YOTA Swimming

by Josh Huger (MrUtopia)

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Created June 7th, 2010 12:32:04 PM

Modified June 7th, 2010 12:32:04 PM

This interview is with the YMCA of the Triangle Area Swim Team (YOTA). The YOTA team has had many successes in the pool including being the 2010 YMCA Men's National Champions. The team is coached by Head Coach Chad Onken and has only had six other head coaches throughout the teams rich history. The YOTA program consistently produces top level atheletes who go on to compete at some of the best schools in the country. On the YOTA website they report currently having swimmers competing for the University of Michigan, University of Kentucky, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Virginia Tech, Florida State, NC State, and George Mason.

Let's get to know more about the YMCA of the Triangle Area Swim Team!


Your team recently won the boy’s side of the YMCA National meet – was that expected?
I knew that if we swam to our potential that we would be very competitive. Our goal was to ultimately swim lifetime bests and beat the psych sheet – if we did that than the points would come.

What was your reaction?
I was very excited for the athletes. They worked really hard and bought into what we were trying to accomplish. They deserve all of the recognition that’s been coming their way. A National Championship is a National Championship – you don’t get to say that you are the best at something in the entire country too often. It’s been very rewarding.

What were their reactions?
It was a roller coaster of emotions to be honest. We had a very fast 400 free relay that destroyed the field, broke some national records and did some pretty special things and got DQ’ed. To come back after that disappointment to win the meet was a real up and down experience. I was proud of the way they clawed back into the meet and eventually pulled it out.

How many National Champions has your team had?
We’ve won the combined team championship once in 2006; the men’s team championship in 1988, 1993, 1994, 2006 and 2010; and the women’s team championship in 1997.

What is the biggest meet that your team has sent a swimmer or relay to?
We’ve had YOTA representation at Olympic Trials, World Championship Trials; as well as Senior Nationals and US Open. We’ve been fortunate to have some athletes represent the United States on the National Youth Team. Charlie Houchin was on that team in 2005-2006 and Dominick Glavich is currently in Barcelona, Spain with the 2009-2010 team.

What is your team philosophy?
 Purple is our official team color. We really try and bring about a family-type team atmosphere where every single athlete, parent, coach or volunteer on our team feels like they are an equal and extremely important part of a whole unit. The team concept is a really important part of our success.

What is one thing that people may not know about your team?
Lots of people are becoming more and more interested in our YOTA Masters Team. We are really excited about its development. We have around 50 athletes on the team already and are thrilled to watch it continue to grow over the next few years.
People also may not know that we are a Silver Medal Club Team (USAS Club Excellence), Level 4 Team (USAS Club Recognition) led by an ASCA Level 5 coach.

How many swimmers are currently on your team?
Our team has over 350 athletes swimming at 6 different sites around the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham) area.

When was your program started?
The exact month is in question, but we know that the team originated in 1968.

Be sure to check out our official team website at http://www.yotaswimteam.org