Sunday, February 25, 2024


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  • Perkiomen School Opens State Tourney with Win
  • Pedrick Finishes Fourth at Indoor Track Championships
  • Cairns Leads Marymount to Atlantic East Championship
  • Traynor Receives Academic Honor
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Sports Article
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Justin Heimes Leads Gators at Junior Olympics Meet
Written by Bradley Schlegel

     Though the Upper Perkiomen Valley YMCA swim team ended its dual meet regular season earlier this month, its top performers continue to compete on a larger stage. This past weekend, six Gators participated in the Middle Atlantic Swimming Junior Olympics at Franklin & Marshal College in Lancaster.


Members of the Upper Perk YMCA Gators swim team participating in the Junior Olympics are (front row) Kai Hang and Tommy Saeger; (back row) Justin Heimes, Owen Miller, Noel Fresa and Kyle Kovalenko.

     Justin Heimes posted the best results during the meet. Swimming in the 13-14 year-old division, he finished third in the 100-meter backstroke and fifth in the 200-meter backstroke.

     Two other male competitors in the same age group reached the finals at the meet. Kyle Kovalenko finished 13th overall in the 100 breaststroke. Owen Miller took 20th place overall in the 200 freestyle.

     Noel Fresa, competing in the girls' 13-14 division, finished 28th overall in the 100 backstroke.

     Kai Hang (10 and under) finished eighth in the 50 Breaststroke and 10th in the 100 butterfly. Tommy Saeger (10 and under) finished 17th overall in the 50 freestyle and 18th overall in the 50 butterfly.

     "I'm very happy with the overall performance," Gators Head Coach Michele Himes said. "Everyone did their best times."  According to Himes, the team will wrap up its summer season with three additional meets.

     This weekend, Kaylee Heimes and Justin Heimes will represent the team at the YMCA National meet in Indianapolis, which began Wednesday, July 27, and runs through Sunday, July 31. The two will compete in six total events.

     At the USA Swimming Futures Swim Meet, in Baltimore, scheduled for Aug. 4 through Aug. 7, Kaylee Heimes will compete in the 100 backstroke.  Kang and Miller will compete in the USA Swimming Zones Championship meet, scheduled Aug. 3 to Aug. 6 in East Meadow, N.Y.

     According to Himes, the Gators (4-7) finished their dual meet season in a three-way tie for third place in the Tri-County Swim League with an exciting victory over Skippack on July 19. She said their 13-14 boys finished first in the league in their age group.

     "This was the best finish for the team in 20 years," Michele Heimes wrote in an email.

      A victory in the final event by Upper Perk's 15-18 Girls Freestyle Relay team, by .39 seconds, clinched a 10-point win over Skippack.

     "The meet was a nail biter," she wrote. "The entire team gave 110 percent for the win."  According to the coach, the dedication of parents and their children has allowed the team to succeed.

     "Right now, we have very good leadership and strong parents," Michele Heimes said. "They are committed to the team, which means their kids are committed, as well. It really makes a difference."

     The team recognized its senior swimmers – Tyler Reed, Mitchell Cairns and Melissa Kilroy – all of whom are moving on to college in the fall, according to the coach.

     The Tri-County League swimming held its senior championship meet on Saturday, July 23, followed by A and B championships on July 25 and 26, respectively.






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