Kamal Farhat, YMCA swim team director, has been turning out competitive young swimmers for years.
This year is no different.
He will have four competitors at the Florida Age Group Championships (formerly Junior Olympics) on July 19 at the University of Florida at Gainesville.
They are Luca Gurgenidze, 8, Madeline Burt and Lauren Faremouth, both 10 and Madison Bonfitto, 12.
They qualified as part of the 620 swimmers that attacked the pool at Florida Gulf Coast University on June 16 to earn the right to move on to state competition.
Gurgenidze, was like a fish in water, swimming smoothly and quickly, finishing as the overall best point scorer in the 8-and-under competition.
He won the 50-meter breaststroke, backstroke and freestyle races, while finishing second in the butterfly.
"He came in second only because he didn't care about winning that one," Farhat said. "The other three he won easily."
Gurgenidze also competed in the 10-and-under for more experience, finishing in the top eight for overall points.
Bonfitto qualified for state in the 11-12 age group. Her times send her to state in the 50 butterfly, 50 freestyle and 50 breaststroke.
Lauren Faremouth, 10 and under, qualified in the 50 and 100 breaststroke. In another competition she had already qualified for the 100 and 400 freestyle and 100 backstroke.
Burt, won the 50 butterfly. "Their chances to win are very good, because they will be prepared," Farhat said. "They are self-motivated, dedicated, work hard and have a lot of heart. They want to win."
Gurgenidze gained experience and confidence when he raced against 10-and-under swimmers.
"I made times as good or better in the races," he said. "I think I prepare better. I want to win every time."
Burt said, "I like my chances at state. I concentrate on good mechanics and making the right strokes."
Bonfitto said, "My times are the same as them (competitors). I'll be prepared."
For years Farhat's program has been a feeder for area high schools, many going to Lely and to St. John Neumann. His daughters, Mercedes and Louisa, were among the best at Lely. Marco's Wesley Blassneck, also in Lely swimming record books, is now on a swimming scholarship at Eastern Michigan University,
The key for longevity Farhat said is to "Not beat them up. Teach them. Push them, but don't beat them up trying to succeed."