Banner Season for Coast Guard Blue Dolphins

The Coast Guard Blue Dolphin Swim Team (CGBD) proved to be a formidable force this past short course season on the Virginia Peninsula. Based in Yorktown, CGBD is a level three Bronze Medal Club as awarded by USA Swimming, however offers practices in Yorktown, Williamsburg and Newport News to provide for their ever increasing membership base. Multiple facilities offer convenience to families that are looking to join a team with an established reputation and proven results.

The Blue Dolphins had several stellar accomplishments, worthy of recognition. A Southeast Virginia swimming powerhouse, CGBD has produced noteworthy results since its inception back in 1965. In March they finished third overall at the Virginia Swimming Short Course Senior Championships held at the Collegiate Aquatic Center in Richmond besting local competitors. The CGBD senior women won the women's Medium Team Division Championship while the men finished at second in the Medium Team Division standings.

A couple of weeks later in Christiansburg, VA the CGBD 14 -and -under swimmers competed at the Virginia Swimming Age Group Championships, finishing fourth overall out of thirty-two participating teams. This is exceptional to note for the Blue Dolphins as they have proven to be the team to beat in our local area at the age group level. CGBD earned 1662 points which more than doubled/ tripled the points earned by local swim clubs on the Peninsula.
Notably, Virginia Swimming Age Group State Champions Brook-Lynn Clark and Clayton Whetstine, were recently chosen to participate in USA Swimming's Eastern Zone Select Camp which will take place this Summer at the University of Virginia. This prestigious camp features the top 56 USA Swimming athletes from the Eastern Zone each of whom will have the opportunity to learn from professionals about post-race recovery, psychological training skills, nutrition and race strategy.

They currently have eight seniors listed on their National Team roster, and as of press time, seven have committed to swim at the collegiate level for various swimming programs across the Country. Menchville seniors, Skyler DeWall (Campbell University), Chelsea Martellar (East Carolina University), Kade Younger (William & Mary); York High seniors Danika Katzer (Tennessee) and Alex Slayton (Virginia Tech), Grafton High senior Jaqueline Tinneny (Old Dominion University) with Smithfield High senior Mike Christou (Randolph College) following suit.
Most recently the Daily Press published its annual All-Star Team for Winter Sports and CGBD swept both the boys and girls titles citing Kade Younger winning the Male Swimmer of the Year and Alex Slayton receiving the nod for Female Swimmer of the Year. This is the first time CGBD has swept both the boys and girls Daily Press Swimmer of the Year All-Star titles in over ten years. The female All-Star team as broken down by event, listed Katzer, Slayton and two other CGBD swimmers and York High teammates Megan Gaffney and Alyssa Reilly with sweeping the 200 medley and 200 free relay honors offered in high school competition for our area. Slayton also received All-Star recognition for her 100 backstroke time and Katzer with her 200 IM and 100 breastroke time. On the boys' side, the CGBD swimmers representing their high schools secured seven out of the eleven nominations awarded. Kade Younger along with CGBD swimmers and Menchville teammates Chris Verastek, Cole Younger and recently transferred JJ Barad swept all the Daily Press Relay All-Star wins for our area which includes the 200 medley, 200 free and 400 free respectively. Younger snagged the 100 backstroke nomination, Verastek the 200 IM nomination with recently transferred CGBD swimmer Nick Talati receiving All-Star status with his 200 free and 100 fly times representing Tabb High School.

Recently Virginia Swimming announced three additional accolades for CGBD, at their Annual All-Star Celebration on April 28th in Richmond. Danika Katzer won Swimmer of the Year for 17-18 year old girls, Carter Whetstine for 11 year old boys and Kyleigh Tankard for 13 year old girls. This was the first time according to CGBD Head Coach Steve Hennessy that they have had three swimmers recognized at this event. In addition, CGBD solidifying the most representation from our area showcased fifteen swimmers selected for the Annual Virginia Swimming All-Star Team: Bernard Kim, Kallyn Buirski, Delaney Cox, Ian Rodgers, Brook-Lynn Clark, Isabel Marstellar, Nick Barrows, Cooper Muench, Carter Whetstine, Clayton Whetstine, Danika Katzer, Morgan Miller, Alex Slayton, Jaqueline Tinneny and Chris Verastek. Coach Hennessy credits these recent accomplishments to his coaching staff , hard working swimmers and the supportive Blue Dolphin families.

Long Course season for the Coast Guard Blue Dolphins is just beginning to gain momentum. They have recently competed in April at a hosted meet in Newport News and will be traveling to UNC Chapel Hill mid-May for the Annual Meet On The Hill sponsored by North Carolina Aquatic Club with a few training meets in between. They will be switching gears to focus on championship season mid-July where they will be preparing for Virginia Swimming's Long Course Senior and Age Group Championships as well as Junior National competition.

Coast Guard Blue Dolphins is always accepting new swimmers and has a variety of opportunities for swimmers of all levels and ages. From swim lessons to developmental groups, groups for high school athletes who would like to stay in shape, beginner competitors and the seasoned competitor. Contact CGBD at vacgbd@teamunify.com

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