WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. — Nick Torres, Yugo Tsukikawa, Brendan Lee and Ryan Maierle were lowering their time, incrementally, each time they competed in a 200-meter freestyle relay. As a result, the four 10-year-old boys, who swim for the Westchester Aquatic Club Wolverines, were inching closer and closer to the national record in the event.
In July, a week prior to the Westchester County Swimming and Diving Championships, the quartet wrote their names into the national record book.
Torres and Maierle, from Eastchester, New Rochelle’e Lee and Mamaroneck’s Tsukikawa won the boy’s 10-and-under 200-meter freestyle relay in a record time of two minutes, 2.52 seconds at the Metro LSC Junior Olympics at the Nassau County Aquatic Center on Long Island.
The former standard of 2:02.74 was set in 1984 by four boys from Arden Hills, Mich. Torres, Tsukikawa, Lee and Maierle also own the 200-yard freestyle relay national record. The boys are coached by Carleann Fierro.
Torres led off and covered the 50 meters in 30.66 seconds, followed by Lee (31.33) and Tsukikawa (30.66). Maierle anchored the record-setting swim, bringing it home in 29.77 seconds.
“We were getting closer and closer to the record so our goal was to get it,” said Maierle, a sixth-grader-to-be at Eastchester Middle School. “We had been working really hard so we were really pumped up prior to the race and ready to swim.”
Torres gave the team the lead and Lee and Tsukikawa added to it. Maierle said when Tsukikawa touched the wall, the team had a half-pool lead. Even though their lead was comfortable, Maierle was not going to relax.
“It was the last race of the day and we were going for the record so I was going to give it all that I had,” Maierle said.
Once Maierle completed his swim, he said he heard screaming and then Lee said to him, ‘We got it! We got it!’
“I was so out of breath that I wasn’t thinking of our national record,” Maierle said. “We all had to do our part, and we did, to get the record. It was great.”