified and attended this championship, showcasing their skills and dedication to the sport:

Team Scores:

  • 1st Place 8&Under Girls Team
  • 6th Place 8&Under Boys Team
  • 2nd Place Combined 8&Under Team

Podium Finishes (Top 3):

  • 1st Girls 8U 100 Medley Relay: Evelyn Sullivan, Blake Budden, Annabelle Hart, Aria Kassam
  • 3rd Girls 8U 25 Butterfly: Evelyn Sullivan
  • 2nd Girls 8U 25 Backstroke: Blake Budden
  • 3rd Boys 8U 25 Backstroke: Yurii Kyrychenko
  • 3rd Girls 8U 100 IM: Evelyn Sullivan
  • 3rd Girls 8U 50 Freestyle: Evelyn Sullivan
  • 2nd Girls 8U 25 Breastroke: Annabelle Hart
  • 3rd Girls 8U 25 Breaststroke: Blake Budden
  • 1st Boys 8U 25 Breaststroke: Yurii Kyrychenko
  • 1st Girls 8U 100 Freestyle Relay: Evelyn Sullivan, Annabell Hart, Blake Budden, Aria Kassam

CT Swimming Short Course Age Group Championships (9-14 Year Old Swimmers):

The Water Rats’ 9-14 year old swimmers excelled at the Connecticut Swimming Short Course Age Group Championships held at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, from March 14-17, 2024. A total of 667 swimmers from 52 USA Swimming teams across Connecticut competed in this highly competitive championship, showcasing the depth and talent of the swimming community. The Water Rats Swim Team made a remarkable impact at the meet, with 27 swimmers qualifying and

delivering exceptional performances across various events:

Team Scores:

  • 11-12 Boys – 3rd overall
  • 13-14 Girls – 4th overall
  • Overall Boys (across all age groups) – 7th Place
  • Overall Girls (across all age groups) – 9th Place
  • Overall Combined Boys & Girls – 9th place

Podium Finishes (Top 3):

  • 3rd Girls 13-14 400 Medley Relay: Lillian White-Charles, Emma Giafardino, Ava Piscionere, Maegan Grisanti
  • 3rd Girls 13-14 200 IM: Emma Giafardino
  • 2nd Boys 11-12 400 Medley Relay: Grant Ferrari, Miles Pearson, Kaveen Dodani, Luke McGuinn
  • 2nd Girls 13-14 500 Freestyle: Lillian White-Charles
  • 2nd Boys 11-12 200 Medley Relay: Grant Ferrari, Miles Pearson, Kaveen Dodani, Luke McGuinn
  • 3rd Boys 11-12 100 Butterfly: Kaveen Dodani
  • 1st Girls 13-14 100 Breaststroke: Emma Giafardino
  • 3rd Girls 13-14 100 Breaststroke: Ava Piscioniere
  • 2nd Boys 11-12 200 Butterfly: Kaveen Dodani
  • 1st Girls 13-14 400 Freestyle Relay: Lena Savkovic, Maegan Grisanti, Emma Giafardino, Lillian White-Charles

YMCA National Short Course Swimming Championships (11 Qualifiers):

The Water Rats continued their success at the YMCA National Short Course Swimming Championships held at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, NC, from April 2-6, 2024. With 11 swimmers qualifying among 1177 total YMCA swimmers from 26 states, the team achieved impressive results:

Team Scores:

  • Women – 11th Place
  • Men – 39th Place
  • Combined – 16th Place

Podium Finishes:

  • Chase Shapiro – 10th place Men’s 1650
  • Kate Murray – 5th place Women’s 100 Freestyle, 3rd place Women’s 50 Freestyle, 2nd place Women’s 200 Freestyle, 5th place Women’s 100 Butterfly
  • Maegan Grisanti – 12th place Women’s 1650, 12th place Women’s 1000 Freestyle
  • Ella Gussen – 16th Women’s 200 Backstroke
  • Giafardino, Spelman, Gussen, Murray – 12th place Women’s 400 Medley Relay, 11th place Women’s 200 Medley Relay
  • Grisanti, Spelman, Gussen, Murray – 6th place Women’s 800 Freestyle Relay

“This championship season has been a testament to the dedication and talent of our Water Rats Swim Team,” said Ellen Johnston, Head Coach of the Water Rats. “Their hard work and commitment have led to exceptional performances and remarkable achievements.” The Westport Weston Family YMCA (WWFY) Water Rats Swim Team is a year-round, nationally recognized competitive swim program that was established in 1949 and continues to excel in competitive swimming, inspiring young athletes and setting high standards for excellence in the pool. The Y’s experienced and dedicated coaches are passionate about the personal development of each individual swimmer, in the water and out. The Water Rats coaching staff has repeatedly trained swimmers that have been perennial state champions and beyond with Olympic medal alumni. The national competition marks the end of the Water Rats short course championship season. Team training resumes in a few weeks which then continues through July. For aspiring swimmers looking to join this winning program the Westport Weston Family YMCA will hold tryouts for the 2024-2025 competition year in August, welcoming newcomers to join the legacy of the Water Rats Swim Team.

To learn more about the Westport Weston Family YMCA Water Rats Team and upcoming events, please visit westporty.org/wrat or contact Kristin Finnegan, Swim Coach at (203) 226-8981 Ext. 113 or kfinnegan@westporty.org.

For additional WWFY program information, visit westporty.org/programs.

About Westport Weston Family YMCA

The Westport Weston Family YMCA is a cause-driven non-profit organization whose 100-year history is steeped in dedication and compassion for those we serve and beyond. We come together from every walk of life to strengthen our community in the name of healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility. The Y is centered on helping people feel healthier, happier, and more connected. We work to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, age, cultural background, ethnicity, faith, gender, gender identity, ideology, income, national origin, race, or sexual orientation has the opportunity to reach their full potential with dignity. Together, for a better us. Learn more at westporty.org.