Myah Gilroy of Norway, age 9, competes in the breaststroke at a recent NLY swim meet.
IRON MOUNTAIN – A program-record 68 swimmers are on the roster for the 2017-18 Northern Lights YMCA – Dickinson Center Swim Team, a 50 percent increase from a year ago.
“It’s very exciting to see so many new athletes to the sport,” NLY head coach John Leech said. “And it’s rewarding to see the work that the new swimmers have been putting in to learn the strokes and the ins and outs of competition.”
This season’s 68 swimmers is 23 more than 2016-17. In 2015, the program showed a roster of 31 swimmers.
“It’s really fantastic to see this program take off and grow like it has,” Leech said. “I think it shows that our kids are learning, having fun and encouraging their friends to try a new sport and get engaged in the water.”
The NLY Swim Team is open to new and experienced swimmers ages 6-18. The season begins in October and concludes in March. Swim team participants must be YMCA members. The team competes against teams in the U.P. and northern Wisconsin.
This year’s team has already competed in three meets.
“I’ve seen many time drops from our new swimmers already,” Leech said. “Our returning swimmers have been putting in a lot of work too. Many of them are challenging themselves with longer, harder events like the 1,000-yard freestyle and the 200 butterfly. The veterans have seen excellent success, with many swimming in new events. We’ve had swimmers already qualify for states and we’ve broken several pool records.”
Swimmers compete in four different strokes (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle) and tackle multiple distances ranging from short sprint races of 25 and 50 yards up to the challenging 1,650 freestyle.
NLY swimmers practice Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday from 4:45-6 p.m. and competitions are typically on the weekends. New swimmers are welcome to join at any time during the season. For more information or to find out how to join, please contact the YMCA at (906) 774-4076.