Wahoos Of Wellington Swim Team Hosts Annual Awards Banquet

Dryland coach Yannick Feurich, head coach Rich Whalen, coach Becky Richey and coach Lina Bot with the award winners.

On Wednesday, May 31, the Wahoos of Wellington swim team traded their evening on the pool deck for an evening on stage, as the team celebrated the successes of the past year at their annual awards banquet. Held at the Wellington Community Center, the second floor ballroom was at maximum capacity as more than 200 people attended the long-awaited event.

In addition to the highly anticipated awards ceremony, all swimmers were able to participate in the raffle activities where more than 20 prize packs were raffled off. This year raffle prizes included swim gear such as new practice suits, gear bags, Speedo back packs, googles, kick boards, slime baskets, sweet treats from Crumble Cookie, Beats headphones and much more. In acknowledgment of some of the raffle prizes, the Wahoos thank Speedo for its continued support of the team. In addition to the raffles, the team served-up a delicious Italian dinner while DJ Mike Collins with MBC Entertainment provided music and entertainment.

The Wahoo team consists of four sub-teams that make-up the entire roster, which are the Red Team, Bronze Team, Silver Team and the Gold Team. The Red Team is focused on novice swimmers under the age of 8. The Bronze Team consists of intermediate younger swimmers, typically under the age of 10. The Silver Team is for junior advanced swimmers between the ages of 10 and 13, while the Gold Team is for advanced senior swimmers between the ages 13 and 18 years old.

While all team members are eligible for coaches’ awards, swimmers who earn trophies are select athletes making a big impact within their teams. The coaches are evaluating each swimmer’s race performance, practice efforts, team comradery, sportsmanship, attitude and other key traits. The categories for awards included Most Improved Swimmer, All Around & Outstanding Swimmer, Rookie of the Year, the Coach’s Award and the Swimmer of the Year Award.

Coach Lina Bot of the Red Team recognized the following swimmers for their efforts of the past year: Hudson Poritz, Everley McCoy, Nils Limmer, Amora Ngobene, Liam Gilson and Victoria Maldonado. For the Bronze Team, she recognized Dylan Watren, Ember McAteer, Alp Demiray, Aleksandra Antonyan, Clark Kuntze, Selin Demiray, Caleb Jacobs, Ilari Leandro, Grant Hurley and Brixley Englert.

Coach Becky Richey of the Silver Team recognized Jaden Spooner, Nikolina Dengerud, Benjamin Honzik, Uliana Antonyan, Alejandro Bahos Andrade, Gabrielle Rivarola, Levi Vilson, Sage Shach, Luca Gray and Athena Rilo for their great efforts through the year.

Head coach Rich Whalen of the Gold Team recognized Ares Rilo, Lleyton Jobin, Jessica Smith, Illari Rilo, Everhart Fergus, Chloe Abinuman, Natalie Honzik, Dillon Metz, Andreas DaSilva, Emma Han, Julian Granison, Veronica Metz, Caleb DaSilva and Leorah Rotchin.

The Swimmer of the Year Award went to the very talented Ekaterina Malyshev, who had an outstanding year, which was highlighted by her achieving a Speedo Junior National Championship time standard in the breaststroke. She also qualified for the TYR Pro Series, where she was racing alongside Olympians such as Katie Ledecky, Lily King, Ryan Murphy, Kieran Smith and other top athletes from around the world.

The team was also excited to offer scholarships to graduating seniors who are headed to college: Jessica Smith was accepted into the U.S. Air Force Academy, Illiari Rilo will be attending Florida Atlantic University and Lleyton Jobin will be attending St. Thomas University The team wishes them amazing success in their collegiate careers, both inside and outside of the pool.

The coaches would like to thank all athletes for a great year of swimming as they look ahead to a busy and competitive second half of 2023.