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Tsunami Swim Team Holds Its First Meet

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By Katherine Massopust

PERTH AMBOY – On Saturday, December 6, 2014 the Tsunami Swim Team of the Perth Amboy YMCA competed in their first swim meet against Princeton. This marks the first swim meet from a Perth Amboy YMCA Swim Team in over 20 years.

With so many swimmers enrolled in the YMCA’s swim lessons, the swimmers had no outlet to compete using their skills. “We have such an awesome facility that we had to have a swim team,” states Meredith Lyndon, one of 3 co-coaches of the Tsunami Swim Team.” Along with Samantha Burd and Johanna Safranski, Lyndon helps develop the proper skills for the swimmers to compete. “We focus a lot on teaching,” states Lyndon.

The Raritan Bay YMCA began its Tsunami Swim Team last year. There are 3 levels of swim lessons at the Perth Amboy YMCA. Once all 3 levels are completed, the swimmer is eligible to try out for the Tsunami Swim Team. There are 32 members of the Tsunami Swim Team. The ages of the swimmers vary from 7 to 17.  The team practices on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

“They deserve to compete. 2 of our swimmers are autistic. They also swim in the Special Olympics,” states Safranski. “There are some swimmers who swam last year for the Tsuanmi Swim Team.” Safranski states.  “There are different levels of competition. We hope in the future to become a USA Team. This would make the Tsunami Swim Team eligible for invitationals and open more doors.”

Meredith Lyndon spoke of her own experience competing, “It’s a lifetime sport. I started competing at age 8 until high school. Then I didn’t compete for 36 years. Now I’m in the Master’s Swimmer Program. Swimming is something that these kids will be able to do their whole life.”

When asked the importance of learning to swim, Lyndon answered, “We are surrounded by water (in Perth Amboy). It’s important (if something happened) they won’t drown.”

“Swimming builds discipline and cooperation,” states Johanna Safranski, “One focuses on bettering the team by bettering themselves. You also make lifelong friends.”Lyndon stated, “Some of the swimmers’ skills are better than others. We pick one of the strokes (Competitive Strokes: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke & Freestyle) that a swimmer likes to do, emphasize it, then pick another, and work on that, too.”

For their first swim meet, (last year the team only practiced and developed their skills with no formal competition) the Coaches of Tsunami Swim Team are focusing on developing skills, cutting times and getting the swimmers used to competing. “It takes years to build a team,” states Lyndon. “Swimming is a sport for anyone, any shape and size.”

Citing why she coaches, Lyndon states, “I was gifted with terrific coaches growing up and I want to give back what they gave me.”

The Tsunami Swim Team has another meet on Saturday, December 20, 2014. Congratulations, on a job well done.

Photos by Katherine Massopust

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