Guilderland Cyclones will storm to state championship in March 

— Photo from Connie Miller 

Members of the Guilderland Y Cyclones swim team cheer on swimmer Morgan Lawler in a meet held Dec. 7 against the Greater Glenville YMCA. 

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland YMCA swim team, the Cyclones, has beaten all the other teams in the North Country League to take first place. 

Forty of its members have qualified to move on to the state championship, said Head Coach Connie Miller. Two members of the team have also qualified for the YMCA Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina in April. 

There are 117 members of the Cyclones — boys and girls who range in age from 6 to 18. 

They’re very supportive of one another, said Miller, adding, “They’re always at the end of the decks, cheering for each other.” 

The older kids made “psych bags” for the younger kids to let them know they were thinking of them and wishing them good luck at the league-wide meet Feb. 23, Miller said; the bags included notes of encouragement, little goodies, and toys to keep them occupied during the meet. 

The North Country League extends as far north as Glens Falls, as far south as Kingston, and west to Fulton, said Miller. Not all of the 117 Cyclones participated in the league-wide meet; 81 of them achieved times that qualified them to take part.  

“We won for the combined scores for boys and girls of all ages,” said the head coach. 

Forty members of the team are moving on to the New York State YMCA Swimming Championships in Buffalo, to be held March 20 to 22, said Miller. 

Competition is divided by distance, stroke, gender, and age group. So, for instance, a child might compete in the 100-yard butterfly for girls ages 13 and 14, Miller said. 

Throughout the season, all of the Cyclones members have competed in the meets against other individual YMCA teams. The season started in September, Miller said.

The team has a total of eight coaches, and practices six times a week. Not all children practice every day; practice schedules vary, depending on the child’s age, Miller said. The youngest swimmers practice two days a week; 9- and 10-year-olds swim three times; and those 11 and older swim either four or five times a week, she said. 

The two Cyclones athletes who will be moving on to the YMCA Nationals are, Miller said, Kasey Kearney, a 17-year-old girl who qualified in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke as well as in the 200-yard individual medley, and Benedetto Fusco, a 15-year-old boy who qualified in the 100-yard breaststroke.

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