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Tryout Dates Announced for Raritan Valley YMCA Swim Team After Landmark Season

By kbm0423 on
Middlesex County

The last two years have been difficult ones for the sport of swimming in New Jersey. 

With many facilities closed for the pandemic and most championship meets canceled in 2020 and 2021, many swim teams did not survive the shutdown or were forced to downsize drastically. 

Middlesex County-based Raritan Valley YMCA Riptide was one of the few swim teams to return stronger in the 2021-22 winter season, NJ’s first full swim season in 3 years, and the team has announced tryouts this summer to gear up again for the 2022-23 fall/winter season. 

Competitive swimmers in the area aged 6 to 18, or those ready to try competitive swimming, are welcome to attend one of the tryout dates below.

The pandemic years had few opportunities for Riptide to measure itself against the competition, keeping the team together through smaller, socially-distanced swim practices or “virtual” online fitness. 

This season, the team finally got a chance to show how it had grown over the past two years since the last time championship meets were held: jumping from 21st to 14th in the Holiday Classic meet at Rutgers, 11th to 9th place at the YMCA Age 12 and under State Championship, and 10th to 6th at the SunKissed championship meet in North Carolina.

The Sun Kissed meet in Charlotte, NC, carries on the legacy of the former YWCA national championship meet and serves as the season's climax for Riptide swimmers who attend. 

This year’s Riptide squad nearly quadrupled the team’s point output from the last time they attended the meet in 2019. 

Four swimmers achieved top-3 finishes to appear on the medal podium: Katie Ryan finished 2nd in Women’s 100 Butterfly (57.00) and 3rd in Women’s 50 Freestyle (24.11), setting team records for both en route to setting five new individual team records during the meet. Ben Lockey finished 2nd in Men’s 50 Freestyle with 21.08. Henry Lynch finished 2nd in Men’s 100 Butterfly with 51.49. Patrick Blalock finished 2nd in Junior Boys (age 13&under) 200 Butterfly at age 12, his 2:09.78 representing a rare “AAAA” time standard for his age as defined by USA Swimming.

Riptide will look to improve on this performance in the 2022-23 season starting in September, but new team members will need to try out in the summer to join. 

Tryout dates are: Friday, June 17 - Brookside Swim Club, 6:45 p.m. Friday, July 15 - Raritan Bay YMCA (Perth Amboy), 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 19 - YMCA at the Piscataway Community Center, 6:00 p.m. Saturday, August 13 - Brookside Swim Club, 9:00 a.m. Saturday, August 27 - Brookside Swim Club, 9:00 a.m.

No pre-registration is necessary. Prior competitive experience is not mandatory, but swimmers will be asked to swim full 25-yard laps and attempt all four competitive strokes—freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly—although perfectly “legal” stroke technique is not necessarily expected for swimmers aged 8 and under. 

More details on tryouts and the team can be found by visiting RVYRiptide.org.