Some of the Fastest in the Nation

Max McHugh

“One of the most successful meets we ever swam,” stated Coach Mike McHugh upon his return to Door County.

The Door County YMCA National Swim Team competed in the Long Course YMCA Nationals Meet this past week, Aug. 3-7, in Indianapolis, bringing home some very impressive results.

At the LCY Nationals meet, not only the high level of competition raised the degree of difficulty, but also by the size of the competing teams and by the length of the course.

DCY Swim Team trains at the Sturgeon Bay YMCA in a short course, 25-yard pool, making this meet with a 50-meter length pool a real challenge in pacing strokes and turns. Larger teams also have an advantage over DCY by having more individual swimmers to select from when putting together relay teams.

Despite all the challenges the DCY National team, comprised of five swimmers (four boys and one girl), swam their best and never faltered.

The boy’s relay team, Ryan Scripp (17), Ryan Ehlinger (16), Macoy Neinas (16) and Max McHugh (15), swam the 200-meter Medley Relay and 400-Meter Medley Relay, placing 10th and 13th consecutively.

Coach McHugh emphasized the rarity of such a strong relay team, “This just doesn’t happen especially in teams as small as ours.”

In addition to top national ranking they received with these wins, the relay team also made two Door County YMCA team records.

“It was cool just to be there and as a team made it fun. Also, it was cool to know that our relay was one of the fastest in the nation coming from such a small town,” added Macoy Neinas.

Neinas, a junior at Southern Door High School, swam his first national individual events. Swimming backstroke, he improved his times in both the 50-Meter and 100-Meter back events.

The highlight of the meet for the DCY Swim Team was in the 50-Meter breaststroke event: Max McHugh, sophomore at Sevastopol High School, placed first with a record time of 29.13 seconds, bringing home the championship for this event for the second year running. Max’s teammate, Katie Kaminski, said, “It was the most exciting race she has ever seen.”

Max also swam the 100-Meter Breast, 200-Meter Breast and 50-Meter Free events, placing at elite national levels.

Katie Kaminski, junior at Sturgeon Bay High School, swam four events and won three best times in 100-Meter Breast, 200-Meter Breast and the 200-Meter IM. Katie arrived to the national meet with her goal times penned to paper. She said, “If I don’t write them down the (goal) times don’t feel real.”

The disappointment of falling short of her goals was eclipsed by the joy she had with her grandpa being able to watch her via “live streaming” back home.

Ryan Scripp and Ryan Ehlinger, both from Green Bay, swam strong in the relays as well as individual events. Their dedication to the DCY team is exemplified in traveling the two-hour round-trip up to four days a week to exclusively train with the team in Sturgeon Bay.

Ehlinger swam the 100-Meter Fly, 50-Meter Fly and 200-Meter Fly while forfeiting his 400-Meter IM to save his strength for a closely scheduled team relay event.

The Door County YMCA National Team is an exceptional group of swimmers that are as equally amazing kids out of the pool. Credit their coach for bringing out their best at home and on the road.