YMCA swim team earns bronze status from USA Swimming

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The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County swim team has been recognized with two honors from USA Swimming, the governing body for the sport of swimming in the United States.

USA Swimming recently announced that the Y swim team has once again earned bronze status in its National Club Excellence Program, which recognizes the highest performing member clubs in the country, according to a press release.

This marks the third year in a row the Y swim team has achieved bronze level status.

“I am so proud of our team,” Coach Jack Caucino said. “The swimmers have put their heart and soul into training at the highest level and competing among the best swimmers in the country.”

The Y team has won five national championships under the guidance of Caucino and his team of coaches. The most recent first place finish was at the YMCA National Long Course Festival during the summer in Raleigh, N.C., according to the press release.

USA Swimming selected 201 teams for the Club Excellence program after adding points gained at the YMCA national festival where 38 Y swim team members competed.

The Y swim team also announced that one of its newer members was chosen to participate in USA Swimming’s 2021 National Diversity Select Camp, which took place from Oct. 21-24 in Chula Vista, Calif.

Marcella Figueroa, a 17-year-old senior at Middletown South High School, was one of 55 swimmers from across the country who was selected for the camp based on her swim times at USA Swimming-sanctioned events, including the YMCA National Long Course Festival in July, according to the press release.

Marcella, who is one of the top swimmers in her age group, spent four days at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center. The camp is reserved for top athletes from different swimming categories who come from an under-represented community and/or ethnically under-represented population in current USA swimming membership, according to the press release.

A goal of USA Swimming’s diversity camp is to demonstrate the viability of cultural success in swimming and develop positive leaders and role models that others from diverse backgrounds can emulate, according to the press release.

Marcella said she was honored to be selected for the diversity camp, which has hosted many top U.S. swimmers, including four 2020 Tokyo Olympians.

“It was a great opportunity to attend the camp and to represent the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County swim team,” said Marcella, who joined the Y team in April when her family relocated from Jersey City to the Lincroft section of Middletown.

Caucino said he looks forward to seeing Marcella continue to grow and excel, “not only in the pool, but also as a leader in her community.”

The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County swim team is a blend of swim teams from the former Community YMCA and YMCA of Western Monmouth County, which merged in 2019 to create the new countywide YMCA. The team has 520 swimmers, ages 6 to 18, from the Freehold, Old Bridge and Red Bank YMCAs.

Its mission is to “provide a positive team environment that promotes respect, integrity, perseverance and accountability, which enables optimal health and athletic development through swim training, instruction and competition in a safe and supportive environment.”

The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County’s programs and services are anchored in 10 communities: health and wellness facilities in Freehold Township, Old Bridge and Red Bank; outdoor day camps in Millstone Township and Wall Township; a community center in Freehold Borough; counseling and social service centers in Eatontown, Matawan and Middletown; childcare centers in Freehold Township, Matawan and Red Bank; and integrated in nearly 100 schools in Monmouth and Ocean counties, according to the press release.